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Mental Health Counselors

Counsel and advise individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health, with an emphasis on prevention. May help individuals deal with a broad range of mental health issues, such as those associated with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; or aging.

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    Work Activities

    Work Activities

    • Encourage clients to express their feelings and discuss what is happening in their lives, helping them to develop insight into themselves or their relationships.
    • Prepare and maintain all required treatment records and reports.
    • Counsel clients or patients, individually or in group sessions, to assist in overcoming dependencies, adjusting to life, or making changes.
    • Guide clients in the development of skills or strategies for dealing with their problems.
    • Perform crisis interventions to help ensure the safety of the patients and others.
    • Fill out and maintain client-related paperwork, including federal- and state-mandated forms, client diagnostic records, and progress notes.
    • Perform crisis interventions with clients.
    • Develop and implement treatment plans based on clinical experience and knowledge.
    • Collect information about clients through interviews, observation, or tests.
    • Discuss with individual patients their plans for life after leaving therapy.
    • Modify treatment activities or approaches as needed to comply with changes in clients' status.
    • Evaluate clients' physical or mental condition, based on review of client information.
    • Monitor clients' use of medications.
    • Collaborate with mental health professionals and other staff members to perform clinical assessments or develop treatment plans.
    • Act as client advocates to coordinate required services or to resolve emergency problems in crisis situations.
    • Evaluate the effectiveness of counseling programs on clients' progress in resolving identified problems and moving towards defined objectives.
    • Plan, organize, or lead structured programs of counseling, work, study, recreation, or social activities for clients.
    • Refer patients, clients, or family members to community resources or to specialists as necessary.
    • Counsel family members to assist them in understanding, dealing with, or supporting clients or patients.
    • Learn about new developments in counseling by reading professional literature, attending courses and seminars, or establishing and maintaining contact with other social service agencies.
    • Supervise other counselors, social service staff, assistants, or graduate students.
    • Meet with families, probation officers, police, or other interested parties to exchange necessary information during the treatment process.
    • Gather information about community mental health needs or resources that could be used in conjunction with therapy.
    • Plan or conduct programs to prevent substance abuse or improve community health or counseling services.
    • Coordinate or direct employee workshops, courses, or training about mental health issues.


    • Social Perceptiveness

      Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

    • Active Listening

      Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

    • Speaking

      Talking to others to convey information effectively.


    Applied Math
    Workplace Documents
    Graphic Literacy


    • Oral Comprehension

      The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

    • Oral Expression

      The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

    • Problem Sensitivity

      The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.


    • Psychology

      Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

    • Therapy and Counseling

      Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

    • Customer and Personal Service

      Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

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    Ohio Employment Trends

    • Currently Employed 8,760
    • Yearly Projected Openings 1,130

    Typical Education


    Social: People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.They do well at jobs that need:
    • Concern for Others
    • Stress Tolerance
    • Integrity
    • Self Control
    • Social Orientation
    • Adaptability/Flexibility


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    • Bright Outlook occupations will grow rapidly in the next few years, have a large number of openings, or are new and emerging careers.
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