Exploring Career Changes for Mental Health Counselors

Are you a mental health counselor who is considering a career change? While you may have entered the counseling field with a passion for direct client care, you may find that it’s not the right fit for you in the long run. The good news is that there are plenty of alternative career options for therapists. In this article, we will explore 15 different career paths that mental health counselors can transition into, ranging from owning a group practice to teaching, coaching, consulting, and more. So if you’re looking to leverage your counseling skills and training in new and unique ways, this guide is for you.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways:

  • Transitioning careers can offer new and exciting opportunities for mental health counselors.
  • Exploring different career paths can help you find a better fit that aligns with your interests and goals.
  • There are diverse job prospects and career options available for mental health counselors beyond traditional counseling.
  • Consider leveraging your expertise in consulting, coaching, entrepreneurship, and other related fields.
  • Seek out resources and support to navigate your career change effectively.

Owning a Group Practice

If you’re already running a solo practice or have employees, owning a group practice can be a great career change option. This allows you to focus on running the business and supervising your employees or trainees without the need to directly see clients. It’s a chance to utilize your business skills and still stay connected to the mental health field.

Managing a counseling business requires a unique set of skills beyond therapy expertise. As the owner of a group practice, you’ll be responsible for tasks such as marketing, financial management, client intake, and employee supervision. This transition allows you to leverage your experience as a mental health counselor while expanding your abilities in organization, leadership, and business strategy.

By owning a group practice, you can create a supportive and collaborative environment for your clinicians, fostering professional growth and development. You have the opportunity to shape the culture of your practice and provide mentorship to therapists who are just starting their careers. Additionally, owning a group practice can provide a sense of fulfillment as you contribute to the overall well-being of both your staff and the clients they serve.

owning a group practice

Table: Comparison of Solo Practice vs. Group Practice

Aspect Solo Practice Group Practice
Workload Responsible for all aspects of the practice alone. Shared responsibility among clinicians and support staff.
Client Capacity Limited by the therapist’s availability. Ability to serve more clients by assigning cases to multiple therapists.
Business Management Full control over business decisions and operations. Opportunity to delegate business tasks and focus on strategic planning.
Supervision Minimal supervision responsibilities, if any. Supervise and mentor therapists within the practice.
Financial Stability Income relies solely on the therapist’s billable hours. Additional income streams from multiple clinicians in the practice.

Table: A comparison of solo practice and group practice highlights the advantages of owning a group practice for mental health counselors. It showcases the differences in workload, client capacity, business management, supervision, and financial stability between the two practice models. By transitioning to a group practice, you can expand your impact, scale your business, and create a supportive community of therapists.

Consulting and Training

If you’re a mental health counselor looking for a career change, consulting and training can be lucrative options that allow you to utilize your expertise. Consulting for therapists involves providing guidance and advice to individuals or organizations in the mental health field. This could include helping therapists improve their practice, assisting mental health organizations with program development, or advising companies on mental health policies in the workplace.

In addition to consulting, training for mental health professionals is another avenue to consider. Many organizations hire mental health counselors to offer teachings and trainings to their staff. These trainings can cover a wide range of topics, including burnout prevention, stress management, and improving communication skills. Sharing your knowledge and experience in these areas can be fulfilling and impactful.

If you have a passion for teaching, you may also explore opportunities to teach at a higher education program. Universities often hire mental health professionals to teach courses in specialized areas such as sports psychology, art therapy, or music therapy. Teaching can allow you to pass on your expertise to the next generation of mental health professionals while also expanding your own knowledge and skills.

Benefits of Consulting and Training for Mental Health Professionals

“Consulting and training provide mental health professionals with the opportunity to leverage their expertise and make a broader impact on the field. By sharing their knowledge and insights, they can help improve the practices of other therapists and organizations, ultimately benefiting the individuals and communities they serve.” – Mental Health Expert

Table: Consulting and Training Job Opportunities

Job Title Description
Therapist Consultant Provide guidance and advice to therapists looking to improve their practice.
Program Developer Assist mental health organizations in developing effective programs and interventions.
Workplace Mental Health Advisor Advise companies on mental health policies and strategies to create a supportive work environment.
University Instructor Teach specialized mental health courses at higher education programs.

Consulting and training offer mental health counselors the opportunity to use their skills and knowledge in new and impactful ways. Whether you choose to provide guidance to therapists, develop programs for mental health organizations, advise companies on workplace mental health, or teach at a university, you can make a difference in the field while expanding your own career horizons.

Creating and Innovating

If you have a creative streak, there are endless possibilities for creating and innovating within the mental health field. You could develop new art therapy tools, craft innovative approaches to counseling, or even create digital products that support therapists in their practice. Your unique skills and insights can lead to exciting new opportunities for yourself and the broader mental health community.

creating therapy tools

Innovating Therapy Approaches

“Innovation is seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.” – Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

As a mental health counselor, you have the ability to think outside the box and develop fresh perspectives on therapy. This can involve integrating unconventional modalities, incorporating technology, or creating entirely new therapeutic approaches. By embracing innovation, you can offer clients alternative methods for healing and personal growth.

Developing Therapy Tools

In addition to innovative approaches, you can also contribute to the field of mental health by creating therapy tools. These tools can range from physical objects, such as sensory kits or art supplies, to digital resources like relaxation apps or virtual reality experiences. By developing these tools, you can provide therapists with valuable resources to enhance their practice and improve client outcomes.

Collaborating with Peers

Creating and innovating doesn’t have to be a solitary endeavor. Collaborating with fellow mental health professionals can lead to groundbreaking advancements in the field. Consider joining or starting a research group, attending conferences, or participating in interdisciplinary projects to exchange ideas and work together towards pushing the boundaries of mental health counseling.

Coaching and Mentoring

If you’re looking for a career change that allows you to utilize your counseling skills and help others in a different capacity, coaching and mentoring can be excellent options to consider. As a mental health counselor, your expertise and experience can make you a valuable resource for individuals seeking guidance and personal growth.

Coaching for therapists: One avenue to explore is becoming a coach for fellow therapists. You can provide support, insights, and strategies to help them navigate their professional journey and overcome challenges they may face in their practice. Sharing your expertise and offering guidance can not only have a positive impact on their careers but also provide you with a sense of fulfillment.

Parent coaching: Another coaching opportunity is to specialize in parent coaching. Many parents seek guidance and support in raising their children, especially when facing behavioral challenges or dealing with mental health issues. Your background in mental health counseling can be invaluable in helping parents develop effective strategies and create a nurturing environment for their children.

Coaching in the workplace: Coaching is also in high demand in the workplace. Organizations recognize the importance of supporting their employees’ mental well-being and often hire coaches to provide guidance and support. Whether it’s helping employees manage stress, improve their work-life balance, or develop leadership skills, your counseling background can position you as a valuable asset in the corporate world.

Life coaching and career coaching: Lastly, you can explore opportunities in life coaching and career coaching. Many individuals seek professional guidance and support in making important life decisions, overcoming personal challenges, and achieving their goals. Your counseling skills can be the foundation for assisting individuals in finding clarity, building resilience, and creating strategies to thrive in their personal and professional lives.

career coaching

Coaching and Mentoring: A Fulfilling Career Path

In summary, coaching and mentoring are rewarding career options for mental health counselors seeking a change. Whether you choose to coach fellow therapists, provide parent coaching, offer workplace guidance, or specialize in life and career coaching, your counseling skills and background can make a positive impact on individual lives. Embrace the opportunity to use your expertise in a different way and continue making a difference.

Supporting the Mental Health Field

Mental health professionals play a crucial role in shaping and supporting the mental health field beyond direct counseling. They have the opportunity to contribute their expertise and insights to various areas, such as advising and shaping mental health products, working in mental health tech companies, and taking on roles within mental health HR departments.

Advising and shaping mental health products allows professionals to ensure their relevance and effectiveness. Whether it’s providing input on therapy tools, digital platforms, or innovative approaches, your expertise can help create solutions that cater to the diverse needs of therapists and their clients.

In addition, mental health tech companies provide an exciting avenue for professionals to contribute. By working in these organizations, you can be part of developing and improving the tools and technologies that support mental health services. This can range from designing user-friendly apps to implementing data analytics to enhance therapy outcomes.

“It’s important for mental health professionals to have a voice in shaping the products and services that are being developed in the field. We bring a unique perspective and understanding of the challenges faced by therapists and clients, which can greatly influence the effectiveness and accessibility of mental health resources.” – Dr. Emily Johnson, Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Another way to support the mental health field is by working in roles related to mental health HR. In these positions, you can advocate for employee well-being within organizations, ensuring that mental health initiatives are implemented and supported. This can lead to a healthier work environment and increased support for employees’ mental well-being.

Table: Examples of Career Opportunities in Supporting the Mental Health Field

Career Opportunity Description
Mental Health Product Advisor Provide input and guidance to companies developing mental health products, ensuring they meet the needs of therapists and clients.
Mental Health Tech Specialist Work within mental health tech companies to develop and improve digital tools and platforms that support therapy and mental wellness.
Mental Health HR Specialist Advocate for employee mental health and well-being within organizations, implementing initiatives and policies to support a healthier work environment.

By exploring these career opportunities, mental health professionals can make a meaningful impact on the field while expanding their own skill sets and professional growth.

Advising and shaping mental health products

Writing and Publishing

If you have a passion for writing, there are various opportunities in the field of mental health. You can write books on mental health topics, work as a contracted writer for newspapers or magazines, or even become a mental health expert writer. Your knowledge and experience as a mental health counselor can provide valuable insights and information to a wide audience.

Writing books on mental health allows you to delve deeper into specific topics and share your expertise with a broader audience. You can offer practical advice, techniques, and strategies to help readers navigate their mental health journeys. Writing in-depth about your experiences and research can contribute to the growing body of knowledge in the field, while also providing a valuable resource for individuals seeking guidance and support.

Additionally, working as a contracted writer for newspapers and magazines gives you the opportunity to reach a wider audience and raise awareness about important mental health issues. You can contribute articles, features, and opinion pieces that offer insights, challenge misconceptions, and promote mental well-being. By sharing your expertise and experiences through various publications, you can make a meaningful impact on public discourse and encourage more open conversations about mental health.

Writing books, articles, and other forms of written content can be a powerful way to share your knowledge as a mental health counselor and advocate for positive change.

Table: Different Writing and Publishing Opportunities for Mental Health Counselors

Opportunity Description
Writing Books Authoring books on mental health topics to provide in-depth knowledge and guidance to readers.
Contracted Writing Contributing articles, features, and opinion pieces to newspapers and magazines to raise awareness about mental health.
Mental Health Expert Writer Becoming a recognized mental health expert writer by sharing expertise and insights through various platforms and publications.

Writing and publishing can be a fulfilling career change option for mental health counselors. It allows you to use your counseling skills and knowledge to educate, inform, and inspire others. Whether you choose to write books, articles, or become a mental health expert writer, your words have the power to make a positive impact on individuals and society as a whole.

Entrepreneurship and Online Business

Are you ready to take your career as a mental health counselor to the next level? Consider exploring entrepreneurship and the world of online business. By starting your own online business or leveraging your expertise as an influencer, you can unlock unlimited possibilities for career growth and fulfillment.

As an entrepreneur in the mental health field, you have the opportunity to create online courses, offer coaching services, and provide valuable resources and support to others in the industry. The digital space offers flexibility and scalability, allowing you to reach a wider audience and make a meaningful impact on individuals and communities.

Whether you want to create a platform for online therapy, develop a mental health app, or build a community through social media, the power and potential of entrepreneurship in the mental health field are immense. By combining your counseling skills with your business acumen, you can create innovative solutions and address the growing needs of individuals seeking mental health support.

“Entrepreneurship is about turning what excites you in life into capital, so that you can do more of it and move forward with it.” – Richard Branson

Benefits of Entrepreneurship and Online Business in the Mental Health Field

  • Flexibility: You have the freedom to set your own schedule and work from anywhere.
  • Impact: You can reach a larger audience and make a difference in the lives of more people.
  • Creativity: You have the opportunity to innovate and create unique solutions to mental health challenges.
  • Financial Independence: Entrepreneurship allows you to take control of your earning potential.

Starting an online business and leveraging your expertise as an influencer in the mental health field is an exciting and rewarding path to explore. Embrace the opportunities that digital entrepreneurship offers and make a lasting impact on the well-being of others.

entrepreneurship and online business

Exploring Related Fields

If you’re considering a career change as a mental health counselor, exploring related fields can open up new opportunities for you. While transitioning into a different field may require additional education or training, it can be a viable option to leverage your skills and experience as a mental health professional. Here are two related fields worth considering: healthcare and genetic counseling.


Transitioning into healthcare can be a natural fit for mental health counselors. One possible career path is becoming a physician’s assistant (PA). As a PA, you would work alongside doctors and other healthcare professionals, providing patient care, diagnosing illnesses, and prescribing medication. Your background in mental health counseling can enhance your ability to provide holistic care to patients, addressing both their physical and mental well-being. Pursuing a career in healthcare can open up diverse opportunities in various specialties and settings.

Genetic Counselor

Another field worth exploring is genetic counseling. Genetic counselors work with individuals and families to assess their risk of inherited disorders and provide support and guidance regarding genetic testing and treatment options. With your background in mental health counseling, you can bring a unique perspective to genetic counseling, helping individuals navigate complex emotional and psychological challenges related to genetic conditions. Genetic counseling offers the opportunity to make a significant impact on people’s lives while utilizing your counseling skills in a specialized field.

While transitioning into a related field may require additional schooling or training, it can be a rewarding and fulfilling career change for mental health counselors. Consider the healthcare and genetic counseling fields as potential paths for utilizing your skills and expertise in new and meaningful ways.

career change into healthcare

Embracing New Career Opportunities

As a mental health counselor, you have the opportunity to experience significant career growth, expanding job prospects, and a wide range of diverse career options. With the field of mental health counseling rapidly evolving, now is the perfect time to explore new avenues and embrace exciting opportunities that align with your skills and interests.

One of the key benefits of embracing new career opportunities is the potential for career growth. As a mental health counselor, you have a valuable skillset that can be applied to various roles and industries. Whether you choose to specialize in a specific area of counseling or venture into related fields, such as healthcare or technology, there are numerous pathways to explore.

Expanding your job prospects is another significant advantage of embracing new career opportunities. By diversifying your skillset and exploring different industries, you open yourself up to a wider range of job options. This can enhance your professional flexibility, increase your marketability, and offer exciting prospects for career advancement.

Career Growth Expanding Job Prospects Diverse Career Options
Opportunities to advance in your field and progress in your career Increased options and possibilities for employment Ability to explore various industries and roles that align with your interests
Continued professional development and learning Access to a wider range of job opportunities Potential to make a meaningful impact in different areas
Gaining new skills and knowledge Improved marketability and competitiveness in the job market Flexibility to adapt to changing career trends and demands

By embracing new career opportunities, you can not only enhance your own professional journey but also contribute to the growth and development of the mental health field as a whole. Through your expertise, passion, and dedication, you have the power to make a positive impact on individuals and communities, no matter which path you choose to pursue.

career growth for mental health counselors

“Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and explore new career opportunities. The mental health field is evolving, and there are countless ways to apply your skills and make a meaningful impact. Embrace the possibilities and embark on a journey of personal and professional growth.”

Navigating Your Career Change

When navigating a career change as a mental health counselor, it’s essential to approach the transition with careful consideration and planning. Take the time to research and gather information about the specific career options that interest you. Seek out resources and support, such as career counselors, networking events, and online communities, that can provide guidance and insights into transitioning careers within the mental health field.

Additionally, consider developing new skills or expanding your knowledge through additional training or education. This will not only enhance your qualifications but also demonstrate your commitment to continuous learning and professional development. Remember to leverage your existing network and seek out opportunities to connect with others in your desired field. Networking can provide valuable connections, mentorship, and potential job leads.

Finally, stay open-minded and remain adaptable throughout the career change process. Embracing new career opportunities may require some flexibility and willingness to step outside your comfort zone. By staying positive, proactive, and committed to your goals, you can navigate your career change successfully and embark on an exciting new chapter in your professional journey.

Making Your Career Change

Embarking on a career change can be an exhilarating yet challenging journey. As a mental health counselor, transitioning into a new professional path requires careful navigation and the support of valuable resources. Whether you’re looking to explore career change options or seeking guidance during the transition, there are several ways to find the support you need.

Finding Support in Career Transition

One of the key aspects of successfully transitioning careers is seeking support from those who have gone through a similar experience. Connecting with career transition support groups or networking with professionals in your desired field can provide valuable insights and advice. They can offer guidance on navigating the challenges, share resources, and even open doors to new opportunities.

Additionally, consider reaching out to career coaches or mentors who specialize in helping individuals make career changes. These professionals can provide personalized guidance, assist with resume and interview preparation, and help you develop a strategic plan to achieve your career goals.

Exploring Career Change Resources

There are various career change resources available to mental health counselors seeking to transition into new fields. Online platforms, such as job boards and career exploration websites, offer a wealth of information and job listings in diverse industries. These resources can help you discover new career options, understand the job market, and gain insights into the specific skills and qualifications required.

Additionally, attending workshops and webinars focused on career change can provide valuable insights and practical strategies for navigating the transition. These events often feature expert speakers who share their own experiences and provide guidance on overcoming challenges and seizing opportunities.

Top Career Change Resources
1. LinkedIn
2. Indeed
3. CareerOneStop
4. The Muse
5. Career Change Central

Remember, making a career change is a process that requires self-reflection, planning, and support. By leveraging available resources and seeking guidance from professionals and peers, you can navigate your career change with confidence and embark on a fulfilling new path.

navigating career change


In conclusion, making a career change as a mental health counselor is a bold and empowering step towards finding fulfillment in your professional life. By exploring alternative career options, you can take control of your professional path and make a positive impact on both yourself and others.

Whether you choose to own a group practice, consult, innovate, or pursue other avenues, there are numerous opportunities for you to leverage your counseling skills in new and exciting ways. You have a valuable expertise that can be applied in various fields, allowing you to make a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals and communities.

Remember, the journey of a career change may come with its challenges, but with thorough planning, preparation, and support, you can navigate this transition successfully. Seek out resources, attend workshops, and connect with fellow professionals who have undergone similar changes. By taking proactive steps, you can confidently embark on a new path that aligns with your passions and aspirations.

So, embrace the possibilities, trust in your abilities, and embark on the journey to find fulfillment and satisfaction in your career. With determination and a mindset for growth, you can create a professional path that truly reflects who you are and the positive impact you want to make in the world of mental health.


Are there alternative career options for mental health counselors?

Yes, mental health counselors can explore various career paths beyond traditional counseling.

What are some career options for mental health counselors?

Mental health counselors can consider owning a group practice, consulting, teaching, coaching, writing, entrepreneurship, and more.

Can I own a group practice instead of directly seeing clients?

Yes, owning a group practice allows you to focus on running the business and supervising employees without providing direct client care.

Can mental health counselors work as consultants or trainers?

Yes, larger organizations often hire mental health professionals to offer teachings and trainings to their staff on topics like burnout prevention and productivity enhancement.

Are there opportunities for innovation in the mental health field?

Yes, mental health counselors can develop new therapy tools, craft innovative approaches to counseling, and create digital products that support therapists in their practice.

Can mental health counselors become coaches or mentors?

Yes, mental health counselors can offer coaching services to fellow therapists, provide parent coaching, guide CEOs in supporting employee mental health, or offer life and career coaching.

Are there career opportunities related to mental health HR?

Yes, mental health professionals can work in roles related to mental health HR, advocating for employees’ needs within organizations and creating better work environments.

Can mental health counselors pursue writing and publishing careers?

Yes, mental health counselors can write books on mental health topics, work as contracted writers, or become mental health expert writers, sharing their insights and knowledge.

Can mental health counselors start their own online businesses?

Yes, mental health counselors can leverage their expertise to create online courses, offer coaching services, and provide resources and support to others in the field.

Can mental health counselors transition into related healthcare fields?

Yes, mental health counselors can consider careers in healthcare, such as becoming a physician’s assistant or a genetic counselor, utilizing their background in the mental health field.

What are the job prospects for mental health counselors?

The field of mental health counseling is experiencing rapid growth, with job prospects expected to increase significantly in the coming years.

How can mental health counselors navigate a career change?

Mental health counselors can seek out resources and support, network, attend workshops, and explore online resources that provide guidance and insights into transitioning careers.

Is it possible to find fulfillment in a career change as a mental health counselor?

Yes, making a career change as a mental health counselor can lead to personal and professional growth, allowing you to make a meaningful impact on individuals and communities.

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