Human Services Guide
       
 

Working in Mental Health

There are few fields where both the challenges and the rewards are more significant than for those working in Mental Health. While the struggles of one’s clients are often quite severe, the ability to use a strength based approach and help the client be freed of past emotional pains is truly something without peer in terms of job satisfaction. For those who want a career working in Mental Health, it is important to identify within oneself the key attributes of a successful Mental Health professional and work to cultivate them into full bloom. The most important skills to have working in Mental Health include, but are not limited to the following: client rapport, empathy, compassion, active listening, organization, record keeping, information technology savvy, healthy professional boundaries, strong ethics and a desire to help one’s fellow human beings. While some have a few of these skills inborn, many must work to hone and refine these skills in order to function at a high level as a Mental Health professional.

* NYU New York University - Mental Health Counseling

There are a variety of different occupations within the sphere of Mental Health from Psychologists to Psychiatric Nurses, Counselors and Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) to name a few. They all will require frequent contact with those who are currently or have recently undergone Mental Health crises. This is where the combination of skills with a special emphasis on compassion, client rapport and healthy professional boundaries come to the fore. By putting your client or patient at ease you help them to feel safe enough to ride out their current wave of mental and emotional anguish without having further reactions out of fear of judgment, lack of safety, or due to unclear boundaries. It can be a difficult line to toe at first, but with practice and experience it becomes second nature to create a safe and compassionate container for the client to express and release their severe emotional reactions.

As with any career, having an excellent education is one of the bulwarks of the Mental Health professional that girds them against the strains and stresses which accompany this kind of work. Through knowledge and understanding of psychological patterning of individuals and societal collectives, the Mental Health practitioner gains insight into the behavior of clients in a way that makes it depersonalized for the Mental Health professional which in turn helps in the maintenance of healthy professional boundaries and establishing rapport. An educational background in Sociology, Psychology, Social Work or Counseling helps to lay a foundation of knowledge upon which a fulfilling and satisfying career can be built.

If you have a desire to help vulnerable populations on an individual level, relish a challenge and have strong interpersonal skills, you may find that a career working in Mental Health is ideally suited for you. By attaining an excellent educational background in a strongly related field of study, you will lay the groundwork for what will be an exciting, lucrative and deeply personally fulfilling career working in Mental Health. Regardless of the specific niche you may one day occupy as a professional, knowing what a huge contribution you make in the lives of individuals is something that those who truly love the field of Mental Health find to be what draws them back to their each day with a renewed sense of excitement and wonder. While the challenges and trials can be truly monumental, the ability to deeply connect with and help to heal those longing for relief is something that is found in very few other fields. If you find yourself drawn to do this kind of healing work, you will find that our site has numerous detailed professional outlines that you can explore in order to find an educational and career track that resonates with you. You can find more information about potential careers in mental health by clicking here:

       
 
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