4 Skills to Upgrade to Improve Your Career as a Behavioral Health Professional

You’re passionate about working in the behavioral health field. Helping patients is something you enjoy and find genuinely fulfilling.  

The job you currently have is great, but as an ambitious professional, you’re always focused on the next step of your career. In addition to constantly learning new abilities, you understand the importance of working to enhance those you currently possess.  

Here’s a look at four skills you probably already have that are crucial to success as a behavioral health professional. Investing the time and energy to further develop these abilities will boost your career potential. 

4 Skills to Upgrade to Improve Your Behavioral Health Career


By now, you’ve certainly realized that no two patients are the same. What works for one person might fail miserably for another because there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all treatment plan. Therefore, it’s important to customize your strategy to fit each patient 

Solutions also aren’t always straightforward, so it often takes a bit of trial and error to determine the right approach. You have to be willing to make changes as needed and keep trying new ideas until you find something that works. This can feel stressful at times, so go into each new situation expecting to make adjustments along the way. 


Behavioral health professionals need to be extremely detail-oriented because it’s often the little clues that are the most telling. Seemingly small behaviors or pieces of information from patients can offer insights that help you provide better treatment. 

Additionally, this line of work also requires maintaining patient records. These are important both for you to reference as needed and also for other members of the person’s healthcare team. Ensuring records are updated, accurate, and detailed is crucial, so you need to be highly organized. Doing so will help you keep track of several patients at once while providing the highest quality of care. 

Active Listening 

As you know, listening to patients is a huge part of working as a behavioral health professional. Perfecting the art of active listening will allow you to better serve patients because it makes them feel heard. Instead of simply remaining silent, you listen carefully to what the other person is saying while paraphrasing and asking questions  at appropriate pauses, without interrupting them. 

Taking this approach lets the patient know you’re fully engaged in the conversation and want to help. Responding in a non-judgmental manner while providing non-verbal feedback — i.e., maintaining eye contact — shows the patient you care, while helping you stay focused. 

Stress Management 

Working in the behavioral health field can be emotionally draining  no matter how much you enjoy your job. Consequently, having the ability to leave work at the office is a must. Finding healthy ways to relax and relieve stress in your free time can help you avoid burnout. You won’t be as effective with your patients if you don’t take care of yourself, so understand the importance of managing stress and make it a priority. 

Interested in taking the next step in your career? If you would like to learn more about how we can help you find your next behavioral health position, contact us today at (513) 651-9500 or by email at info@psychpros.com. 


Tagged: , ,