Starting A Counseling Career
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Explore Counseling Career Information and Find the Right Path for You
If you are considering becoming a counselor it is important to take some time and to learn as much as you can about which type of patients you would be best suited to help. Every one of us has special traits, empathies, attributes and interests that would make us better counselors in certain areas. Becoming a counselor can be incredibly rewarding, but it will be vastly more rewarding if you use your gifts to bolster your education and to truly develop into the best counselor you can be.
We have compiled a list of the most prevalent areas of counseling that are available to you. Make sure to take your time and read the career description, as well as what the experts that have come before you have to say about their work and their careers in the field.
With this information you will have armed yourself with a much better understanding of what awaits you in a counseling career, as well as pointing you in the direction of which specialization best fits you.
Featured Counseling Degree Program
Army Mental Health Specialist
What Is an Army Mental Health Specialist? Members of the armed forces, like the Army, often have difficult times - to say the least - when it comes to staying mentally and emotionally stable. These brave men and women go through grueling training, and are separated from their families when they’re shipped overseas to live in an unfamiliar world amidst Continue Reading
Career counselors help prepare their clients for the start, change, or advancement of their career. They provide consulting, coaching, and counseling so that clients can explore their interests and options more in-depth. The counselors take things like personality, aptitude, interests, personality, and behavior into consideration as they help guide clients towards careers that will make them happy.
Child Abuse Counselor
Child abuse counselors have the demanding and rewarding job of helping victims of serious child abuse try to rebuild their psyche, trust, and happiness. They use their training to identify, analyze, and treat specific symptoms of child abuse and they provide crucial therapy to help the child overcome their awful ordeal. Some of that therapy can involve playing, or encouraging children to speak their minds, or even working with the family to ensure the child is provided a safe and comfortable environment to continue their development.
Child counselors are specifically trained to provide outpatient counseling treatment services for children, adolescents, and their families. They perform assessments for specific issues such as ADHD and autism and they also offer counseling services for children with behavioral, social, or emotional issues. They use their training to help families identify and treat issues in children such as weight disorders, anger problems, or social anxiety disorders.
Community Mental Health Counselor
Community Mental Health Counselors are mental health professionals who provide therapy, consulting, and coaching to people who are having issues in a community setting. These counselors are well-versed in the makeup of their community and they try to help clients understand their relationship to that community and help identify and treat issues and problems that arise out of the community setting. They are often charged with helping people adjust to and understand their community better as to minimize issues and promote mental health for everyone.
Conflict resolution is the art and science of resolving disputes in healthy and mutually agreed-upon ways. When handled correctly, conflict can actually be a good thing that leads to teamwork and better communication. When handled incorrectly, it can permanently damage relationships, slow progress and create even larger issues. A conflict resolution mediator is essential in a variety of professional fields and can often same companies or people time and money that would have been otherwise wasted.
The role of a Couples Counselor is rather straightforward. Couples Counselors are absolutely trained psychologists who are specifically tasked with helping couples of all ages lead happy and healthy relationships. In some cases this can mean dealing with serious mental and emotional issues and in other cases in can mean helping couples understand themselves and how they affect each other. Marriage and Family Therapists are very similar to Couples Counselors and their roles are the same.
Depression counselors are specifically trained to deal with the mental, emotional, and physical issues that can arise out of depression. Depression counselors don’t just prescribe medication, they try to drill down to the root cause of the depression and help clients identify steps they can take to overcome the depression. Helping clients understand why they are depressed and helping them through the steps to recovery can have a profound impact on the quality of life for the clients.
Domestic Violence Counselor
Domestic violence is one of the more prevalent issues that take place in the home setting and domestic violence counselors are the ones who help victims of domestic abuse deal with and overcome their traumatic experiences. Their training helps them identify certain adverse effects of domestic violence and they can then help the patient slowly work to treat and combat those effects. They provide an important therapy for clients in need of understanding of their trauma and someone to listen to their issues.
Geriatric counselors provide treatment, analysis, and counseling services to seniors and their families. The counselors are considered experts and have specialized training and knowledge of common mental health issues that are known to affect seniors in particular. They can assess, identify and treat problems so that seniors can understand the issues they face and work to overcome them and live comfortably. These services are usually provided to seniors who live in long-term care and residential facilities, and help these seniors live a fulfilling and comfortable life.
Grief counselors are usually licensed therapists who help people cope with the grief and sense of loss that usually follows the death of a loved one, a particularly emotional divorce, or another tragic life experience. Coping can happen in a number of different ways and grief counselors are adept at identifying what method of counseling or treatment works with each individual. They try to help clients not only deal with that grief, but also help those clients deal with the grief while they continue to be productive members of society.
Most think of guidance counselors in the school setting and it is true, most guidance counselors work in schools. But on a more general level, guidance counselors are not just solely responsible with helping students make wise educational and career choices. They can also provide young adults with career advice and help students of all ages adjust socially to the school environment to fulfill their potential in the classroom. They can be found in primary and secondary schools and even in post-secondary institutions as well but many can also be found working career centers and job-placement organizations too.
Licensed Professional Counselor
Licensed professional counselors provide a variety of different kinds of care to patients. LPCs are trained to provide mental, emotional and even physical care for patients suffering from everything from abuse, addiction and even depression. They can work with individuals, couples, or families and really can identify and treat a large swath of issues. Licensed professional counselors are some of the most common mental health professionals in the workplace. They can be employed everywhere from hospitals and community health organizations to elder care facilities and rehab clinics.
Marriage & Family Counselor
What Is Marriage and Family Counseling? Despite many people looking forward to "happily ever after", this doesn't always happen. Many relationships and families aren't perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, and some have so many problems that they seem irreparable. However, contrary to what some may believe, happy marriages and peaceful families are possible. They just take a little Continue Reading
Mental Health Counselor
What Is Mental Health Counseling? Life is full of frustration and difficult times. Most adults will usually have to deal with such things as balancing family and career life, and paying bills that they can’t afford. These stressful times can be very hard to get through and extremely overwhelming for some. Not coping with this type of stress in a Continue Reading
Multi Cultural Counselor
What Is Multi-Cultural Counseling? It’s no secret that the population in this country continues to rise. This increase can be attributed not only to longer lifespans and births, but also to an increasing amount of immigrants to this country. America has one of the most culturally diverse populations in the world, with individuals from every corner of the globe making Continue Reading
Pastoral counselors are psychologically trained ministers of faith who are responsible for tending to the physical and emotional needs of their followers or congregations. They work within the religious community and are a result of the belief that therapy can be combined with faith and science. They can help followers with a wide range of afflictions including family issues, depression, abuse and substance issues.
Rehabilitation counselors are responsible for treating patients with physical, mental, or emotional issues so that they can live as independently as possible. Trained at the graduate level, rehabilitation counselors deal with psychological and physical issues that affect patients including post-traumatic stress disorders and severe brain injuries. They combine the knowledge to help patients understand and overcome their disability.
School counselors are responsible for all aspects of their students’ educational life from academic achievement to social adjustment to even career selection and development. They work within the school infrastructure to support and foster academic success as well as personal and social development. They help ensure their students remain well-adjusted and prepared for whatever lies ahead.
Spiritual counselors deal with patients who have suffered spiritual trauma or dissatisfaction and they help these patients get in touch with their spirituality, understand what is afflicting them, and overcome or deal with that issue. These counselors combine their spiritual or religious knowledge with an in-depth understanding of the psychology behind the issues so that their patients can live happy and fulfilling lives.
Substance abuse is an unfortunate issue for thousands of people across the country and substance abuse counselors are ones trained to help people understand the motivations behind their substance abuse issue, and then help people overcome and defeat those issues. They have psychological and physiological training that helps them understand emotional and mental issues of substance abuse as well as the physical ones.
Suicide Intervention Counselor
Suicide Intervention counselors have some of the most stressful and rewarding jobs as they are specifically training in the psychology behind suicidal feelings and depression and their job is to help patients with suicidal thoughts think more positively and continue to live a fulfilling and rewarding life. These counselors are trained to identify motivations behind suicidal thoughts and help the patients deal with those motivations so they can gain more self-confidence and self-worth.
Transformational counselors offer an alternative form of mental and physical healing that focuses on self-improvement, spiritual healing, and deeper life satisfaction. The counselors combine traditional psychological knowledge with alternative methods for inner-healing to help patients find a greater sense of purpose, excitement, joy, and self-satisfaction.
With more than five million veterans in the country, veterans’ counselors have their hands full assisting the nation’s heroes with a myriad of physical, emotional, mental, or social problems that can arise in people who have experienced combat. Veterans’ counselors help their patients identify the root of their issues and then help them adjust to a more traditional life by helping them treat and cope with the issues.
Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
Severe and permanent disabilities can be crippling to a person's career and daily life. Vocational rehabilitation counselors are specifically trained to help people with such disabilities cope with these disabilities by helping them find jobs and live on their own. These disabilities can be wide-ranging and can include physical, mental and emotional disabilities. They can also include severe mental illnesses and substance abuse issues. They work with these patients to help them learn to live more active lives and, more importantly, secure gainful employment.