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The job of mental health therapists is to guide individuals, groups, couples, and families with problems that are impacting their well-being and mental health. Their duties and responsibilities include encouraging clients to talk about their experiences, examining issues that may affect mental health such as substance abuse and bullying, and assisting clients in defining their goals and action plans. Mental health therapists are also responsible for developing therapeutic processes, referring clients to other services or resources like psychologists, and helping them adjust to life changes.

Mental Health Therapist Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real mental health therapist resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Create and lead PTSD group for women, depression and stress management groups for men and women.
  • Collaborate with patients to develop individualize treatment plans and evaluate plans periodically to monitor progress towards achieving identify goals and objectives.
  • Provide clinical supervision for MFT intern and participate in peer to peer reviews.
  • Receive training in diagnoses, physical restraints and CPR.
  • Care for children with autism and document daily data collection.
  • Utilize therapy techniques from various modalities including EMDR, TF-CBT, and DBT
  • Develop and implement treatment plans for each client addressing the diagnosis and presenting problem.
  • Facilitate case management and after care planning to PHP, IOP or further residential treatment.
  • Conduct individual sessions with clients, including EMDR therapy; create and monitor treatment plans.
  • Plan for discharge, make referrals for follow-up after IOP completion and assist with obtaining services.
  • Diagnose clients according to the DSM coding after thorough observation of client's verbal and non-verbal behavior.
  • Supervise adults with retardation, autism, and or substance abuse problems in a daily living facility.
  • Train new employees on orientation job responsibilities and crisis training techniques to include CPR & handle with care procedures.
  • Provide counseling for individuals, groups and bereavement to all individuals and their families affect by a cancer diagnosis.
  • Maintain HIPPA compliance and confidentiality standards as well as the AAMFT and NV code of ethics for MFT's.

Mental Health Therapist Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 35% of Mental Health Therapists are proficient in Social Work, Patients, and Mental Health. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Emotional skills, and Problem-solving skills.

We break down the percentage of Mental Health Therapists that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Social Work, 35%

    Communicated and interacted closely with mental health care professionals, including clinical social workers, psychiatrists, and psychologists.

  • Patients, 10%

    Collaborated with patients to develop individualized treatment plans and evaluated plans periodically to monitor progress towards achieving identified goals and objectives.

  • Mental Health, 6%

    Provided mental health assessments, chemical dependency treatment services, intakes and screenings, worked collaboratively with other community based organizations.

  • Group Therapy Sessions, 5%

    Completed evaluations and assessments wrote and implemented treatment plans conducted all individualized and group therapy sessions for the unit.

  • Mental Health Issues, 3%

    Diagnosed children with mental health issues by using Diagnostic Statistical Manual and provided individualized treatment plans for all individual cases.

  • Community Resources, 3%

    Provided crisis intervention when needed and referred/coordinated with appropriate community resources, third-party payers and other medical providers.

"social work," "patients," and "mental health" aren't the only skills we found mental health therapists list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of mental health therapist responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Communication skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a mental health therapist to have. According to a mental health therapist resume, "clients talk to social workers about challenges in their lives" mental health therapists are able to use communication skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "lead and co-lead groups, such as: appropriate and effective communication and discussion, discharge planning, and assertiveness. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling mental health therapist duties is emotional skills. According to a mental health therapist resume, "social workers often work with people who are in stressful and difficult situations." Here's an example of how mental health therapists are able to utilize emotional skills: "provided case management and crisis intervention for emotional/behavioral issues, mental illness and eating disorders. "
  • Problem-solving skills is also an important skill for mental health therapists to have. This example of how mental health therapists use this skill comes from a mental health therapist resume, "social workers need to develop practical and innovative solutions to their clients’ problems." Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "provide crisis management and short-term, solution focused therapy to employees of over 120 companies through their eap benefit. "
  • See the full list of mental health therapist skills.

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    What Clinicians Do

    A clinician specializes in providing diagnosis, treatment, and direct care to patients with different illnesses. A clinician's duties mainly revolve around conducting extensive research and analysis, providing medical care through various therapies, and improving one's overall health condition. Furthermore, a clinician must obtain and analyze a patient's complete medical history, provide diagnostic tests, always monitor the effects of treatment on a patient, provide prognosis and consider the overall impact on a patient's health and well-being.

    We looked at the average mental health therapist annual salary and compared it with the average of a clinician. Generally speaking, clinicians receive $9,891 higher pay than mental health therapists per year.

    Even though mental health therapists and clinicians have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require social work, patients, and mental health in the day-to-day roles.

    There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a mental health therapist responsibilities require skills like "community services," "excellent interpersonal," "dsm," and "treatment modalities." Meanwhile a typical clinician has skills in areas such as "patient care," "individual therapy," "treatment services," and "risk assessments." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

    On average, clinicians reach lower levels of education than mental health therapists. Clinicians are 8.1% less likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.8% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Licensed Professional Counselor?

    A licensed professional counselor is a healthcare professional who specializes in providing therapy and counseling to patients with emotional and mental health issues. They listen to their patients and utilize various techniques to address concerns and help through the healing procedures. Their duties entail conducting interviews and evaluations, performing research and assessments, studying the patients' medical histories, providing consultations, and developing treatment plans that suit every patients' needs. Additionally, a licensed professional counselor monitors and records their patients' progress, adjusting treatments and medications as necessary.

    Next up, we have the licensed professional counselor profession to look over. This career brings along a higher average salary when compared to a mental health therapist annual salary. In fact, licensed professional counselors salary difference is $44,416 higher than the salary of mental health therapists per year.

    Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Mental health therapists and licensed professional counselors both include similar skills like "social work," "patients," and "mental health" on their resumes.

    While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that mental health therapist responsibilities requires skills like "foster care," "community services," "excellent interpersonal," and "dsm." But a licensed professional counselor might use skills, such as, "lpc," "real estate," "individual therapy," and "hipaa."

    On average, licensed professional counselors earn a higher salary than mental health therapists. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, licensed professional counselors earn the most pay in the real estate industry with an average salary of $99,425. Whereas, mental health therapists have higher paychecks in the non profits industry where they earn an average of $53,528.

    On the topic of education, licensed professional counselors earn similar levels of education than mental health therapists. In general, they're 1.1% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.8% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Counselor/Art Therapist Compares

    A counselor/art therapist is responsible for conducting art sessions as part of patients' therapy treatments, letting them express their human nature and emotions through artistic discovery. Counselors/art therapists guide the patients throughout their recovery process, identifying their needs and conditions by analyzing their crafts. A counselor/art therapist coordinates with other medical professionals to deliver quality care services for the patients, monitor their progress, record observations, and instructing patients in art activities to discover their maximum potential.

    The third profession we take a look at is counselor/art therapist. On an average scale, these workers bring in higher salaries than mental health therapists. In fact, they make a $29,158 higher salary per year.

    While looking through the resumes of several mental health therapists and counselor/art therapists we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "social work," "patients," and "mental health," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

    There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a mental health therapist is likely to be skilled in "foster care," "rehabilitation," "community services," and "excellent interpersonal," while a typical counselor/art therapist is skilled in "diagnosis," "family therapy," "behavioral health," and "individual therapy."

    Counselor/art therapists are known to earn similar educational levels when compared to mental health therapists. Additionally, they're 4.5% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.6% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Primary Therapist

    Primary therapists are the main point of contact for patients concerning wellness and overall mental health. Those who choose this career path will be expected to supervise and manage efficient treatment according to plan, and to manage between six and eight patients at a time, keeping in constant communication with these patients and various specialists.

    Primary therapists tend to earn a higher pay than mental health therapists by about $9,567 per year.

    While their salaries may vary, mental health therapists and primary therapists both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "social work," "patients," and "group therapy sessions. "

    While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "mental health," "foster care," "rehabilitation," and "community services" are skills that have shown up on mental health therapists resumes. Additionally, primary therapist uses skills like excellent organizational, patient care, treatment plan reviews, and relapse prevention on their resumes.

    Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The finance industry tends to pay more for primary therapists with an average of $61,326. While the highest mental health therapist annual salary comes from the non profits industry.

    Primary therapists reach similar levels of education when compared to mental health therapists. The difference is that they're 0.3% more likely to earn a Master's Degree more, and 0.4% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.