A career in counseling requires empathy, intelligence, and professionalism. Using your passion to help others become the best version of themselves leads to a rewarding career. As you progress through your undergraduate studies, take the time to consider the type of counseling services you would like to provide.
Selecting an appropriate undergraduate program can help you be a more effective therapist. While most students pursue a bachelor’s degree in sociology or psychology, consider your final career path when determining your undergraduate degree program. As soon as you consider a career in counseling, begin researching good programs for counseling education. Here are some types of counseling services that may interest you.
Elementary through high school counselors are an integral part of the education process. These professionals help students develop the social, behavioral, and academic skills required to become successful students. Many school counselors moderate drug prevention, bullying, and domestic abuse programs. Consider obtaining your bachelor’s degree in education to help understand the school system.
Career counselors work with all ages of people as they transition from one stage of their life to another. Most people associate this degree path with the education system. However, many adults experiencing job loss find them beneficial. They can help determine if additional training is necessary for the career path. Career counselors assist job seekers with writing resumes and cover letters. Obtaining an undergraduate degree in business is beneficial.
Substance Abuse Counselor
Patients that struggle with gambling, alcohol, drugs, and sex addiction work closely with addiction counselors. A growing number of substance abuse therapists help people with eating disorders and related symptoms. In addition to one-on-one therapy, addiction counselors lead group therapy sessions. They typically work crisis counseling hotlines to provide front-line assistance to people in need.
Marriage and Family Counselor
Marriage and family counselors train to improve communication strategies between spouses, parents, and children. These certified counselors help families dealing with loss, illness, or trauma. Marriage and family counselors should prepare themselves for a combination of group and individual sessions.
Mental Health Counselor
Patients dealing with anxiety, trauma, or suicidal thoughts benefit from mental health counselors. They assist in diagnosing psychiatric and emotional disorders in patients. The therapist and patient work together to develop coping strategies to help them manage their thoughts and behaviors. Many counselors moderate specific programs for at-risk individuals. They typically work in medical settings, such as inpatient treatment centers.
Grief counselors assist people in walking through the grieving process. They help people express their pain and regain control of their life. Grief counselors partner with their patients to develop resources to help them cope with their reaction to sorrow.
Pediatric counselors help children of all ages manage their emotions, trauma, or grief. They specialize in the unique needs of youth patients and often see a wide variety of issues. These counselors often work in schools, but many prefer private practice.
There are additional certification programs you may be required to obtain, depending on the career path you choose. Be sure to understand the state’s certification requirements and incorporate that into your education plan.