How can you become a Counsellor


Image via Flickr creative commons from Alan Cleaver

Counselling psychology  like many modern psychology specialities originated around World War II as the U.S. Military has a strong need for vocational placement and training. As far as rewarding careers go, if you are good with people then you need not look any further than a career in counselling. Counsellors help people to explore their emotions that are often related to their experiences. This helps clients reflect on how these experiences can affect their lives and may offer insight into an alternative means of dealing with these issues. Counsellors do not typically give advice, more that they help clients to reach their own conclusions and decide their own course of action. There are many different models of counselling depending on what institution you work within. Some experiences and situations almost all counsellors will find themselves in include;

–        establishing a relationship of trust and respect

–        encouraging clients to discuss sensitive or embarrassing subjects

–        actively listening to their clients and emphasising with their situation

–        accepting without bias the issues raised by the client

–        challenging any inconsistencies they notice the client saying or doing

–        undertaking personal therapy

Counselling jobs are extremely varied and it is guaranteed that each day will be totally different and new challenges will arise constantly. Currently there is a swell in demand for counsellors and psychotherapist. Whether you choose to train in counselling or psychotherapy mainly depends on what work you see yourself doing in the future. If you wish to work somewhere such as a GP practice or school where you will be dealing with issues such as health problems and depression then chances are you may wish to train as a counsellor. Alternatively, psychotherapists will deal with more private individual based therapy over a longer term with clients. Psychotherapy training takes longer, and you will be required to undergo your own personal therapy, counsellors are also advised to but may not be required to. A British student can typically expect to find themselves studying to become accredited for up to 3 years, whereas psychotherapy can take up to 5 years. There are also introductory courses available that may help you deciding whether counselling is the right path for you. Lasting about 80 hours covers many modules related to counselling and is ideal for people with little to no prior experience or knowledge of counselling. More information on the different specialities available can be found at the counsellors guide or for more advice for counselling students visit BACP. Online learning centres such as NCC Home Learning offer a wide range of courses including an amazing counselling course.

There are many different types of counsellor, from marriage counsellors, grievance counsellors to therapists dealing with sexual health or mental health problems. You will not really need to decide what area suits you best until you are on a course, chances are you will find your niche while learning. You can perform a test online that may help you decide what kind of counsellor you should be, check it out here Alternatively if you want to find an accredited counsellor near you there are a many directories or search engines online such as the counselling directory.

Counselling really can cover an extremely large range of topics including career counselling,  credit counselling, crisis management, emotional therapy, existential counselling, genetic counselling, intervention, postvention, relationship counselling, suicide intervention and telephone counselling to name just a few. It is truly a diverse and wide ranged career path with many options available to those willing to train. If you enjoy helping people and are a good listener capable of viewing topics as objectively as possible then counselling may be for you.