Human Services Guide

Education Requirements for Crisis Treatment Counselor

The single most important time for someone to receive counseling is when they are in a severe crisis. With a well-trained counselor truly dangerous situations such as suicide can be avoided through the application of the correct therapeutic techniques. It is imperative that a Crisis Treatment Counselor has the appropriate academic background to ensure that they have the skill set and knowledge of techniques to be able to apply them in real time in an emotionally tense situation.

The Crisis Treatment Counselor is best served by having an advanced education which will begin with a Bachelor’s degree in one of the following areas of study:

  • Social Work
  • Psychology
  • Counseling
  • Human Services
  • Divinity
  • Sociology

For your Bachelor’s degree you can have somewhat of a broad background in a behavioral science. However, if you want to have the greatest depth of knowledge, breadth of potential employment opportunities, expertise and the ability to get ahead in your organization, you will want to earn your Master’s degree. Your Master’s should be in Social Work with a degree concentration in Clinical Social Work, Psychology, Counseling or Divinity. For some, having a counselor who also represents a spiritual lens provided by a Master’s in Divinity can be the difference maker in a therapeutic session.

Once you have attained your Master’s you will be required to attain licensure in order to practice as a Crisis Treatment Counselor. This process will vary from state to state but usually requires a Master’s level education in a relevant discipline as described above, as well as several thousand hours of supervised clinical experience in the field.