Skip to main content

What does a Counseling Psychologist do?

A counseling psychologist supports and aids those in working through their every day struggles, at home and in the workplace. They “foster well-being by promoting good mental health and preventing mental, physical, and social disorders… in settings such as university or crisis counseling centers, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and individual or group practices,” according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.

counseling psychologist

Counseling psychologists develop specialized techniques to aid their patients in a variety of ways. To support their patients, counseling psychologists offer psychotherapy, diagnose and treat mental disorders, and help their patients cope with their emotional problems. Either in a research setting, in a hospital, school, private practice, or in a family services setting, these professionals help people work through mental health issues and every day problems.

Educational requirements for counseling psychologists

A variety of psychology degree programs are offered at a multitude of universities and colleges in the United States. Once enrolled in a psychology program, you take a variety of classes with a focus on behavioral neuroscience, clinical psychology, counseling, brain behavior, cognition, developmental and behavioral psychologies, and forensic and organizational psychologies, according to Yale University’s Psychology Department.

As you progress in your degree program, you learn how to treat patients suffering from a variety of issues and help those struggling with everyday life issues. While you can work as a counseling psychologist with simply a Master’s degree, obtaining a Ph. D. in Psychology affords you more opportunities for career advancement.

To work in a school setting, most states require you to have a specialist degree in addition to a Ph.D., although some states allow you to work with a Master’s degree alone. To conduct research, a doctoral degree is usually required to work in an organizational or industrial psychology setting, although you can qualify for psychological assistant positions with a Master’s degree.

Job prospects for counseling psychologists

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of psychologists is expected to grow 12 percent because of increased demand for psychological services in schools, hospitals, social service agencies, mental health centers, substance abuse treatment clinics, consulting firms, and private companies. Once you obtain a psychology degree, there are a variety of jobs you can obtain.

Counseling psychologists have the option of working in a variety of jobs, including school psychologist, rehabilitation counselors, or as industrial-organizational psychologists. Counseling psychologists in California, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Illinois have the highest annual mean wage. In the New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago metropolitan areas, clinical psychologists have the highest annual mean wages.

Becoming a counseling psychologist offers you many opportunities for success in the field while helping others lead happier and healthier lives.

What does a Marriage and Family Therapist do?

If you’re a good listener, skilled at mediation and able to identify underlying issues that affect relationships, becoming a marriage and family therapist may be for you. Intervening and counseling in marriages and familial relationships requires a real desire to resolve relational crises and bring about healing. A high degree of personal energy and willingness to be involved with others is required.

A marriage and family therapist diagnoses and treats emotional and mental disorders within the context of family and psychotherapeutic systems techniques and theories. Therapists treat couples, individuals, or entire families, seeking to restore mental and relational health.

marriage and family therapist

Educational requirements for becoming a marriage and family therapist

Training requirements vary by state but a master’s degree is typically required. Coursework for secondary degrees may include such varied subjects as counseling techniques, human growth and development, assessment, and cultural diversity. The field of study for master’s degree programs usually includes studies in a core group of courses in marriage and family therapy.

An accredited master’s degree program typically consists of 48 to 60 semester hours of graduate study and a period of clinical counseling experience in a supervised setting. In most states, therapists are required to accumulate two years or 3,000 hours of supervised experience in clinical counseling beyond the master’s degree level. Successful completion of a state examination, conformance to designated ethical codes, and earning annual continuing education credits are additional requirements.

Licensure for marriage and family therapists is required in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) accredits educational institutions through its Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). The COAMFTE accredits master’s degree, doctoral degree, and post-graduate degree clinical training in marriage and family therapy throughout the United States and Canada.

Employment as a marriage and family therapist

The employers with the highest rate of employed therapists are individual and family services, state government, and the offices of other health practitioners. The following were top-paying employers:

  • Management of companies and enterprises
  • State government
  • Employment services

Employment prospects are good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the field to grow by 14 percent.

What does an Occupational Therapist do?

Do you have the desire to help people? Do you want a job working with patients to improve their daily lives? As an occupational therapist, you work with patients who have mental, physical, developmental or emotional conditions that are disabling to them. You can help improve their living and working conditions, and help them improve their daily lives.

Helping hands in the field

Skills required to be an occupational therapist include helping others via physical exercise, instruction of daily routines, using computers, and helping people organize and remember their lives. Organizational skills and problem solving skills may also come in handy. You may also need to be able to instruct patients on uses of machines used to help them in their lives, including those for patients who are physically disabled.

occupational therapist

Life style improvements

You can choose what lifestyle and where you would like to work as an occupational therapist. You can chose to work with a group or on your own. You can specialize in working with one particular group of patients, or work with multiple different kinds of patients. You can work with mentally or physically disabled patients, and decide how you want to help them and ways to improve their lives for them to be more independent. You can work in a large rehabilitation center or one-on-one at patients’ homes. You can work full or part time, as well as for multiple organizations at once.

Education in life improvement

Generally, you need a master’s degree in occupational therapy to get a job. In addition, you must attend an academic program in order to sit for the national certifying exam. Coursework includes physical, biological, and behavioral sciences, as well as theory. Programs require 24 weeks of supervised fieldwork as part of the coursework to become an occupational therapist. High school courses in biology, chemistry, physics and health can be helpful before college. After college a license is required to practice in the field.

Moving up in life

You can advance as an occupational therapist to a supervisor at your chosen place of employment. You can also take on administrative roles if you work in hospitals, colleges, or rehabilitation centers in order to advance.

So if helping others in a variety of ways appeals to you, then occupational therapy can be an ideal job, where you can work around what you like to do, and help patients become more efficient in living their lives.