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Career and Education Opportunities for Mental Health Counselors in Dover, Delaware

There are many career and education opportunities for mental health counselors in the Dover, Delaware area. Currently, 210 people work as mental health counselors in Delaware. This is expected to grow 29% to 270 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for mental health counselors, which sees this job pool growing by about 24.0% over the next eight years. In general, mental health counselors counsel with emphasis on prevention.

Mental health counselors earn about $19 per hour or $40,410 yearly on average in Delaware and about $17 hourly or $36,810 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy, people working as mental health counselors in Delaware earn more. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy nationally. Jobs in this field include: correctional counselor, case manager, and group counselor.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Dover where you can study to be a mental health counselor, among seven schools of higher education total in the Dover area. Mental health counselors usually hold a Master's degree, so you can expect to spend about six years studying to be a mental health counselor if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years if you have a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Mental Health Counselor

Mental Health Counselor video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, mental health counselors counsel with emphasis on prevention. They also work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental health.

Mental health counselors maintain confidentiality of records relating to clients' treatment. They also encourage clients to express their feelings and consider what is happening in their lives, and help them to evolve insight into themselves and their relationships. Equally important, mental health counselors have to collect data related to clients through interviews and tests. They are often called upon to guide clients in the development of skills and strategies for dealing with their problems. They are expected to modify treatment efforts and approaches as needed to comply with changes in clients' status. Finally, mental health counselors formulate, organize and lead structured programs of counseling, work, study, recreation and social activities for clients.

Every day, mental health counselors are expected to be able to piece together evidence to, in some sense, diagnose what is going on in a situation. They need to evaluate problems as they arise. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for mental health counselors to monitor clients' use of medications. They are often called upon to formulate and conduct programs to stop substance abuse or improve community health and counseling services. They also supervise other counselors, social service staff and graduate students. They are sometimes expected to schedule and direct employee workshops and training about mental health issues. Somewhat less frequently, mental health counselors are also expected to guide clients in the development of skills and strategies for dealing with their problems.

Mental health counselors sometimes are asked to design and implement treatment plans on the basis of clinical experience and knowledge. They also have to be able to ready and maintain all required treatment records and reports And finally, they sometimes have to learn about new developments in their field by reading professional literature, attending courses and seminars, and establishing and maintaining contact with other social service agencies.

Like many other jobs, mental health counselors must have strong self control in the face of challenging situations and have a strong concern for others.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Dover include:

  • Child and Family Services Worker. Provide social services and assistance to improve the social and psychological functioning of children and their families and to maximize the family well-being and the academic functioning of children. May assist single parents, arrange adoptions, and find foster homes for abandoned or abused children. In schools, they address such problems as teenage pregnancy, misbehavior, and truancy. May also advise teachers on how to deal with problem children.
  • Marriage and Family Therapist. Diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, whether cognitive, or behavioral, within the context of marriage and family systems. Apply psychotherapeutic and family systems theories and techniques in the delivery of professional services to individuals, couples, and families for the purpose of treating such diagnosed nervous and mental disorders.
  • Social Services Assistant. Assist professionals from a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, or social work, to provide client services, as well as support for families. May assist clients in identifying available benefits and social and community services and help clients obtain them. May assist social workers with developing, organizing, and conducting programs to prevent and resolve problems relevant to substance abuse, human relationships, or adult daycare.
  • Substance Abuse Specialist. Counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders. May counsel individuals, families, or groups or engage in prevention programs.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Mental Health Counselor Training

Delaware Technical and Community College-Terry - Dover, DE

Delaware Technical and Community College-Terry, 100 Campus Drive, Dover, DE 19901. Delaware Technical and Community College-Terry is a small college located in Dover, Delaware. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,319 students. Delaware Technical and Community College-Terry has 2 areas of study related to Mental Health Counselor. They are:

  • Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated two and five students respectively in 2008.
  • Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties, associate's degree.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified In Thanatology: Certification in Thanatology (CT) is a foundation certification that enhances the professional designation established by the academic discipline of each certificate holder.

For more information, see the Association for Death Education and Counseling website.

Distance Credentialed counselor: A Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC) will be nationally recognized as a professional with training in best practices in Distance Counseling.

For more information, see the Center for Credentialing & Education, Inc. website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Dover, Delaware

Dover, Delaware
Dover, Delaware photo by Malepheasant

Dover is situated in Kent County, Delaware. It has a population of over 36,107, which has grown by 12.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Dover, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Dover are priced at $116,700 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, one hundred twenty-nine new homes were built in Dover, down from one hundred eighty-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Dover are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is public administration, educational services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 19 minutes. More than 28.8% of Dover residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Dover is 9.4%, which is greater than Delaware's average of 8.5%. About 13.8% of Dover's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Dover residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 32.1%, is less than both the national and state average. Saint Andrews Lutheran Church, Beth Shalom Congregation and Bethuel Seventh Day Adventist Church are among the churches located in Dover. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Dover is home to the Kent Swim Club and the Transportation Administration Center as well as Eden Hill and Richardson Park. Shopping malls in the area include Blue Hen Mall and Dover Mall. Visitors to Dover can choose from Inn at Meeting House Square, Little Creek Inn and Ramada Inn for temporary stays in the area.