Do you have a want to help other people? Are you a good listener? Do you have an interest in psychology? If so, a career as a counselor could be the perfect thing for you. Counselors help people to explore their emotions and feelings. They enable clients to reflect on their life and what is happening to them. They teach them to make better choices and to help them live a more fulfilling life. If this sounds like the sort of career you are interested in, read on to discover everything you need to know about it.
What skills do you need to be a counselor?
Let’s begin by taking a look at the skills you are going to need to become a counselor. The most important attributes to have are as follows:
- An appreciation of confidentiality issues
- A belief that all clients have the ability to make positive changes
- An understanding of your own responses and attitudes
- Sensitivity, tolerance, and patience
- Exceptional listening and observation skills
- A willingness to work with all types of people
- A non-judgemental outlook
What qualifications do you need to become a counselor?
This depends on the type of counseling you wish to go into. Of course, there are general courses available, and you do not actually need to have a degree in order to enter this field. Nevertheless, specialising in a masters in school counseling or something specific like this is a good way to differentiate yourself and increase your chances of bagging one of the better-paid jobs.
What are the responsibilities of a counsellor?
If you embark on this type of career, you are going to have many different types of responsibilities. This includes the following:
- Keeping records and using reporting tools
- Building relationships with clients that are built on respect and trust
- Undertaking individual and group therapy
- Liaise with other individuals and agencies to assist with making changes based on the problems that clients have raised
- Undertaking personal therapy
- Attending training courses and supervision
- Refer clients to other sources of help when necessary
- Helping clients to make choices and decisions regarding possible ways forward
- Challenging any inconsistencies with regards to what clients do and say
- Helping clients towards a deeper understanding of their concerns
- Accepting issues raised by clients without any bias or judgement
- Listening actively to your clients’ concerns and empathising with them
- Encouraging clients to talk about any issues they have and feel like they normally cannot share with other people
- Agreeing on counselling contracts with clients to determine what will be included in the sessions you provide
Hopefully, you now have a better idea regarding what it takes to be a counsellor and what you can expect from your job on a day-to-day basis. There is no denying that this can be a challenging career, but one that is exceptionally rewarding at the same time.