Have you ever thought about what mental health care professionals do on a daily basis? Perhaps you wonder about the type of education needed to become a therapist or mental health counselor.
If you’ve been thinking about trying therapy for the first time, it can be helpful for you to get to know more about this profession. Becoming more familiar with a mental health provider’s daily routine may help you feel more relaxed when the time comes to make your first therapy appointment.
Let’s look at how a mental health counselor differs from other professions and learn about their typical practices and habits each day. Then, we’ll talk about how you might benefit from therapy and help you get started.
What Is a Mental Health Counselor?
A mental health counselor is one of the many professions dedicated to promoting others’ cognitive, emotional, and behavioral well-being. They deal with a range of issues, including relationship challenges, anxiety, depression, and life changes. Mental health providers can help people shift their thinking patterns and behaviors toward mental health through several psychotherapy methods.
What mental health counselors can do in their daily practices vary from state to state. Some counselors pursue an LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor) license, while others seek an LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) license. Still, some others obtain a license as an LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor), and those working to become therapists seek a license as an LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.)
What do these credentials mean for you? Each license represents a scope of practice that legally allows a mental health professional to treat you. While there is overlap between counseling and therapeutic licenses, mental health counselors generally focus on talk therapy and help support your mental wellness needs.
What Education Does This Mental Health Profession Have?
To become a clinical mental health counselor, a person will complete an undergraduate degree and pursue a master’s degree in a mental health field. Their education includes mastering issues in psychotherapy and human development. In some states, they also receive education to assess and diagnose mental health disorders.
In addition to education, those seeking licensure in a mental health field must complete an internship and practicum to get hands-on training in their field. After this, they’ll apply to take the state exams necessary for licensure and pursue employment.
Counselors in training learn how to handle patient information with extreme care and confidentiality. They learn how to treat people with understanding and handle matters with ethical principles in mind. Ultimately, these mental health providers aim to be compassionate, observant, and nuanced to provide individuals with the care that fits their needs.
What Does a Mental Health Counselor Do on a Normal Day?
What does a mental health professional do each day? You might have a preconceived notion of these providers. While counselors take notes during sessions to help you through tough times, you’ll be happy to know that these providers are human, too. Let’s look at a day in their profession.
They Meet with Clients Face-to-Face and Online
Each day, one priority for a mental health counselor is meeting with clients. In the age of technology, counselors can meet with their clients online when needed. During their sessions, they’ll review how the client is feeling and the events that have taken place since seeing them last.
Depending on their counseling theory, they may let the patient guide conversation, or they might lead the conversation toward a particular topic. Regardless, mental health counselors spend most of their day talking with their patients to review and encourage their mental health goals and listening as they articulate their recent feelings and thoughts.
They Review Their Notes Before Each Client
Typical therapy appointments consist of a 45-50-minute therapeutic hour, which leaves a counselor 10-15 minutes to make notes or prepare for their next client. If they don’t book clients back-to-back, they may also have time to review their notes from the last session to refresh before their next client comes in.
A client can request a copy of these notes at any time in their care, but their purpose is to help the counselor check their client’s progress. Mood’s clinicians and therapists have access to a unique feature called Mood Check, which gives them day-to-day insights on how their patient is doing.
They Make Notes for Each Session
Mental health counselors also have administrative duties to take care of throughout the workday and before going home each day.
Typical activities include:
Scheduling patient appointments
Speaking with insurance companies
Managing patient intake paperwork
Taking notes for insurance purposes
These duties may not be glamorous, but this organization makes it possible for counselors to engage with their clients each day.
They Keep Their Personal Lives and Ideas Separate
Different mental health care professions have their codes of ethics. However, largely speaking, clinical mental health counselors undergo training to ensure they can compartmentalize their beliefs and personal lives while interacting with clients. An excellent counselor can meet with clients of differing religions, moral codes, and personalities and treat them all with respect and objectivity.
It’s worth noting that on occasion, mental health counselors may choose to disclose an experience from their own life to strengthen the therapeutic relationship between themself and their patients. When this happens, it’s intentional rather than casual, and it’s never to put the patient in a counseling role. This self-disclosure can help patients feel that they’re not alone in their struggles and help create a deeper trust between the counselor and client.
They Continue Their Education
You might feel strange thinking that a mental health counselor relies on only their master’s education for the duration of their counseling career. Since psychology and counseling research reveals groundbreaking information from time to time, a counselor should stay educated on recent theories.
Would You Benefit From Seeing a Mental Health Counselor?
We’ve learned quite a bit about mental health counselors. As you’ve learned about what they do, you might be imagining what it might be like to visit a mental health care professional. Talk therapy is invaluable. You might benefit from talking to a trained professional if you experience any of the following:
Symptoms consistent with depression
Recent feelings of anxiety
Major life changes
What To Do When You’re Ready To Talk to Someone
Do you relate to any of the above feelings? If so, it’s a good sign that you’d benefit from talking to a mental health professional. What should you do when it’s time to take the first step? Getting help can seem like an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to. Let us show you how accessing mental health care online can be simple with Mood Health.
Meet Mood Health
Finding a provider who makes you feel comfortable and matches your budget isn’t always easy.
Perhaps you’ve tried meeting with a therapist in the past, but they didn’t quite understand your goals. Maybe you enjoyed going to talk therapy sessions, but you couldn’t afford to pay $150 per session each week.
You don’t have to sacrifice your savings for quality care or put up with providers who don’t fit your needs. At Mood Health, we’re passionate about making it easy for you to access quality care. Let’s take a closer look at four reasons we can serve you:
Our mental health providers are the real deal. When you choose Mood Health, you can be confident you’ll receive the best psychiatric and therapeutic care. You can read more about each of our clinicians here to understand better who they are and their motivation for therapy.
We make psychiatry and talk therapy affordable. Who says you have to spend thousands of dollars on excellent mental health care? When you sign up with Mood Health, you can receive your first month of psychiatry care for only $45. Your first month of talk therapy is only $39. Getting the help you need is more manageable than you might have thought.
Our clinicians care. At Mood Health, your providers are committed to understanding your needs and helping you reach your mental health goals.
You can talk to someone within the week. You don’t have to feel stuck on a waiting list for months. With Mood Health, you can schedule your appointment today and meet your provider inside the same week. Quick scheduling means you can get to feeling better as soon as possible.
Putting Your Mental Health First
Mental health professionals work hard each week to help people like you move toward their mental health goals. By understanding the daily life of these care providers, you may feel more comfortable trusting them with your feelings and unique experiences.
At Mood, our mental health care providers can use their education, skill, and training to help you manage anxiety or simply learn more about yourself. When you decide to give talk therapy a try, our hard-working Mood Health clinicians are here to help you feel better.