Clinical Mental Health Counseling versus Psychology
- are state-licensed,
- serve clients directly,
- are reimbursable by most insurance, and
- seek to improve quality of life and health outcomes for their clients.
Training and Education
Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling
Length and Format of Study
- human growth and development,
- diversity and multicultural issues,
- career guidance for clients, and
- contextual and cultural issues.
Master’s Degree in Psychology
Length of Study and Format
Scope of Practice and Role
Similarities between Mental Health Counselors and Psychologists
Mental Health Counselor Individualities
- General therapy
- Assist people in day-to-day life management
- Sessions can be more cost effective for clients
- Emphasis on “talk therapy”
- May be involved in conducting research but mainly consume and apply research according to clients’ needs
- Disorder-specific therapy
- Typically administer a wide range of tests: IQ tests, tests of neurological function, etc.
- May administer tests to patients they do not see on a regular basis
- More likely to work with individuals with serious mental illnesses and behavior problems
- Frequently involved in conducting research
Career Growth and Salary
Mental Health Counselor
- 2016 median annual pay: $42,150
- Mental health counseling jobs are expected to grow 20 percent between 2014 and 2024, which is faster than the average for all occupations.
- Pursue careers in a variety of settings, including mental health, educational, agency, and corporate settings.
- 2016 median annual pay: $75,230
- Counseling, clinical, and school psychologist jobs are expected to grow 19 percent between 2014 and 2014, which is faster than the average for all occupations.
- Many practitioners with a master’s in psychology work in private practice. Others seek employment in research labs, school settings, or on health care teams.