How Do I Become a Crisis Intervention Specialist?

If you would like to counsel people who are suffering from distress, you might want to consider becoming a specialist who works in a crisis intervention center. Crisis counselors play an important role in supporting individuals of all ages who are coping with grief, loss or other distress that can arise in a crisis situation. As an intervention specialist, you can counsel clients and also act as a client’s advocate when they are in need of social services. The goal is to help the patient deal with distressing issues so that they can start living a normal life once again. If this sounds like something you would like to do, here are the steps that you must take:

Step 1: Decide Where You Want to Work

There are a variety of different settings that you can work as a crisis counselor or an intervention specialist. It is important to plan out your career path before you start to map out the educational path that you will take to qualify for open positions. You can work with state agencies, schools, and non-profit organizations to name a few. Jobs with state and federal agencies tend to require more education than others. Some of the different types of positions you might be interested in are:

* Telephone crisis specialist
* Crisis counselor with VA hospitals or FEMA
* Domestic abuse counselor
* Sexual assault counselor through a local police department
* Interventionist through local non-profits who provide counseling and work with state agencies

Step 2: Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree

If you want to work in crisis counseling, the first step is to earn a bachelor’s degree in a related area of study like psychology, sociology, counseling or social work. Be sure to review the curriculum requirements of the program that you take to ensure that you are taking all of the prerequisites that you will need to get into a graduate or certification program. As long as you take an accredited counseling program, you should be fine.

Step 3: Consider Getting Certified

While a bachelor’s degree will generally help you qualify for most intervention specialist positions, pursuing certification in crisis counseling can really help you get the attention that you need to get hired by state agencies, police departments, and hospitals. The certification program offered through the American Institute of Healthcare Professionals is a very respected one. Here are some of the courses that you will take to get a specialized knowledge in crisis counseling:

* Intervention theory
* Intervention assessment and treatment
* Clinical stress management
* Crisis and trauma counseling
* Relaxation strategies
* Treatment planning

Step 4: Consider Studying Another Language

If you want to work in a specific region, be sure to learn about the area’s population. When there is a huge population of individuals who speak another language, it can be helpful to study that language. Being bi-lingual is a huge positive when you’re trying to earn the workforce as a social worker specializing in crisis therapy.

The demand for counselors who work with patients in crisis is high. In fact, the field is expected to grow by 22 percent by the year 2024. By studying for your Bachelor’s degree now and getting certified, you can find a position in state agencies, prisons or hospitals when the need for crisis intervention specialists is the highest.