How to Become a Crisis Intervention Counselor
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Steps to Become a Crisis Counselor
1. Complete a bachelor’s degree in psychology, human services, or other health related field
2. Earn a master’s degree in counseling
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|University and Program Name||Format||Study Length||Number of Credits||Field Placement Support|
Master of Arts in Counseling|
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New York University
Master of Arts in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness|
|Online||As few as 21 months||60||Support Available|
3. Complete clinical experience requirements
4. Pass licensure and certification exams
5. Apply for specialized certifications
6. Continue education in crisis intervention
What is Crisis Intervention?
What is considered a mental health crisis?
What Does a Crisis Counselor Do?
Licensing and Certification Requirements
Career and Salary Outlook for Crisis Intervention Specialists
Different Careers in Counseling and Mental Health
The time it takes to become a crisis counselor depends on state and employer requirements. Typically, a bachelor’s degree takes four years of full-time study. A master’s degree in counseling can be completed in two years of full-time study.
If a state requires licensure and/or certification, an aspiring crisis counselor will need to decide how much time to study to pass the exam.
If you’re interested in becoming a crisis counselor volunteer, maybe for something to do while you’re in school or to add to your resume, there are options. For example, the Crisis Text Line is a free 24/7 text line for people in crisis. The Crisis Text Line is powered by volunteers, who work remotely and communicate with those who contact the line because they’re experiencing a crisis. Volunteers for this service must be at least 18 years old, submit two references, consent to a background check and undergo training.
To be licensed and become employed as a crisis counselor by various organizations like the government or a psychiatric center, schooling and exams are typically required.
Crisis counselors work with people who are undergoing very tough times. Sometimes, crisis counselors are deployed to environments that have recently experienced dangerous situations.
Crisis counselors are typically patient, empathetic and passionate about helping others. Crisis counselors are also typically competent and confident to keep those they’re working with safe and to provide the help and assistance individuals need.
Crisis counselors are also knowledgeable about the crises they’re dealing with and the populations they’re assisting. They provide the appropriate resources and referrals to their clients to protect their mental health and safety. Crisis counselors also have to be excellent communicators to positively impact their clients.
Because crisis intervention counselors work in high-stress situations and/or with people who have experienced trauma, a crisis counselor typically creates healthy boundaries between their work and personal lives. This may also be true for all types of counseling.