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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 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.

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