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What does a typical day look like now for a mental health counselor?

I'm interested in becoming a mental health counselor and I want to know more from experienced counselors.
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Heather’s Answer

The daily tasks of working as a mental health counselor can vary slightly depending on where you decide to work.

For example of you get hired as a mental health counselor at a facility, you may be required to do certain things you would not be required to do if you had your own private practice.

In general overall, as a mental health counselor, you will assess your clients, diagnose the clients and meet with them in sessions. Your average day could be meet with client, document notes, work on treatment plans, contact insurance for payment, schedule future appointments.

Daily you are exhibiting the highest levels of confidentiality and creating a relationship with your client that helps them trust you so they can open up and you can be successful in reaching goals.

The job of a mental health counselor also requires the counselor to have their own healthy coping skills and form of self care. It is essential to take care of your mental well being so you can best support your clients.
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Judith’s Answer

It depends upon what setting you find yourself in, ie, public school, clinic, hospital , nursing homes or the government. Usually mental health workers have a day that is divided between seeing individual clients and leading groups. And, of course, there is the paperwork and the meetings with your supervisor and colleagues! Depending upon where you work, insurance forms could be a major in your day.
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Nancy’s Answer

The biggest part of counselors’ days is having sessions with clients. In between and afterward there is “paperwork” which is now electronically done of writing assessments, session notes, treatment plans and billing forms. Then there are phone calls to clients, parents, schools, and doctors’ offices, for consultation and for scheduling. There is sometimes letter writing. There may be calls with insurance company case managers. Most agencies or practices also have staff meetings and supervision meetings. You may also be on a committee that meets periodically. It is important to be an effective communicator with very strong ethical principles. I agree with the other commenter that self care practices are important for people in all helping professions.
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