Types of Licenses
Types of Licenses
There are many different professions that provide mental health services. Knowing the differences and similarities between professions will help you determine the type of license, and type of degree that will best fit your career goals.
Addiction Counselors help people who have problems with alcohol, drugs, gambling, and eating disorders. Counseling can be done on an individual basis, but is frequently done in a group setting and can include crisis counseling, daily or weekly counseling, or drop-in counseling support. Counselors are trained to assist in developing personalized recovery programs that help to establish healthy behaviors and provide coping strategies. Often, these counselors also will work with family members who are affected by the addictions of their loved ones. Some counselors conduct programs and community outreach aimed at preventing addiction and educating the public. Counselors must be able to recognize how addiction affects the entire person and those around him or her. Note that professional credentialing varies widely from state to state for addiction counselors. Requirements range from a high school diploma to master's degree, and from certification to licensure.*
Capella University offers a Master of Science in Addiction Counseling
Licensed Professional Counselors
Licensed Professional Counselors work with individuals, families, and groups to address and treat mental and emotional disorders and to promote mental health. They are trained in a variety of therapeutic techniques used to address issues such as depression, anxiety, addiction and substance abuse, suicidal impulses, stress, trauma, low self-esteem and grief. They also help with job and career concerns, educational decisions, mental and emotional health issues, and relationship problems.*
Capella University offers a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling
Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapists
Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapists apply family systems theory, principles, and techniques to address and treat mental and emotional disorders. In doing so, they modify people's perceptions and behaviors, enhance communication and understanding among family members, and help to prevent family and individual crises. They may work with individuals, families, couples, and groups. Marriage and family counseling/therapy focuses on the connection between problems and relationships and differs from traditional therapy because less emphasis is placed on an identified client or internal psychological conflict. The focus is on viewing and understanding their clients' symptoms and interactions within their existing environment.*
Capella University offers a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy
Psychological Associates conduct research under the direct supervision of doctoral-level licensed psychologists. Some states require a license for these master's level professionals. Requirements usually include practical experience in an applied setting and a master's thesis based on an original research project. Psychological Associates will often assist with administration of diagnostic tests.*
Capella University does not offer a program that is designed specifically to prepare graduates for licensure as a psychological associate. However, certain programs may fulfill educational requirements for this license in some states.
Psychologists are concerned with the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders. While some clinical psychologists specialize in treating severe psychological disorders, such as schizophrenia and depression, many others may help people deal with personal issues, such as divorce or the death of a loved one. Often times, clinical psychologists provide an opportunity to talk and think about things that are confusing or worrying, offering different ways of interpreting and understanding problems and situations. Clinical psychologists often interview patients and give diagnostic tests in their own private offices. They may provide individual, family, or group psychotherapy and may design and implement behavior modification programs. Psychologists may work in a variety of settings that include community mental health centers, crisis counseling services, or drug rehabilitation centers, offering evaluation, therapy, remediation, and consultation.*
Capella University offers a Doctor of Psychology, Clinical Psychology
School Counselors work with students in elementary and secondary schools help students to understand and deal with social, behavioral, and personal problems. These counselors emphasize preventive and developmental counseling to enhance students' personal, social, and academic growth and to provide students with the life skills needed to deal with problems before they worsen. Counselors provide special services, including alcohol and drug prevention programs and conflict resolution classes. They also try to identify cases of domestic abuse and other family problems that can affect a student's development. Counselors interact with students individually, in small groups, or as an entire class. They consult and collaborate with parents, teachers, school administrators, school psychologists, medical professionals, and social workers to develop and implement strategies to help students succeed.*
Capella University offers a Master of Science in School Counseling
School Psychologists work with students in elementary and secondary schools. They collaborate with teachers, parents, and school personnel to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments for all students. School psychologists address students' learning and behavioral problems, suggest improvements to classroom management strategies or parenting techniques, and evaluate students with disabilities and gifted and talented students to help determine the best way to educate them. They also may evaluate the effectiveness of academic programs, prevention programs, behavior management procedures, and other services provided in the school setting.*
Capella University offers a Doctor of Psychology, School Psychology specialization; a Master of Science in Psychology, in School Psychology specialization; and a Specialist Certificate in School Psychology.
Licensed Social Workers
Licensed Social Workers assist people by helping them cope with and solve issues in their everyday lives, such as family and personal problems and dealing with relationships. Some social workers help clients who face a disability, life-threatening disease, social problem, such as inadequate housing, unemployment, or substance abuse. Social workers also assist families that have serious domestic conflicts, sometimes involving child or spousal abuse. Additionally, they may conduct research, advocate for improved services, or become involved in planning or policy development. Many social workers specialize in serving a particular population or working in a specific setting. In all settings, these workers may also be called licensed clinical social workers, if they hold the appropriate State mandated license.*
Capella University does not offer a program designed to prepare graduates for licensure as a social worker.
*Adapted from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition.
Capella University cannot guarantee licensure, certification, or endorsement. State regulations vary regarding professional licensure and salary benefits. It is learners' responsibility to understand and comply with requirements for their state.