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Thursday, November 2, 2023

5 Great Career Options in Therapy and Mental Health

The field of therapy and mental health offers many rewarding and meaningful career paths for those looking to help others improve their mental wellbeing and lead healthier lives. With rates of mental illness on the rise, there is a growing need for qualified mental health professionals and counselors. Whether you are interested in clinical work, research, education, or administration, there are many ways to make a difference in this field. If you are compassionate, patient, and dedicated to improving lives, a career in therapy or mental health may be very fulfilling. Here are five great options to consider:

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1. Psychiatrist

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses. They can prescribe medication and provide therapy. Becoming a psychiatrist requires completing medical school and a psychiatry residency program. Psychiatrists often work in private practice, hospitals, clinics, or academic settings. Their median annual salary is over $200,000.

2. Psychologist

Psychologists have doctoral degrees (PhD or PsyD) and are trained in administering tests, research, and various forms of therapy. Clinical psychologists assess, diagnose, and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Counseling psychologists help people deal with everyday issues. Psychologists work in many of the same settings as psychiatrists. The median salary for psychologists is around $85,000.

3. Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)

Marriage and family therapists (MFTs) have master’s degrees and clinical training in marital, family and relationship counseling. MFTs view individuals in the broader context of their relationships. They treat mental health issues, manage family conflicts and help improve family dynamics. MFTs often work in private practice and earn a median salary over $50,000. Compared to other masters-level therapists like LPCCs, MFTs typically receive training more focused on systems theories and family dynamics.

4. Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC)

LPCCs have master’s degrees in counseling with advanced clinical coursework. They provide individual and group counseling services aimed at improving mental health and daily functioning. LPCCs often choose a specialization, like substance abuse, eating disorders or trauma. They work in many of the same mental health settings as other therapists and earn similar salaries. Unlike MFTs, LPCCs are more trained in individual counseling theories and techniques. This contrast between training focus is one key difference when considering LPCC vs MFT.

5. Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

Licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs) have master’s degrees in social work and advanced clinical training. LCSWs assess, diagnose, and treat mental illnesses and other issues that affect wellbeing and daily functioning. They provide therapy, case management and advocacy services. Many LCSWs specialize in serving certain populations. Their average salary is around $60,000 working in clinics, hospitals, private practice, and other settings.

There are many rewarding career paths in the field of therapy and mental health. With advanced degrees and proper licenses, professionals can find meaningful work helping others overcome mental health challenges and improve their lives. Careers like psychiatrists, psychologists, MFTs, LPCCs and LCSWs allow for specialization while providing the opportunity to make a difference.

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