Four career options for those with a counseling degree
In life, there’s always a point where we find ourselves in a vulnerable spot. Staying rooted in that particular spot can have psychological implications, from being socially withdrawn to experiencing depression. In these circumstances, a little guidance is like the light at the end of the tunnel.
A counselor, in that regard, plays a massive role in an individual’s life facing a dark period. If you find peace by guiding someone in the right direction and helping them overcome obstacles, a career in counseling is indeed a true calling for you.
While it is only one aspect, there are several other reasons why you must consider becoming a counselor.
Reasons to become a counselor
There is no denying that other fields are meaningful but being a mental health professional is personally more rewarding. As a counselor, you treat patients and visibly see the results of your treatment.
The global health crisis recently led to lockdowns, confining people primarily to their homes. It caused an increase in mental health issues which simultaneously improved career prospects in the counseling sector.
There are several preconceived notions associated with the mental health field. For instance, it is commonly assumed that counselors only deal with psychological illnesses and are only confined to that particular role. However, counseling offers vast growth opportunities; for example, a social worker as counselor can help struggling adults improve their quality of life by actively participating in different activities.
These individuals, like every member, are of significant importance for the community’s prosperity. Although the mental health field is challenging, the rewards ultimately make up for stressors. With so much room for growth and rewards within the field, the challenges constitute a small percentage.
A counseling professional with exceptional skills and knowledge can dramatically change the lives of those going through a tough time in several ways. These include enhanced coping skills, higher functioning in general, and, most importantly, improved mental health.
If you want to play your part in helping others find their way out of the darkness with a counseling degree, there are numerous career options to choose from.
As a community health worker, your role is tailored to meet the needs of the society you serve. Besides that, several other factors influence your responsibilities depending on your education, years of experience, and the population you work with.
A health worker ensures that the health needs of every individual are met. Typical responsibilities include bridging the gap between vulnerable populations and healthcare providers and helping patients navigate the healthcare system.
Therefore, strategies like educating the stakeholders about health-related topics and health insurance plans are formulated.
Working as a community health worker requires you to work in geographical settings where people either have limited resources or lack access to quality healthcare.
A few key attributes an exceptional social health worker must have are problem-solving, verbal, and writing skills. They help address health concerns within the community and develop funding applications for various projects.
A psychotherapist is trained to help people suffering from various issues and improve their lives. Incorporating different scientific and psychotherapeutic methods, you diagnose a condition and establish a treatment plan accordingly.
Developing a professional relationship with a client is the most crucial aspect of reaching theroot cause of the problem. Through such relationships, you can extract information from a difficult client.
Another way of alleviating a patient’s suffering is helping them understand inner conflicts and work on ways to deal with them. A few common illnesses a psychotherapist can treat include depression, PTSD, anxiety, and intellectual disabilities.
In order to become a qualified psychotherapist, you must have a relevant state license, years of experience, solid diagnostic skills, and strong emotional connectivity.
As a therapist, you offer high-intensity CBT interventions like exposure therapy to assist patients in managing their recovery. Usually, you deal with 40-60 patients, with each session lasting around 45-60 minutes.
Some common disorders you are likely to treat are depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Treatment is either carried out face-to-face or in the form of therapeutic groups. Besides working independently, your role requires you to collaborate with other mental healthcare professionals like psychological well-being practitioners and employment advisers.
As a high-intensity therapist, your first order of task is to identify individuals who qualify for high-intensity interventions; after doing so, patients are encouraged to discuss their issues. After a diagnosis, treatment plans and improvement areas are designed for patients.
Although you are helping people deal with their issues, the job is sometimes challenging and puts you through a tough time psychologically. Therefore, in some cases, higher supervision is required when working.
Grief is a particular emotion that can impact our health for the worst and turn our world upside down, rendering us incapable of doing even the smallest of tasks.
Regardless of grief, time continues to pass, teaching us that we should also move forward. A grief counselor plays a significant role in understanding and implementing this thinking into our lives. They help clients find their way back from that stage of life where it’s easy for anyone to lose themselves.
The element that helps a counselor succeed at their job is the ability to lend an ear to the client, understand their feelings, and provide solutions.
While grief counseling is primarily about coming to terms with a loss of a loved one, there are several other areas on which grief counseling sheds a spotlight. These areas are helping individuals build a strong support system to carry on and creating a safe space to allow people to express their emotions.
Some techniques grief counselors implement in their practice are talking about the deceased person, addressing guilt associated with carrying on with life, and distinguishing grief from trauma. Though deciding to contact a grief counselor might not be easy, in the end, it will help make sense of things and change your life for the better.
Regardless of how strong we are, we need someone’s help to guide us through challenging times. That someone can be a counselor who positively impacts our lives.
In the mental health field, treating people experiencing psychological illnesses can emotionally wreck you, making the job more of a challenge. However, the hardships get washed away when you see the outcomes of your efforts.
So, if you want to contribute to society or help someone change their life, the counseling field is perfect for you. After getting a degree, you can explore several career options, from grief counselor to psychotherapist and community health worker.