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Mental Health Counselors

Mental Health Counselors

Description

Counsel with emphasis on prevention. Work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. May help individuals deal with issues associated with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; and aging.

Skills

  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • 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.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Management of Personnel Resources - Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Negotiation - Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Operations Analysis - Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
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Knowledge

  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • 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.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Philosophy and Theology - Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
  • 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.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • 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.
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Tasks

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

  • Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
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Personality Traits

  • Achievement/Effort: Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility: Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Analytical Thinking: Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Attention to Detail: Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Concern for Others: Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Cooperation: Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Dependability: Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Independence: Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Initiative: Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Innovation: Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Integrity: Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Leadership: Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Persistence: Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Self Control: Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Social Orientation: Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Stress Tolerance: Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
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Related Careers

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