Trauma and crisis counselors learn the skills and practices specific to crisis counseling, including theories of crisis intervention and models for working with children and adolescents. They help couples and families overcome health-related, school, and mental health crises, including interventions with suicidal clients and victims of abuse. Job settings typically include private practices, healthcare facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes, correctional facilities, and community centers.
Steps Toward an MS in Trauma & Crisis Counseling
To become a trauma and crisis counselor, requirements vary significantly by state. Successful students typically complete the following steps:
- Earn proper undergraduate degree (requirements vary by state). Common undergraduate degrees include Bachelor of Science programs in education, psychology, or human services.
- Earn proper graduate degree (requirements vary by state) from an accredited institution like Capella, Kaplan, Liberty, or Walden University. Typically includes completing a Master of Science degree with a focus in trauma and crisis counseling.
- Obtain proper licensure. Licensure requirements differ greatly by state, occupational specialty, and work setting.
- Consider certification options. Some counselors elect to be certified by the National Board for Certified Counselors, which grants a general practice credential of National Certified Counselor. While voluntary and distinct from state licensing, in some states, those who pass the national exam are exempt from taking a State certification exam.
Professionals in the field should consider membership with the American Counseling Association (ACA). A subdivision of the ACA focuses specifically on disaster mental health and trauma. The ACA offers many online resources as part of their traumatology network and also work closely with the American Red Cross.
My Degree and What It’s Worth
A trauma and crisis counselor is typically responsible for the following job duties:
- Teach people how to positively deal with grief, trauma and major life-changing incidents.
- Provide personal and vocational counseling.
- Offer case management support and guidance.
- Arrange for medical care, vocational training, job placement and other outside services.
Annual salary varies within the profession based on specific type of job, location, and experience. For more on your earning potential in the field of trauma and crisis counseling, please visit our salary outlook for counselors page.
Online MS in Trauma and Crisis Degree Programs
- Grand Canyon University: MS in Professional Counseling with an Emphasis in Trauma
- Liberty University: MA in Human Services – Crisis Response and Trauma
- Walden University: Master of Social Work – Crisis and Trauma
Closely Related Programs
The following degrees are closely related to a master’s degree program in trauma and crisis counseling, often allowing you to pursue a career in this field or others: