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How to Become a Counselor

Among psychology sub-disciplines, counseling involves the most direct psychologist-to-patient interaction.Counselors help people learn to deal with traumatic events and cope with emotional issues by:

  1. talking to them
  2. listening
  3. encouraging them to explore and overcome whatever may be troubling them

Counselors have available to them a number of therapeutic techniques, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which allow them to help patients untangle complex emotional states and learn to think and feel in a more functional manner about whatever is troubling them.

People in counseling jobs serve as guides to their patients, directing them in understanding themselves and the problems they may be experiencing.  Counseling as such generally does not include the prescribing of medication or any other explicitly medical treatment, but is focused on talking, writing, and other low-impact, non-invasive therapies.

You may encounter people working in counseling in a number of different places.

Counselors are frequently found in:

  • hospitals
  • clinics
  • other medical facilities

They often talk to patients and families to provide comfort and understanding regarding:

  • addictions
  • rehabilitation
  • loss of loved ones
  • traumatic events
  • other situations

Where do Counselors work?

You will frequently see counseling offices in schools and other educational institutions, where they work with people in school psychology positions to help students with behavioral and emotional troubles, and provide them with someone to talk about their problems with.

There are counseling jobs in the corporate workplace as well, as many companies have discovered the benefit of having a therapeutic presence on-site to provide employees with an understanding ear.

Counseling positions can be found in many other situations where employees, customers, or anyone else can benefit from having someone to talk to about issues and concerns.

What are the requirements to become a counselor?

To become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), you will generally need to:

  • have a master’s degree in counseling, psychology, or a related field
  • complete specific coursework requirements
  • pass licensing exam for certification

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