Psychology opens up a series of intensely rewarding and high-paying career paths that offer job security and professional growth. As a licensed professional counselor, you hold power to transform lives and make a real difference. Counselors work in a diverse array of settings to help troubled minds and alleviate emotional distress.
A licensed professional counselor (LPC) can administer psychotherapy and design counseling treatments to numerous mental health patients. They work with patients suffering from stress, anxiety, alcohol or substance abuse, and severe mental disorders, such as schizophrenia. The licensure requirements and designations vary, depending on state laws and local regulations.
Essentially, these professionals are licensed mental health counselors (LMHCs), and they deal with a wide array of mental health problems. While they don’t administer medications, they are deeply involved in counseling and developing coping strategies.
LPC professionals pursue a master’s degree in psychotherapy, counseling, or other specialties to treat patients. These professionals must acquire sufficient post-degree experience under a licensed practitioner to work individually with full autonomy. Professional counselors must adhere to strict ethical codes of conduct and continue training to stay abreast of industry trends.
Let’s take a closer look at the career options that beckon licensed professional counselors with financial stability and intrinsic rewards.
Private Counselling Practice
Setting up a private practice is the most lucrative career path for a professional counselor. It offers the autonomy and independence of running your own business and creating your own work hours. If you enjoy being your own boss, this is the right path for you.
However, running a successful practice requires experience, entrepreneurialskills, credibility, and prestige as a professional. Patients do not seek help from young counselors as the industry dynamics tilt the balance in favor of doctorate professionals. Once you’ve completed your LPC degree and supervised training, it’s wise to pursue academic advancement.
Most professionals gain experience in diverse healthcare settings and work with affluent mental health facilities to build a respectable image. Credentials and experience are of the utmost significance, but you will also have to manage promotions, advertising, and bookkeeping. If you’re aspiring to build your own practice, start networking the industry to develop contacts and get referrals.
Schools & Higher Education Institutes
Recent years have witnessed an alarming increase in suicide rates, depression, anxiety, and mental distress across students of all ages. Schools and higher education institutes employ licensed professional counselors to provide students the help they need. These counselors work with students and stage interventions after identifying high-risk individuals through counseling sessions and assessments.
Several counseling programs and specializations equip LPCs with the skills required to assist students with performance challenges. The job role and clinical interference of school counselors are minimal and small compared to other settings.However, many counselors chose to work with students to deeply care about mental health issues concerning young, impressionable minds.
School and university counselors help students with a wide array of concerns and issues. Primarily, they deal with performance-induced stress, domestic struggles, mental illnesses, behavioral concerns, and difficult life transitions. The licensure and credential requirements for this career path are less troublesome and more comfortable to achieve. Contrary to what most believe, school counselors enjoy job stability and financial independence with flexible working hours.
Here’s a promising opportunity if you aspire to help people struggling with alcohol addiction and substance abuse. Licensed professional counselors work at rehabilitation and residential treatment facilities to help patients struggling with addiction disorders. They primarily aid patients who couldn’t finish their outpatient addiction treatment courses or require residential treatment.
Most patients admitted to rehab struggle to quit their addiction, with multiple relapses and behavioral issues. Addiction disorders and substance abuse often overlap with other mental illnesses and societal issues. For instance, addicts suffer from depression, higher suicide risks, social anxiety, and stress, financial instability, and homelessness in severe cases.
Licensed professional counselors work closely with patients to devise treatments to effectively address their addiction problems and overlapping symptoms. They also work with psychiatrists to enhance medically-supervised detoxification regimes with psychoanalysis and CBT. They assist family members and caregivers and moderate group therapy alongside one-on-one sessions.
LPCs also work with patients once they have completed their inpatient program and require moral support to remain consistently abstinent.
Weight Loss & Behavioral Coaching
Counseling is a powerful treatment to overcome unhealthy and damaging habits and quit negative behaviors that harm the body. For decades, licensed professional counselors have played prominent roles in behavioral coaching and weight loss camps.
Life coaching and behavioral therapy help patients overcome their fears and anxieties and make mindful choices. LPCs work in weight loss camps and organized efforts to quit smoking, addictions, or other harmful choices. They provide behavioral coaching and cognitive therapy to assist adults, children, and adolescents in making healthier choices.
Professionals can help their patients overcome eating disorders, unhealthy eating patterns, and nutrition-related issues with cognitive-behavioral therapy. The goal is to instill positive habits and skills to overcome unhealthy habits with powerful conflict resolution techniques. LPCs help their patients acquire pragmatic goal-setting and stress management skills to make powerful choices that support their life goals.
Community Facilities & Agencies
Do you want to build prestige and respect as a community counselor? Working with community-based agencies and programs allows professionals to make a powerful impact directly. LPCs working in community settings usually provide outpatient therapy services.
They work with children, adolescents, and adults to resolve their mental issues and cultivate healthier habits and patterns. Counselors provide training in essential life skills, resolve mental conflicts, provide therapy to alleviate trauma-induced complications, and facilitate rehabilitation. Most professionals combine community service with their private practice to build prestige and professional integrity in their local community.
Many licensed counselors aim to work with state agencies to enjoy job stability and give back to their community. Counselors who work with the federal or state government enjoy great diversity and versatility. They are designated to specific departments or regions, and they work across multiple settings, enriching their skillsets with diverse expertise.
LPCs can work with children protection and family services, veterans, elderly citizens, disabled people, substance abuse, and homelessness. Their job responsibilities involve counseling services, crisis management therapy, and life skills training.
Building a successful and rewarding career as a licensed professional counselor requires expertise, recognition, and experience. It’s best to start with a position that adds diversity and versatility to your skillset. Earning experience and winning prestige will help you create a lucrative private practice year down the lane. Be sure to map out your career plan, and set pragmatic goals to build experience and refine your market-savvy skills.