Clinical Mental Health Counseling Versus Psychology
Both counselors and psychologists help clients in settings such as hospitals, corporations, substance abuse treatment centers, universities, clinics, social service agencies, and private practices. Employment in both fields is growing, but counseling is growing faster. Here are the key differences between the two roles.
The Role of a Clinical Mental Health Counselor
As a clinical mental health counselor, you are likely to work with clients from the perspective of developing their strengths rather than treating mental illness. You may conduct research, but more typically, you will help clients overcome challenges by providing clinical services, educating them about resources, and integrating research into your approach. While you may administer some therapeutic tests, it may not be a primary focus of your practice.
To practice independently as a clinical mental health counselor, you must earn a master’s degree and state licensure.
The Role of a Psychologist
Psychologists typically approach clients from a perspective of mental illness rather than strengths. Their approach may focus on assessment and diagnosis, and they may also conduct research or administer psychometric tests as a regular part of their practice.
To practice independently, psychologists need a doctoral degree and licensure.
Visit our careers in counseling page to learn more about the opportunities counselors have to help children and adults overcome challenges.