How Hard is it to Find a Clinical Counselor Job?
In general, clinical psychology deals with investigating the psychological mechanisms involved in health and disease, and in particular, the mechanisms involved in health and psychological pathology.
There are several characteristics specific to clinical psychology.
- Unlike neuroscience, which does not have as object of study the cultural heritage of a person, clinical psychology takes into account this aspect in the specific investigations.
- It covers all ages, possessing a toolkit of methods and techniques specific to each category (child, teen, adult, senior). Clinical investigation takes into account factors and characteristics specific to each development stage, personality, intellect level and the prevalence of certain diseases specific to certain ages.
- As major factors defining this field, we consider the ethics and deontology aspects, clinical psychology being the first applied branch of psychology that has implemented scientifically validated procedures in research and practice.
- Clinical psychology has an important aspect concerning the prevention of mental disorders and the promotion of health, which is often little considered; moreover, there is a tendency to confuse this field with pathology.
What is a clinical counselor?
A clinical mental health counselor is specialist in mental health counseling, who obtained a master`s degree after being through a training focused on counseling techniques, human development, multicultural issues etc. Some of these professionals may also have undergraduate degrees in psychology, although this is not always required for school admissions.
Students are typically engaged in internship experiences (they work for a while under the supervision of a licensed professional).
Getting employed as a clinical counselor
If you decide to pursue this career, know that clinical counselors can carry out their professional activity both in the public or private sector and they can find good jobs with different organizations and institutions that hire therapists, or start their own business. You must work hard in school to build your necessary skill set, go through plenty of supervised clinical hours, participate in research projects and pursue additional therapist training, to anticipate better career opportunities. There are niches not yet saturated, such as healing trauma through cognitive behavioral therapy, and you can take advantage of this.
You must get your license to be allowed to practice in your state, and then build a professional resume and get some recommendations from internship supervisors or academic advisors to help you in the process of finding a job. Search online networks for ‘mental health clinician jobs in MA’. Make connections among people who are already in this field, search for all job opportunities – online and offline – and submit job applications in a professional manner.
Alternatively, instead of pursuing employment with an organization, you can consider starting a private practice, if you feel ready to set up your own therapy business, or even alternative careers such as school counselor, author in the field of mental health (if you have good writing skills) or researcher.
Graduating a program in mental health accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs will definitely increase your chances of being employed after graduation; it will also help you with licensing.