What Makes a Great Mental Health Counselor?

A counselor must be accessible to clients to gain their trust, but perhaps most importantly, a counselor must be genuine and empathic in their communicative, listening and professional personality. Another component of a strong therapeutic relationship between counselor and client is shared understanding. Clients need to know that their counselors truly understand what they're going through and how they're dealing with it. This lays the foundation for a collaborative therapeutic effort and the creation of an effective therapeutic plan.

Empathy is another essential quality of a good counselor. While it's often mistaken for sympathy, the two are not the same thing. Sympathy is feeling for someone's misfortune, while empathy is feeling for a person. Whether you've been a licensed professional counselor for 20 years or you're new to the profession, you need to maintain confidence in your work.

A customer seeks your help, so use your education and experience safely. Good clinical supervision is also suggested and necessary to maintain competence and review situations that may occur in practice that may lead to greater education and confidence in the application of counseling skills. Effective counselors must have excellent communication skills. While some of these skills can be honed during graduate school and are developed and honed throughout your career, you must already possess certain communication skills before embarking on a counseling career. Counselors should have a natural ability to listen and be able to clearly explain their ideas and thoughts to others.

Non-judging and accepting are important attributes in any of the helping professions. However, professional counselors should be able to start where the client is. This phrase is often used in counseling to describe the ability to relate to clients with an open and non-judgmental attitude, accepting the client for who they are and in their current situation. Counselors must be able to convey acceptance to their clients with warmth and understanding. Counselors help people overcome some of the most difficult and stressful times in their lives.

They must be able to show empathy, the ability to feel what another person is feeling. Empathy means that you're actually able to imagine what it's like to be in someone else's shoes. Compassion and empathy help your customers feel understood and listened to. It's not for a counselor to solve her clients' problems, no matter how much she wants to help. However, counselors must have excellent problem-solving skills in order to help their clients identify and make changes in negative thinking patterns and other harmful behaviors that could be contributing to their problems, says Dr.

Lynn Ponton in an article for PsychCentral. Strong communication skills are vital to being a great mental health counselor. Without effective communication, a client is unlikely to want to see a counselor for additional sessions. They need to know what and how to talk to their customers, so that the information can be clearly understood. More importantly, counselors must have a strong listening capacity. Mental health counselors can't judge a person's situation.

Instead, they offer a plan for the future that will focus specifically on the customer's needs. Therapy has also jumped on the technology bandwagon. According to Forbes, more counseling sessions are available through an app or in-person online sessions. The option to see a counselor in their own time and space could give people more confidence if they're worried about an in-person meeting. Mental health counselors have a wide set of skills that they can use to help people with a wide range of problems.

An excellent mental health counselor must be able to balance the concerns of their clients with the ability to impart positive thinking patterns. Some resources include the Code of Ethics of the American Counseling Association, ASERVIC competencies, and mental health laws that vary from state to state. If you're on your way to earning a degree in clinical mental health counseling, you're already moving forward with one of the most important and necessary steps you need to take to become an effective counselor. Doctoral and master's programs will include courses focusing solely on ethics in health care, more specifically on mental health.

Professional counselors are licensed mental health therapists who provide evaluation, diagnosis and counseling to people dealing with a variety of life stresses and psychological problems. They help people with relationship problems, family problems, work stress, mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety, and many other challenging issues that can affect feelings of well-being and happiness. A career in counseling provides licensed professionals with the opportunity to help those who are dealing with loss, depression, anxiety, addiction, relationship problems, and other everyday mental health issues. Mental health disorders affect approximately one in five Americans, or about 51.5 million people in this country alone.

Miller has a master's degree in Social Work and has extensive training in mental health diagnostics, as well as in psychotherapy for children and adolescents. However, listening is a skill you can continuously improve, and good mental health counselors are constantly refining their active listening skills. The ability to separate personal views and judgments from professional opinions is of great value to mental health professionals. Clients often visit mental health counselors for help with specific problems, such as stress related to job loss and lack of self-confidence to re-enter the workforce.

A mental health counselor helps patients overcome psychological challenges, often guiding and supporting them to learn to change their negative behaviors and thinking patterns. On the contrary, mental health counselors should know their clients well enough and know when and why to show emotions such as laughter or worry. If you feel called to serve others as a mental health counselor, it's important to understand what the qualities of a good counselor are before earning your counselor degree.

Jeanette Kunzler
Jeanette Kunzler

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