In the past, there was a lot of stigma around mental health. However, due to the increased awareness, people now know the importance of good mental health. So, people have started focusing more on their mental health and taking steps to improve it.
Consequently, this has also increased the demand for professionals who can help people overcome their mental health issues with their guidance and expertise. So, if you’re a career-minded individual with a passion for helping people, counseling might be the thing for you.
What Is a Counselor?
According to the American Counseling Association, counseling is a professional relationship that allows individuals or families to achieve mental health, education, wellness, and career goals. Counselors are professionals who help people overcome difficult situations in life. They offer guidance and use talk therapy and other techniques to help clients overcome their issues.
Counselors help client’s set goals, improve their self-esteem, improve coping skills, and overall help in improving their mental health. However, the role of a counselor is not limited to a clinical setting only. As a counselor, you can conduct research, work with children or families, work in schools and organizations, and much more.
To become a counselor, you will need a bachelor’s in counseling, psychology, or a related field. Then you can choose one of many counseling careers with a masters in counseling, such as vocational, educational, family, rehabilitation counseling, and more. In addition, you can also study further to improve your skills and expertise.
Reasons to pursue counseling as a career
Now that you know what counseling is, here are some of the reasons why it might be an excellent career choice for you.
- It is a great career for people interested in psychology
There is no doubt that psychology is an interesting field. It allows you to learn more about how our mind works and helps dictate behavior. It also helps in learning more about psychological disorders, behavioral issues, and much more.
So, if you are interested in psychology, a career in counseling can be great for you. It will not only help you learn more about the human mind but also enable you to make use of your knowledge to help other people overcome their problems.
- It is a rewarding career
The counseling relationship is beneficial not only for the client but for the counselor as well. As a counselor, you will meet people from all walks of life. And each one of your clients will come to you for help with various issues.
Helping your clients will allow you to witness positive changes and growth in their lives. You will see your advice and treatment strategies have a noticeable positive effect on your client’s life. So, a career in counseling can be incredibly beneficial and rewarding for you.
- It allows you to achieve a work-life balance
Many counseling careers, such as freelance counseling or private practice, allow you to set your hours. So, you can work during nontraditional hours and set appointments according to your previous commitments or your client’s needs.
You can also easily choose how many clients you see in a day and how long you work. This allows you to achieve a work-life balance and prevents burnout as well.
- It allows you to work almost anywhere
Counselors play an important role in various settings. You can work in schools, offices, clinics, research centers, and more. So, if you have to relocate for any reason, you can still find a job easily wherever you go.
In addition, you can also schedule online appointments with clients. This way you can work from anywhere.
- It gives you a feeling of purpose
A career in counseling offers a sense of purpose and meaning to your life. During counseling, you help many people overcome challenging situations. It allows you to connect with and relate to people on another level and helps make a difference in people’s lives.
- It offers many opportunities for career growth
The need for professional, experienced counselors is growing day by day. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, positions for mental health, substance abuse, and behavioral disorders counselors are projected to grow by 22% by 2031. This projected growth rate is higher than average and much better than other fields.
In addition, the average annual pay for mental health professionals is estimated to be around $72,640. So, if you are looking for a job that pays well and has plenty of room for growth in the future, counseling is the perfect choice for you.
- It is a suitable career for good listeners
One of the main therapies used in counseling is talk therapy. Talk therapy involves communication between the counselor and the client to identify and solve the client’s crisis. And to implement this technique properly, you must be a good listener. So, if you love listening to people and are genuinely interested in hearing and solving their problems, a career in counseling can be great for you.
- It allows you to work with different people
Counselors can work with diverse clients and tackle unique issues daily. For example, you can help veterans adjust to life outside the military, help them deal with disease, or overcome PTSD. Similarly, you might get to work with families and help them resolves issues they might have with one another. Counselors also work with people struggling with drug addiction, behavioral problems, and more.
People have started to realize that taking care of mental health is crucial for your overall well-being. This has consequently increased the need for trained mental health professionals, such as counselors.
A career in counseling can be beneficial for you in many ways. Counseling is a rewarding career that helps give you a sense of purpose and boosts personal growth.
In addition, it offers career growth and allows you to work flexible hours. So, if you are looking for a way to use your passion for helping people, counseling might be your best career choice.