Sometimes, having an objective listener by your side can make all the difference in the world. That is precisely what a professional counselor does. They identify an individual’s needs after carefully listening to the patient’s concerns.
If you are someone who likes listening to their friends’ concerns and issues and wants to do the job full-time, here are some careers in counseling that you should consider.
Counselor vs a Psychologist vs a Psychiatrist
Contrary to popular belief, the specialties of counseling, psychology, and psychiatry are vastly different. Even though there are some key similarities, as a counselor, you will only need to secure a Master’s Degree to start your practice professionally. You will be provided, more or less, the same treatments and a psychologist.
Becoming a psychologist requires a doctoral degree. Not only will you be studying for additional years, but most states also require psychologists to work with mentors during their first few years.
The profession of a psychiatrist stands out among all these roles. The discipline requires a medical degree, and they are allowed to prescribe medication.
The primary duty of a school counselor is to help the students work through their personal or academic difficulties. You will be working closely with the children to help them tackle challenging home life, bullying, disabilities, toxic relationships, and poor academic performance. You will work alongside the school and its students to build and nurture a positive learning environment.
Even though the environment can be challenging, you will be responsible for playing a significant part in shaping the minds of the future. To work as a school counselor, you will be required to secure a master’s degree and take continuing education classes regularly in order to keep the license.
As a family counselor, your focus will be to dissect the problems within the home. You will provide guidance and support for marital issues, infertility, conflicts, anxiety, and substance abuse. In case of domestic abuse, you may also end up working with the authorities. Your counseling should aim to direct the family towards goals and build a wellness approach to help them with their specific issues. You will be coming up with strategies to help a patient cope with death, divorce, and even child behavioral problems.
Mental Health Counselor
Being a mental health counselor can be challenging. You will be working with individuals riddled with anxiety, depression, trauma, and anxiety. The field considers a variety of mental impairments and, after building a history of the patient’s health, works towards treatment plans.
One strategy that mental health counselors often use is Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). You can take unlimited Zoom NLP training sessions to learn techniques that can help you achieve the desired outcomes with your patient by changing their thoughts and behavior. To start a career as a mental health counselor, you will need to secure a mental health counseling degree.
Substance Abuse Counselor
You can find substance abuse counselors working in rehabilitation centers and hospitals. Substance abuse counselors’ practice may involve treating a variety of addictions and is not limited to alcoholism. You will be working with individuals to test different strategies that help to, at first, limit and eventually stop the abuse.
Your practice will also equip you with the skills to help patients deal with withdrawal symptoms. You will also offer them a ton of literature and exercises to prevent substance abuse from happening again. An excellent way to enter the field is to secure a degree in substance abuse counseling.
Even though pastoral counselors are not typical, they can be found in churches, correctional facilities, and prisons. Their crucial role is to work with individuals who are questioning and struggling with their faith. A pastoral counselor provides spiritual support along with emotional support. Often, families and faith-based organizations and institutions hire pastoral counselors for their services.
Unlike other branches in the counseling profession, there are no set criteria for becoming a pastoral counselor.
Even though all counseling jobs on the list can be challenging, perhaps the most prolonged hours and on-call shifts can be observed in the profession of the residential counselor. Obtaining the degree will equip you with the skills to care for people who are unable to look after themselves in their homes.
You will be required to develop programs, work with distressed residents, schedule and lead group meetings, design recovery strategies, and provide intervention during crises. You will also be required to be present at the facility for extended periods in case of emergencies.
Human behavior is complex, and you will always be studying to understand more about it. Even though it may seem challenging at times, a career in counseling pays off in multiple ways. You can work with a multinational organization, start your practice, and volunteer extra time to spread good in the community.