Clinical Mental Health Counseling Versus Psychology
While you will need a master’s degree and state licensure to practice independently as a clinical mental health counselor, you will need a doctoral degree and licensure to practice independently as a psychologist.
As a psychologist, you may work with a client from a perspective of mental illness by focusing on assessment and diagnosis. You may also conduct research or administer psychometric tests as a regular part of your practice.
As a clinical mental health counselor, you are more likely to work with clients from a strength-based perspective that focuses on wellness. You may conduct research, but more typically you will fuse education, clinical services, and research to help clients overcome their challenges. While you may administer some therapeutic and assessment tests, it may not be a primary focus of your practice.
Whether you choose counseling or psychology, you will find career opportunities in diverse settings such as hospitals, corporations, substance abuse treatment centers, universities, clinics, social service agencies, and private practices. While employment in both fields is currently growing, counseling is growing faster.