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Become A Group Home Counselor

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Working As A Group Home Counselor

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $43,361

    Average Salary

What Does A Group Home Counselor Do

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists help people manage and overcome mental and emotional disorders and problems with their family and other relationships. They listen to clients and ask questions to help the clients understand their problems and develop strategies to improve their lives.

Duties

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists typically do the following:

  • Diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, such as anxiety and depression
  • Encourage clients to discuss their emotions and experiences
  • Help clients process their reactions and adjust to difficult changes in their life, such as divorce and layoffs
  • Guide clients through the process of making decisions about their future
  • Help clients develop strategies and skills to change their behavior and to cope with difficult situations
  • Refer clients to other resources or services in the community, such as support groups or inpatient treatment facilities

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists use a variety of techniques and tools to help their clients. Many apply cognitive behavioral therapy, a goal-oriented approach that helps clients understand harmful thoughts, feelings, and beliefs and teaches how to replace them with positive, life-enhancing ones. Furthermore, mental health counselors use cognitive behavioral therapy to teach clients to eliminate unwanted and damaging behaviors and to replace them with more productive ones.

Although some disorders can be overcome, others need to be managed. With the latter, mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists help the client develop strategies and skills to minimize the effects of their disorders or illnesses.

Many mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists work in private practice. They must spend time marketing their practice to prospective clients and working with insurance companies and clients to get payment for their services.

Mental health counselors provide treatment to individuals, families, couples, and groups. Some work with specific populations, such as the elderly, college students, or children. Mental health counselors deal with a variety of issues, including anxiety, depression, grief, low self-esteem, stress, and suicidal impulses. They also help with mental and emotional health issues and relationship problems. 

Marriage and family therapists work with individuals, couples, and families. Unlike other types of mental health professionals, they bring a family-centered perspective to treatment, even when treating individuals. They evaluate family roles and development, to understand how clients’ families affect their mental health. They treat the clients’ relationships, not just the clients themselves. They address issues, such as low self-esteem, stress, addiction, and substance abuse.

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists coordinate patient treatment with other professionals, such as psychiatrists and social workers.

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How To Become A Group Home Counselor

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists are typically required to have a master’s degree and a license to practice.

Education

To become a mental health counselor or a marriage and family therapist, applicants typically need a master’s degree in psychology, clinical mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, or a related mental health field. A bachelor’s degree in most fields is acceptable to enter a master’s program.

Counseling programs prepare students to recognize symptoms of mental and emotional disorders and to use effective counseling strategies. Marriage and family therapy programs teach students about how marriages, families, and relationships function and how these relationships can affect mental and emotional disorders.

Many employers prefer to hire counselors who have graduated from programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs.

Training

Candidates gain hands-on experience through postdegree supervised clinical work, sometimes referred to as an internship or residency. In training, they learn to provide family therapy, group therapy, psychotherapy, and other therapeutic interventions, under the supervision of a licensed counselor.

Licenses

All states require mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists to be licensed in the state in which they practice. Licensure requires a master’s degree and 2,000 to 4,000 hours of postdegree supervised clinical experience, sometimes referred to as an internship or residency. In addition, counselors and therapists must pass a state-recognized exam and complete annual continuing education classes.

Contact information for state boards regulating mental health counselors is available through the National Board for Certified Counselors.

Contact and licensing information for marriage and family therapists is available through the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards.

Important Qualities

Compassion. Counselors and therapists often work with people who are dealing with stressful and difficult situations, so they must be compassionate and empathize with their clients.

Interpersonal skills. Being able to work with different types of people is essential for counselors and therapists. They spend most of their time working directly with clients and other professionals and must be able to encourage good relationships.

Listening skills. Good listening skills are essential for mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists, both of whom need to give their full attention to their clients to understand their problems, values, and goals.

Organizational skills. Good organizational skills are especially important for counselors and therapists in private practice, who must keep track of payments and work with insurance companies.

Speaking skills. Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists need to be able to communicate with clients effectively. They must express ideas and information in a way that clients can understand easily.

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Group Home Counselor Jobs

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Group Home Counselor Career Paths

Group Home Counselor
Social Worker Program Director Clinical Director
Administrative Director, Behavioral Health Services
11 Yearsyrs
Residential Counselor Case Manager Special Education Teacher
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Intensive In-Home Counselor Mental Health Counselor Registered Nurse
Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Counselor Therapist
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Youth Counselor Social Worker Clinical Supervisor
Clinical Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Utilization Review Nurse Staff Nurse
Clinical Services Director
11 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Special Education Teacher School Counselor
Counseling Director
5 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Program Manager Program Director
Director Of Residential Services
7 Yearsyrs
Counselor Case Manager Social Worker
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Residential Counselor Social Worker
Director Of Social Work
7 Yearsyrs
Intensive In-Home Counselor Therapist
Family Consultant
7 Yearsyrs
Special Education Teacher Behavioral Specialist Clinician
Health Care Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Technician Case Manager
Medical Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Special Education Teacher Adjunct Professor Clinical Director
Outpatient Services Director
10 Yearsyrs
Youth Counselor Sales Consultant Leasing Consultant
Resident Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Delivery Driver Direct Support Professional
Residential Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Family Support Worker Service Coordinator Program Supervisor
Residential Program Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Family Support Worker Ambulatory Care Coordinator Utilization Review Nurse
Utilities Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Group Home Counselor?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Group Counselor 2.1 years
Resource Counselor 2.1 years
Counselor 2.0 years
Program Counselor 1.9 years
Relief Counselor 1.9 years
Youth Counselor 1.8 years
Unit Counselor 1.7 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 11.8%
Internship 8.0%
Teacher 7.6%
Counselor 7.1%
Teller 5.0%
Volunteer 3.8%
Supervisor 2.9%
Top Employers After
Case Manager 10.9%
Counselor 9.2%
Teacher 6.1%
Internship 4.4%
Manager 4.4%
Aide 3.4%
Cashier 3.4%

Do you work as a Group Home Counselor?

Group Home Counselor Demographics

Gender

Female

61.0%

Male

37.2%

Unknown

1.8%
Ethnicity

White

61.9%

Hispanic or Latino

15.8%

Black or African American

10.9%

Asian

7.4%

Unknown

4.1%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

57.1%

French

14.3%

Swedish

4.8%

Hebrew

4.8%

Mandarin

4.8%

Russian

4.8%

Arabic

4.8%

Korean

4.8%
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Group Home Counselor Education

Schools

Liberty University

11.5%

San Joaquin Delta College

5.7%

Norfolk State University

5.7%

University of Montana

5.7%

California State University - Fresno

5.7%

University of Phoenix

5.7%

Capella University

5.7%

Camden County College

5.7%

San Jose State University

4.6%

Cumberland County College

4.6%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

4.6%

Kaplan University

4.6%

Roberts Wesleyan College

4.6%

Walden University

4.6%

University of Northern Colorado

3.4%

Southside Virginia Community College

3.4%

Santa Rosa Junior College

3.4%

Virginia Commonwealth University

3.4%

Lehman College of the City University of New York

3.4%

Old Dominion University

3.4%
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Majors

Psychology

14.2%

Social Work

10.3%

Criminal Justice

10.3%

Business

7.1%

Sociology

6.2%

Human Services

5.9%

Elementary Education

4.4%

Mental Health Counseling

4.1%

Medical Assisting Services

4.1%

School Counseling

3.8%

Education

3.8%

Counseling Psychology

3.8%

Nursing

3.2%

Liberal Arts

3.2%

Educational Leadership

2.9%

Clinical Psychology

2.7%

Special Education

2.7%

Rehabilitation Science

2.4%

Nursing Assistants

2.4%

Health Care Administration

2.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

32.2%

Other

27.0%

Masters

24.2%

Associate

7.8%

Certificate

4.9%

Diploma

1.8%

Doctorate

1.8%

License

0.2%
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Top Skills for A Group Home Counselor

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  1. Medical Appointments
  2. Independent Living
  3. Safety
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Administered and monitored daily psychiatric medications and medical appointments.
  • Assisted with planning and attaining treatment goals including independent living skills, employment skills, and locating external service providers.
  • Monitored and enforcing rules and while applying safety and security measures when responding in emergency and crisis situations calmly and effectively.
  • Worked with a cohesive team of clinicians to provide a structured lifestyle for severely emotionally disturbed boys, ages 8-16.
  • Ensured the well being of youth ages 13-18 with significant mental health issues.

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Top Group Home Counselor Employers

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Jobs From Top Group Home Counselor Employers

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