With what seems like almost weekly tragedies occurring at the hands of unbalanced individuals wielding guns, mental illness is receiving lots of attention in the national spotlight. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 18.5% of adults, aged eighteen and older, had been diagnosed with a mental illness during 2013. This percentage represented 43.8 million adults living in the U.S.
It’s worth noting that this figure does not include those who are hospitalized in a mental health institution, but rather functioning within society. College and university counseling centers are increasingly seeing students who are dealing with serious mental illness; national surveys show the number has more than doubled within the past ten years.
The mental health crises is also affecting corporate America; employers report that employee absences due to depression results in more than $50 billion in costs.
Nearly two-thirds of those with a psychiatric diagnosis receive no mental health care. Today’s mental health professionals, perhaps more than ever, will need to be able to demonstrate they are strong advocates not only for their clients but the field itself.
Sampling of Possible Interview Questions for Mental Health Counselors
If you were in charge of the National Institute of Mental Health, what would be the first thing you would do to address the severe shortage of mental health treatment in this country?
Who sets the pace of therapeutic change?
How do you develop a therapeutic alliance?
What methods do you use when facilitating treatment adherence?
Is there any type of client you refuse to treat?
How do you ensure continued professional growth?
How should we address the increase in serious mental illness among college students?
Have you ever found yourself “mothering” a client?
What is one of your biggest growing edges as a mental health professional?
Do you practice in your own life that which you find important for your clients?
Is counseling more of an art or a science?
How do you make sure to match the pace of the session to the client’s needs?
Have you ever used an approach that wasn’t evidence-based?
Are you more solution-focused or process-oriented?
What is your definition of an authentic human being?
Have you ever found yourself expressing intolerance for a patient?
How do ensure appropriate self-disclosure?
Give an example of a time you used silence in a session.
Discuss the following: Therapeutic alliance trumps theory.
Do you always have an intended outcome when working with a client?
Do you seek systematic feedback from your clients about outcomes?