Monthly Archives: April 2015

How To Have A Successful Mental Health Counseling Career – Part 2

Have you been considering becoming a mental health counselor? First and foremost you have to believe that your dreams are achievable. Now is a good time to begin visualizing your dream…what does that dream look like? What are you doing? Who are you helping? What kind of problems are you helping your clients resolve? Take some time to write these ideas down.

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As I mentioned before just about anyone can get an advanced degree in counseling…the question becomes what will you do to set yourself apart…it is never too early to begin.

You need to begin NOW setting yourself apart as someone who is exceptional in the field…how do others see you: do you present yourself as a professional in all you do…whether you are currently working in Walmart or the fast food industry, do you make sure that you exceed the standards and expectations of your employer?

The number 2 thing you need to know to have a successful mental health counseling career more than ever, you must find your niche.


  • A niche is a specialty – an area of expertise that is highly specialized.
  • People with Masters degrees in MH counseling are a dime a dozen.
  • 3. A niche is a specialty area – nutritional counseling, working with a specific clientele: people of a certain religious faith, sexual orientation, disability, illness, lifestyle, diagnosis, ability etc. There are a million different areas you can carve out a niche for yourself..
  • 4. Within each specialty there could also be subspecialties:
  • nutritional counseling with substance abuse, eating disordered, diabetics, obese individuals
    Complicated grief – working with veterans and their families or the children of veterans
    Specific skills: Hypnosis, EMDR, other energy therapies are being found to be very effective in treating trauma victims.

You may be wondering how you can begin establishing your niche even before you begin your career or without any college education…well you can:

  • Spend time reading books, articles and journals in subject areas that are of interest to you…become an expert even before you begin your advanced degree.
  • Look for employment in the field or niche area – for example become a receptionist at a pediatricians office, if you want to work with children.
  • Work in a special needs class room as an aide if you want to counsel special needs children and their parents.
  • Interested in working with seniors or Alzheimer patients and their families – volunteer at a local nursing home.

It is never too early to begin doing these things. And if you do these things, I can guarantee you that you will be setting yourself apart from about 80-90 % of others going for the same degree.

Hope this tip gave you some good food for thought. You’ll find Tip #3 here.

All the best to you!


How To Have Success In A Mental Health Counseling Career

Have you been considering becoming a mental health counselor? In this video tip I’m going to share with you the first of 3 very important tips that can usher you in to a very successful Mental Health counseling career.

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Licensure in the Mental Health Counseling field requires a Master’s degree. But, quite frankly nearly anyone can get an advanced degree in counseling…and further, because it is such a sought after degree, individuals with an MA in counseling are a dime a dozen…if you are thinking about pursuing counseling as a first or second or even third career here are the things you need to know…

  • One website published the average annual salary for Licensed mental health counselors at about $45,000/year.

Good luck finding a full time job, with benefits as a licensed mental health counselor that pays $45K…there certainly are jobs out there that pay that and even more, but they are few and far between, which brings me to our first tip on how to have a successful mental health counseling career.

If you are planning to enter the field of mental health counseling or you are getting ready to graduate with your degree…You need to begin NOW setting yourself apart as someone who is exceptional in the field…this begins with developing your character, work ethic, knowledge base etc….

First and foremost…
Get yourself into counseling. After all, how can you know if this is what you want to do, if you have never sat in the client’s chair. Just because you like to give advice and your friends tell you you are a good listener, there is much more to counseling than that. Many people think this is a very romanticized career, but an exceptional counselor has exceptional skills and one of the first places to begin developing those skills is actually by experiencing what it is like to be a client.

Experiencing counseling for yourself is an invaluable experience…

  • You will learn fast what to do and what not to do.
  • Being in the client seat requires…
  • Humility and teachability
  • An acknowledgement that you need to grow as a person and are willing to receive help – this will help you become a humble servent helper to others – someone who corroborates with their clients, rather than sits in the seat of knowledge looking down on clients.
  • Working through your own stuff. No matter how big or small will begin to help you develop the cognitive and introspection skills and insight required to be a successful counselor.

I hope you give some thought to this tip for becoming not just any mental health therapist, but a very successful mental health therapist.

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Biblical Meditation Techniques

The Psalms especially are filled with what one might label as meditation techniques. In fact, the reality is that meditation is of God. We see in Holy scripture several different Hebrew and Greek words that are translated meditate or meditation.

Meditation is a Spiritual Discipline

The spiritual discipline of meditation as God intended it has been corrupted by various world systems – especially eastern mysticism, new age philosophy and the ever popular practice of yoga. All of these philosophies emphasize forms of meditation techniques. However, to develop a Biblical practice of meditation we must look to our Creator God – Elohim as He was known by the ancient Hebrews.

In examining the Psalms we are given much guidance concerning this ancient mind exercise we call meditation. Let’s explore the concept of meditation techniques or simply stated Biblical meditative principles…

The Fruit of Meditation on God’s Word

Psalm 1 reveals the wisdom of one who meditates on God’s word. That person …

  • Does not take counsel from wicked or sinful people
  • Does not associate and make alliances with unrighteous people
  • Delights in God’s law
  • Is prosperous in all he does
  • Lives righteously

Biblical meditation is a spiritual discipline that yields blessings in the lives of believers.

The Purpose of Meditation

Joshua 1:8 states a direct command from God to His people Israel to “hagah” in the Hebrew – to meditate on the Torah (the first 5 books of the Bible) day and night. Hagah means to meditate however the emphasis of this form of meditation appears to be vocal as it also can mean to mutter, utter, muse, growl, speak or groan. This passage documents a critical juncture in the lives of the children of Israel – they are getting ready to take possession of the promised land for which they have been waiting for 40 long years – and which was promised to Abraham 430 years previously. And as God is getting ready to send them forth into the land of promise we see Him telling them to not forget to verbally and vocally meditate on His law. The purpose for this mental and verbal exercise is so the Israelites…

  • Don’t let the Torah depart from their mouths
  • Will be careful to do everything written in the Torah
  • Will be prosperous and successful

Meditation is for the purpose of strengthening the inner man, understanding God’s ways and learning to walk in them.

The Blessings of Meditation Emanate from a Right Heart

As Joshua 1 indicates God loves His people and desires them to receive all the blessings He has in store for those who walk in obedience. These blessings come through meditating on God’s word and putting it into practice. Meditation is very different from rote memorization – which anyone can do. The fruit of meditation on God’s word begins with the kind of heart attitude King David displays in Psalm 19. King David’s heart revels in the preciousness of God’s word…

  • The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul
  • The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy making wise the simple
  • The precepts of the LORD are right giving joy to the heart
  • The commands of the LORD are radiant giving light to the eyes
  • The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous
  • They are more precious than gold
  • They are sweeter than honey
  • They keep your servant warned
  • In keeping them is great reward

The one who will benefit from meditating is the one who is desires to cultivate a humble attitude and seeks to yield his will and his ways to the LORD. They mediate because they want to grow more deeply and intimately acquainted with God and they desire His promised blessings.

The Focus of Meditation

The focus of all true, safe, godly and beneficial meditation is on the God who created the human mind, gave it the ability to meditate and then exhorted His people to put this spiritual discipline into practice…ultimately godly meditation techniques are concerned with fixing our thoughts on the Creator…in the Psalms we are taught to meditate on….

  • God’s law (Psalm 1:2)
  • God’s unfailing love (Psalm 48:9)
  • God’s work and mighty deeds (Psalm 77:12)
  • God’s precepts and ways (Psalm 119:15)
  • God’s promises (Psalm 119:148)
  • God’s wonderful works (Psalm 145:5)

Biblical Meditation Techniques will always serve to bring our minds back to a right perception of God. The art of mediation is to soak in the word, the wonders, the love, the ways and the promises of Almighty God for His glory and our good.


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