Community Health Counseling is a field that is constantly needing professionals. It is a growing and rewarding field offering counseling services to people with mental health issues. For students interested in a counseling career in Community Health, a Masters degree is the best route to take. There are numerous colleges across the nation that provide a graduate degree in Community Health Counseling in a convenient online setting. Online programs in this field prepare you for a career in counseling in a community setting such as private practice, a hospital, or clinic.
For more details involving a career in Community Health Counseling, information below has been provided to help you make decisions regarding your future career.
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Community Health Counseling Degrees
Community Health Counselors get the opportunity to work in a job where they apply the latest methods in therapy to work with patients diagnosed with mental health disorders. This career path offers jobs in numerous settings such as working in drug rehabilitation for addicts or counseling those who struggle with substance abuse. Community mental health centers hire Community Health Counselors to work with children suffering from trauma, adults who struggle with grief or loss, or patients of any age that need additional support for their well-being.
A typical work day for Community Health Counselors includes practicing therapy in an office setting, working with hospitalized patients, or serving in a drug rehabilitation center. Community Health Counselors work in different roles on a day-to-day basis depending on the job setting and client base. They have the opportunity to open a private practice for therapy with clients, or they can work for a community health center.
Degree Levels Available in the Community Health Counseling Area
If you are looking for a career in a growing field, Community Health Counseling might be the job for you. Several colleges across the globe offer students a lot of opportunities to pursue a higher education in this area. If this field is a good career choice for you, you should start by earning a Bachelors degree in a similar subject such as Psychology, Social Work, or Sociology. The next step would then be completing a graduate program. Earning a Masters degree is the minimum requirement for licensure in this field. After earning a graduate degree in Community Health Counseling, an internship or field work will help prepare you to sit for the licensure exam. Information is listed below that gives insight into these program options. Students should consider what degree program best works for their schedule and future professional plans.
- Masters: Community Health Counselors who wish to pursue licensure, will have to complete a graduate degree, which is acquired at a Masters level. After completing a Bachelors degree, students will apply and enroll in a Masters level program. An internship is typically necessary upon completion of your graduate degree. Internships help students to gain fieldwork experience in their focus area. Online Masters programs are ideal for students who work full time or need flexibility while pursuing a degree in Community Health Counseling.
- Doctoral: Doctoral programs can empower Community Health Counselors who already practice, but want to focus on research concerning the latest techniques for counseling and therapy. Although a doctorate degree is not required in order to obtain licensure, it can help advance your knowledge in the field and advance your career.
- Certificate Programs: Certificates are an educational way to enhance your area of expertise and specialize on a specific aspect of your degree. Certificates can be obtained after completion of a Bachelors or Masters degree. Certificates do not replace degrees but can be added to your current degree with specializations in focus areas.
Online Master's in Community Health Counseling Programs
Numerous colleges offer the opportunity to earn a Masters degree in Community Health Counseling solely online or through hybrid formats. Busy students who are on the go might find online programs can be a better choice with flexible options to fit their lifestyles. A career in Community Health Counseling can begin upon completing an online Masters and obtaining licensure. Below are online programs that offer degrees in Community Health Counseling that are currently accepting applications for new students:
- Grand Canyon University- Online Masters in Community Health Counseling: Grand Canyon University's online Masters in Community Health Counseling program provides a flexible option for students interested in a specialized program that can prepare for licensure in Community Health Counseling. This 62 credit hour degree can be completed online in 2-3 years. This curriculum focuses on a Master's of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
- Regent University - Online Masters in Community Health Counseling: Regent University currently offers an online Masters degree program that is accredited through CACREP and prepares you to obtain licensure to practice in any of the 50 states. This degree provides you with an education that enables you to work with individuals and families in the community. This program can be completed in 2 years for students attending full time.
Sample Courses for the Online Master’s
Coursework in the Community Health Counseling program helps you learn techniques and advance your skills when providing counseling to individuals in the community. Offering support for individuals with various backgrounds and cultures is important when pursuing a career in Community Health Counseling. These classes inform students about the latest practice models used in the Community Health Counseling field, as well as the latest trends used by counselors when working in the community.
Studying for a career in Community Health Counseling will provide extensive knowledge to potential professionals in the program. Students will graduate with the information they need to be successful in their careers. Students interested in a Masters in Social Work program, should read below:
- Abuse, Crisis, and Trauma: In this course, students will learn specific ways to approach clients who have been abused and learn ways to help those clients cope and heal. Students will study ways to react to crisis situations and how to handle those professionally. The causes and effects of trauma will be considered, as well as the best practicing techniques to help patients overcome trauma.
- Assessments, Test, and Measurements: This course will teach the basis for administering assessments to clients and scoring those assessments. Students will study the numerous tests used in the field to establish IQ, disabilities, and diagnoses. Statistics and measurements will be studied so students know how to apply test results to their practice.
- Sexuality and Issues with Aging: This course will offer the opportunity for students to study aspects of sexuality and identity in clients ranging from children, teens to adults. Students in this field will focus on the aging process and how the brain and body develops and changes over time. Students will study current theories and how those are used by Community Health Counselors in this field. New methods will be studied as well as changing trends in theory and practice.
Path to a Career in Community Health Counseling
Community Health Counseling is a progressing field that offers various options to work with people in numerous settings. Community Health Counselors have the qualifications to work in family centers, hospitals, clinics, or private practice. Community Health Counselors can diagnose, counsel, or assist families and clients by using their education and expertise to empower people who need extra support and services in the community. Community Health Counselors are helpful to veterans suffering from anxiety, teens with behavior issues, or clients struggling with substance abuse.
Your career as a Community Health Counselor starts once you earn a Masters degree. Most states require that you obtain at least a Masters, as well as complete around 2 years of clinical experience in the field, if you want to practice with a license. A licensing examination can be taken upon graduation in order to begin in this profession.
Organizations to Know
Numerous organizations exist that allow you to receive support and guidance from experienced professionals in the field of Social Work. Joining organizations in your career field helps you stay up to date on the latest methods and trends being practiced in your profession. You can also get updates on new job opportunities posted in your field. Organizations also offer conferences throughout the year that will help you stay trained and receive new knowledge after you have finished college.
Organizations such as the the Community Health Awareness Council and the National Council for Behavioral Health are informative and supportive organizations to join if you are practicing in this field. You will be able to receive extra guidance from experienced professionals in this field as well as read published journal articles and receive information on conferences and committees.
Careers to Consider
Careers in Community Health Counseling are often rewarding and fulfilling. This field offers numerous job opportunities in a variety of clinical and community settings. Community Health Counselors can work in the community with children and teens, or work in drug rehab clinics helping clients who struggle with addictions. Community Health Counselors are needed in hospital settings or clinics to diagnose patients with mental health disorders. Upon obtaining a licensure in Community Health Counseling, professionals have the opportunity to work in private practice offering counseling services to people with mental health needs.
If you have a desire to help others, you can do so through community mental health, research, or even through assessment services. Community Health Counselors are needed in the community to work in a clinical setting with patients from diverse cultures. Community Health Counselors can work with any people of all ages. This is a rewarding field and one which provides growth in your career.