3 Skills Necessary To Get Ahead In The Behavioral Health Services Industry

Before working in any field, it’s important to evaluate how your skills align with your chosen career. However, it’s especially important if you’re thinking of working in behavioral health services. You’re at the forefront of behavior and mental health treatment for patients, and if you don’t have the skills needed to succeed, then they won’t find success either. While there are many skills you need to embody, here are three of that are key to success.

#1: Organization Skills

Whether you’re counseling on the road as a mobile therapist or working in an office, you need to keep your notes and files organized. Having an organization system will keep you focused on the task at hand, provide quick reference before patient meetings, and allow you to provide accurate diagnosis and advice. Also, by staying organized, you’ll have a more flexible schedule that enables decompressing time between patients, allowing for a more balanced, less stressed day.

Find an organization system that works for you, and stick to it. You can file between patients, take time at the end of your day, or find another method for your work pace. Organization will be a key skill in seeing your patients succeed.

#2: Communication Skills

Quality communication skills can come in many forms — listening to a patient’s story, understanding body language, asking the right questions, and providing judgment free discussions. Communication doesn’t just mean talking to patients, but also actively listening to what they are (and sometimes are not) saying, and responding appropriately. Listening and conversing are instrumental to a successful career in behavioral health services.

Communication skills enable you to accurately diagnose and evaluate patients, and develop a course of action. Communicating effectively also allows you to model these skills to special needs patients who might struggle socially or with language.

#3: Relationship-Building Skills

When you communicate effectively and stay organized, you can develop stronger relationships with patients. These relationship-building skills are of the utmost importance — without them, you won’t be able to connect with patients and build trust. Without trust, patients will fear judgment, and will be hesitant to open up and work with you. Relationship-building skills are key to a successful career in behavioral health services, regardless of the position.

Through organization, communication, and building relationships with the individuals in your care, you can model the skills patients need to navigate their personal relationships and improve their interpersonal skills. These three skills don’t stand alone, but are intertwined. Without them, you’ll struggle to meet the needs of patients. But with them, you’ll surely succeed in your career, so your patients can succeed in life.

Pathways is one of the largest national providers of accessible, outcome-based behavioral and mental health services. Pathways of Pennsylvania has been serving communities in Pennsylvania since 1981, and is comprised of four companies: Children’s Behavioral Health, Inc., Pathways Community Services, LLC, Raystown Developmental Services, Inc., and The ReDCo Group, Inc. We believe every individual has a right to lead a meaningful and positive life, and we are changing lives, one day at a time.