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Counseling Psychologists Career

Career Description

Assess and evaluate individuals' problems through the use of case history, interview, and observation and provide individual or group counseling services to assist individuals in achieving more effective personal, social, educational, and vocational development and adjustment.

What Job Titles Counseling Psychologists Might Have

  • Counseling Psychologist
  • Counselor
  • Psychologist
  • Psychotherapist

What Counseling Psychologists Do

  • Collect information about individuals or clients, using interviews, case histories, observational techniques, and other assessment methods.
  • Document patient information including session notes, progress notes, recommendations, and treatment plans.
  • Counsel individuals, groups, or families to help them understand problems, deal with crisis situations, define goals, and develop realistic action plans.
  • Develop therapeutic and treatment plans based on clients' interests, abilities, and needs.
  • Supervise interns, clinicians in training, and other counselors.
  • Advise clients on how they could be helped by counseling.
  • Analyze data such as interview notes, test results, and reference manuals to identify symptoms and to diagnose the nature of clients' problems.
  • Consult with other professionals, agencies, or universities to discuss therapies, treatments, counseling resources or techniques, and to share occupational information.
  • Evaluate the results of counseling methods to determine the reliability and validity of treatments.
  • Refer clients to specialists or to other institutions for noncounseling treatment of problems.
  • Provide consulting services, including educational programs, outreach programs, and prevention talks to schools, social service agencies, businesses, and the general public.
  • Select, administer, and interpret psychological tests to assess intelligence, aptitudes, abilities, or interests.

What Counseling Psychologists Should Be Good At

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

What Counseling Psychologists Should Be Interested In

  • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

What Counseling Psychologists Need to Learn

  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Sun iconThis career has a bright outlook.
Diploma iconThis career requires a graduate degree.
Median Salary: $73,270

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.