The Business of Practice

Difference Between Clinical Psychology and Counseling

Take a look into the differences, including career paths, education requirements and salaries.

Difference Between Clinical Psychology and Counseling

Clinical psychology and counseling both encompass roles in mental healthcare by diagnosing and treating clients, most commonly with talk therapy. Counselors and clinical psychologists who own private practices may have rather similar day-to-day agendas while other clinical psychologists who advance their careers outside of a traditional counseling role may deal with schools, courtrooms, corporations, or hospitals.

Counseling_Table1

 

Clinical Psychology

Clinical psychology is the field of psychology concerned with clinical practice in addition to the research of the behavioral and cognitive processes behind clinical disorders. Clinical psychologists provide therapy independently, diagnose disorders, and construct clients’ treatment plans. Certain clinical psychologists become professors and conduct research on clinical issues.

The American Board of Professional Psychology classifies the below as a few of the fields available for specialization:

Counseling

Counseling psychology primarily focuses on the therapeutic relationship between care provider and client. Counseling psychologists are able to see clients independently or under supervision, diagnose disorders, and construct treatment plans like clinical psychologists.

Additionally, counseling psychology looks into the science of why counseling is effective and which therapy treatments prove themselves as evidence-based. For example, the APA lists cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and prolonged exposure as evidence-based treatment therapies for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Clinical Psychology and Counseling Career Paths

Clinical psychology degrees are much more likely to end in a research-based or academic career compared to a counseling degree which often leads to a therapy provider role. There are also careers outside of academia which utilize the research of clinical psychologists such as forensics, police and public safety, and tele-health or digital healthcare providers. Outside of a customary therapy role, counselor careers include mobile crisis units, hospital assessment teams, and mental health nonprofits such as crisis hotlines or diversity initiatives.

Salary of a Mental Health Counselor

Salaries for a mental health counselor will vary depending on the effort spent on personal brand marketing or available organizational funding. Counselors need to factor cost-of-living expenses in their session pricing depending on their location. Mental health counselors require a marketing strategy in addition to legal consideration when they start a private practice in counseling and psychology.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors make a median salary of $48,520 annually. A licensed mental health counselor makes on average $83,474 nationwide, according to ZipRecruiter which averages self-reports of compensation. Salaries can typically range from $30,000-$150,000, depending on location and licensure.

Where to Work as a Mental Health Counselor

Mental health counselors work in an assortment of settings. Traditionally, mental health counselors provide counseling in an office space or remotely online. Additional ways to utilize a mental health counseling degree include working at a nonprofit or as a consultant to businesses regarding the mental health of their workers.

  • Therapy Office
  • Private Practice
  • Nonprofit Organization
  • Hospital Network

Latest Business of Practice posts

Browse Business of Practice

Violence Risk Assessment Case Study: Dangerousness Evaluation using the HCR-20

Below is an example of a violence risk assessment case, to give readers a better idea of how to assess violence risk.  ---- Nature of the Evaluation:

Violence Risk Assessment Case Study: Dangerousness Evaluation using the START

Below is an example of a violence risk assessment case that will give readers a better idea of how to assess violence risk.  ---- Reason for Referral:

An Overview of Intimate Partner Violence (SARA-V3 & B-SAFER-2)

Spousal Assault Risk Assessment Guide Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), sometimes referred to as spousal assault, partner assault, spousal violence,

Looking for training? Here are a few suggestions:

 College Campus | Violence Risk Assessment / 8 CEs
Stephen D. Hart, PhD
Brianne Layden, PhD
Kelly A. Watt, PhD

College Campus | Violence Risk Assessment

Available On Demand
$250
 College Campus | Violence Risk Assessment / 8 CEs
Stephen D. Hart, PhD
Brianne Layden, PhD
Kelly A. Watt, PhD

College Campus | Violence Risk Assessment

Available On Demand
$250
 Violence Risk/Threat AssessmentCase Illustrations: Law Enforcement / 1 CE
P. Randall Kropp, PhD

Violence Risk/Threat AssessmentCase Illustrations: Law Enforcement

Available On Demand
$100
 Violence Risk/Threat AssessmentCase Illustrations: Law Enforcement / 1 CE
P. Randall Kropp, PhD

Violence Risk/Threat AssessmentCase Illustrations: Law Enforcement

Available On Demand
$100
 Evaluation for Workplace Disability / 20 CEs
Lisa Drago Piechowski, PhD, ABPP

Evaluation for Workplace Disability

Available On Demand
$500
 Evaluation for Workplace Disability / 20 CEs
Lisa Drago Piechowski, PhD, ABPP

Evaluation for Workplace Disability

Available On Demand
$500