Five Career Paths for Mental Health Counselors


Throughout our daily lives, we encounter many challenges and struggles which can take a toll on our mental well-being. These challenges may seem small at first but can rack up with time and have us feeling tired, demotivated, and blue. Nowadays especially, we have a much more hectic lifestyle, with little support. Although we’re more connected than ever before, with social media networks keeping us in touch around the clock, in some ways, we’re lonelier than ever. In the absence of a healthy support system, it can be easy to lose our footing. In such a scenario, we need to have a safe space to confront our fears and weaknesses and cope with our facing problems. Mental health counseling is the best solution for all our behavioral and emotional issues. A career in mental health allows you to help people with a variety of topics. There are many subcategories of a mental health counseling career, enabling you to serve people struggling with various problems. Below, we’ve listed the best career paths in this rapidly growing industry.

  1. School Counseling

School counselors have some of the essential jobs and deal with some of the most vulnerable community members. School counselors work with children in school settings and help them overcome a range of behavioral and emotional disturbances. School counselors help students focus better in school and prepare for more successful lives. They also help maintain a healthy, proactive school environment, where each student can perform to the best of their capabilities. They keep the school free of bullying or illegal activities and make the school more inclusive and welcoming.

School counselors need to collaborate with educators and student’s families to develop programs that help all students. It would be best to have a specialized degree to prepare for your career as a school counselor. A master’s degree allows you to bring about positive change in the school environment. You learn advanced therapeutic techniques and psychological perspectives to understand the students better. School counseling is just one of the routes you can pursue with an online master of counseling programs to help various individuals.

  1. Military Counselor

While military service is undeniably important, it also has immensely detrimental effects on the veterans. Military officials often work under the most dangerous and gruelling conditions. They need to stay away from their families for an extended time. Veterans thus often suffer from a host of mental disorders. The most prevalent are post-traumatic stress syndrome, depression, traumatic brain injury, or substance abuse. Military personnel needs to tolerate a high level of risk, making PTSD 15% more prevalent in veterans than civilians.

Military counselors help veterans reintegrate back into civilian life and create meaningful, healthy relationships. They help reduce the stress veterans experience in their daily lives and help them cope with loss and tragedy. They can also perform various psychological tests to determine the real problem. Veterans can find it hard to readjust to everyday life without extra help. Counselors are thus vital in helping them live their entire lives after their service.

  1. Forensic Counselor

Forensic counseling is a trendy field in mental health counseling and one which you may have seen on your favorite criminal shows. However, forensic psychologists aren’t just limited to tracking down serial killers. Instead, they are an integral part of the criminal justice system. Their findings can help make the judicial system better. Forensic psychologists help develop criminal profiles to track down criminals and help law enforcement agents link together crimes.

They also perform psychological tests on incriminated individuals to help judges make better decisions in various cases. They help determine whether defendants are fit to stand trial and whether they suffer from a mental health condition or are malingering. Forensic counselors also conduct therapy sessions with inmates and determine whether the prison environment is suitable for their recovery or not.

  1. Substance Abuse Counselor

The number of people who struggle with substance abuse is astounding. Substance abuse disorders come with immense shame and insecurities but are some of the most prevalent mental health disorders. In 2017 alone, every 1 out of 8 people struggled with substance abuse disorders. It can be incredibly isolating to suffer from an addiction, leading to feelings of guilt, loneliness, and depression. Without sufficient support, people can find it hard to motivate to beat the vicious cycle of drug abuse.

Substance abuse counselors work with people suffering from drug abuse and those more likely to fall prey to drugs. They help provide these individuals with the support they need to beat their addiction. They can teach them coping strategies and help them when they feel withdrawal symptoms the most. Substance abuse counselors are vital to creating a better, safer society, making this one of the best mental health careers.

  1. Grief Counselor

Grief and bereavement can hit us without warning and upend our lives entirely. The grieving process can drag someone down unlike anything else and leave lasting scars that many find impossible to deal with. For some, it can be incredibly challenging to deal with a loved one’s loss and resume life. Grief involves various stages, including experiencing loss, yearning, guilt, and regret. If left unchecked, it can be impossible to emerge from feeling this crippling loss.

Grief counselors help people move through the stages of grief and emerge stronger than before. They help the bereaved come to terms with the loss and deal with their loss, regret, and guilt. Grief counselors work with all sorts of individuals. They may have to deal with children dealing with parental loss or vice versa.


These are some of the best career paths you can pursue with an advanced counseling degree. Each of these careers allows you to improve people’s lives profoundly. It can be challenging working in any of these fields, as they demand a high level of emotional involvement. However, seeing your clients improve and get their lives on track makes these professionals incredibly gratifying.

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Isreal Olabanji DST RN
Isreal Olabanji DST RN
Am Isreal olabanji a dental assistant and public health professionals and has years of experience in assisting the dentist with all sorts of dental issues. We regularly post timely and trustworthy medical information and news. My goal is to enlighten everyone in all aspects of health towards participating in fitness, Dental care, healthy recipes, child health, obstetrics, and more.

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