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Become A Senior Counselor

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Working As A Senior 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

  • $47,390

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior 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 Senior 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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Senior Counselor Jobs

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Senior Counselor Career Paths

Senior Counselor
Contract Attorney Adjunct Professor Clinical Director
Administrative Director, Behavioral Health Services
11 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Assistant Director Office Manager
Branch Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant Director General Manager Specialist
Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Program Director Operations Director
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Therapist Program Director
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Therapist Clinical Supervisor
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Clinical Supervisor Nursing Director
Clinical Services Director
11 Yearsyrs
Clinical Supervisor Clinical Manager Nursing Director
Director Of Health Services
11 Yearsyrs
Assistant Director Office Manager Human Resources Coordinator
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Program Manager Senior Manager
Director Of Quality
14 Yearsyrs
Clinical Supervisor Program Director
Director Of Residential Services
7 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Social Worker
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Social Worker
Director Of Social Work
7 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Marketing Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Program Manager General Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
General Counsel Corporate Secretary Office Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Program Director Chief Executive Officer
President/Chief Executive Officer
10 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Program Coordinator
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Sales Consultant Leasing Consultant
Resident Manager
5 Yearsyrs
General Counsel Chief Executive Officer Management Consultant
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
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Senior Counselor Demographics

Gender

Female

50.7%

Male

46.8%

Unknown

2.5%
Ethnicity

White

81.6%

Hispanic or Latino

9.7%

Asian

6.6%

Unknown

1.5%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

54.0%

French

12.1%

Mandarin

4.0%

Chinese

4.0%

German

4.0%

Russian

3.5%

Italian

3.5%

Portuguese

2.9%

Hebrew

2.6%

Korean

2.3%

Japanese

1.4%

Hindi

1.2%

Greek

1.2%

Cantonese

0.9%

Vietnamese

0.6%

Arabic

0.6%

Swedish

0.3%

Swahili

0.3%

Estonian

0.3%

Gujarati

0.3%
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Senior Counselor Education

Schools

Georgetown University

8.6%

Fordham University

8.1%

George Washington University

7.4%

Liberty University

5.6%

Temple University

5.4%

University of Phoenix

5.2%

New York Law School

5.0%

Southern Connecticut State University

4.5%

Howard University

4.5%

Florida State University

4.5%

American University

4.5%

Syracuse University

4.3%

Harvard University

4.3%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

4.3%

Boston University

4.3%

New York University

4.0%

Kean University

4.0%

Quinnipiac University

4.0%

Villanova University

3.8%

State University of New York Buffalo

3.8%
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Majors

Law

31.3%

Psychology

10.5%

Business

8.8%

Social Work

6.5%

Criminal Justice

4.3%

School Counseling

3.9%

Communication

3.2%

Counseling Psychology

3.1%

Sociology

3.0%

Mental Health Counseling

2.9%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

2.8%

English

2.7%

Political Science

2.6%

Human Services

2.5%

Education

2.3%

History

2.0%

Liberal Arts

1.9%

Elementary Education

1.9%

Marketing

1.8%

Kinesiology

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

34.7%

Doctorate

23.2%

Masters

22.3%

Other

13.3%

Associate

3.6%

Certificate

2.6%

Diploma

0.3%

License

0.0%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Senior Counselor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Counsel, Original Film Netflix, Inc. Beverly Hills, CA Jul 14, 2015 $465,000
Senior Counsel, Original Film Netflix, Inc. Beverly Hills, CA Nov 06, 2016 $213,970
Senior Counsel, Original Film Netflix, Inc. Beverly Hills, CA Sep 22, 2016 $213,970
Senior Counsel GSMA Limited Atlanta, GA Sep 21, 2013 $190,000 -
$220,000
Senior Counsel Lipman Hearne, Inc. Washington, DC Oct 01, 2009 $120,000
Senior Counselor State University of New York Upstate Medical Unive Syracuse, NY Apr 15, 2014 $68,000
Senior Counselor-U.S. and International Students RH Testing Services, Inc. Rowland Heights, CA Aug 22, 2016 $64,043
Senior Counselor/Psychologist State University New York at Buffalo State College Buffalo, NY Jan 03, 2016 $63,000
Senior Counselor/Assistant Director Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX Aug 30, 2010 $60,000
Senior Counselor Daemen College Amherst, NY Mar 21, 2014 $42,200 -
$44,000
Senior Counselor Sasha Bruce Youthwork, Inc. Washington, DC May 01, 2012 $37,500
SR. Bilingual Foodsource Hotline Counselor Project Bread-The Walk for Hunger, Inc. Boston, MA Dec 31, 2010 $36,036
Senior Counselor Houston Area Women's Center Houston, TX Aug 15, 2012 $33,467 -
$35,088

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Top Skills for A Senior Counselor

NewCounselorsSafeEnvironmentTreatmentPlansRegulatoryComplianceIntellectualPropertyFinancialCrisisInterventionClinicalSupervisionDailyActivitiesRealEstateSubstanceAbuseMentalHealthHumanResourcesDueDiligenceStaffMembersLegalSupportLegalIssuesJointVentureLegalAdviceCustomerService

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  1. New Counselors
  2. Safe Environment
  3. Treatment Plans
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Selected to train new counselors in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Miami.
  • Conduct home visits and inspections to ensure seniors who live in our HUD Senior building are in a safe environment.
  • Develop treatment plans; provide follow-up counseling and assist patients with the resolution of problems.
  • Negotiated with federal, state authorities and local municipalities to resolve issues of water rights and environmental regulatory compliance.
  • Consulted with program managers on protecting intellectual property for U.S. Government contracts.

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Top Senior Counselor Employers

Senior Counselor Videos

Hello Counselor - Lee Eungyeol, Kim Yongjun, Lee Seokhoon & Park Chorong (2015.09.21)

Camp Chi Rho 2015 Senior Counselor Skit

Hello Counselor - Kim Johan, Yoo Sangmoo, Kim Junhee & Cheetah (2016.03.28)