Counseling is not strictly a professional concept. Since the dawn of time, people have acted as counselors to their children, grandchildren, and friends in a non-professional capacity. We’ve all asked for guidance or advice from friends or a family member whenever we’ve faced a problem and needed another perspective or opinion to find a solution. Non-professional emotional support does not require training or prior experience as it merely involves giving advice, providing support, and consoling the troubled, according to your wisdom.
So, what exactly differentiates professional counseling from our simple support system – let’s get right into it.
What Is Counseling?
Counseling is a professional relationship between a counselor and an individual, a family, or a group to achieve mental health, self-realization, wellness, education, and career goals. Unlike casual counselors, professional counselors do not give advice, try to “solve” client issues, or communicate with the client according to their value system. Rather, the clients are encouraged to identify possible solutions to their problems through a piloted guidance system. The goal is to develop and strengthen personal value systems and improve self-esteem, mental health, and coping mechanisms.
In this article, you will discover ten reasons to study counseling to decide if it’s the right fit for you.
- Make a Difference
Very few professions are as mentally and emotionally rewarding as counseling. Counseling offers a brilliant chance to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the people you interact with. Guiding people through their troubled times and complicated emotions will make you feel better as a professional and a human being. If you want to bring positive change to people’s lives, consider enrolling yourself in a course like the online counseling masters to better equip yourself with the best counseling tools and practices.
- Treat Mental Health Effectively
Even in this age of rampant mental health awareness campaigns, many cultures stigmatize mental health issues. Counselors have a brilliant chance to reverse this bias by effectively applying their knowledge and skills. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly one in five US adults live with a mental illness. Counseling gives you an excellent chance to bring these numbers down and create an empathetic world for mental health patients.
- Broaden Your Views
While counseling, you are bound to interact with clients from diverse backgrounds and social values. It compels you to get out of your comfort zone and broadens your views. You also learn about various perspectives, behaviors, and psychological complexities that otherwise you would never have been familiar with. You learn to think out of the box, be empathetic, and try to design a pathway that resonates the best with your client’s values.
- Yield Real-Life Benefits
Unlike many other professions, counseling is not something that stays in your office. You can take your counseling knowledge and skills with you wherever you go. Console a friend, uplift a stranger, or lend a listening ear to a family member. Feel free to utilize the real-life benefits of your profession anywhere you go. No rule says that you cannot apply your counseling strategies to transform into a better version of yourself, so feel free to stride inwards if the need arises.
- Choose the Field That Interests You
Perhaps the most attractive feature of counseling studies is that you have a wide range of specialties. Whether you prefer to guide the younger generation as an education counselor or deal with relationship issues as a couples’ counselor, you will find a counseling area that interests you.
Some of the most popular counseling fields are:
- Education Counseling
- Relationship Counseling
- Art Therapy
- Trauma Counseling
- Enjoy Flexible Workhours
Flexible work hours have become the number one priority of the global workforce, especially after Covid. That is why remote and hybrid work models have become so popular in the last two years. Counseling, as a profession, is extremely flexible. You can schedule your sessions according to your commitments and lifestyle.
Enjoy complete autonomy over your work-life balance and never worry about burnout.
- Gain a Purpose
Counseling is far more than a profession. For many, it’s a way to gain a sense of purpose in this chaotic pandemic-stricken world. Interacting with troubled people, guiding them, hearing their stories, and then teaching them how to cope with the problems opens a whole new world of perspectives and possibilities for you. When you see someone feeling better because of your efforts, you automatically feel good about what you do. Very few professions offer this sense of fulfillment.
- Upskill Your Current Profession
Counseling is not just for people who are fresh out of college and looking for a professional direction. If you are already working in a field that requires counseling, for example, education, healthcare, human resource, etc., you may benefit from an additional qualification that offers upgraded skills. Industry professionals can opt to study counseling to upskill their existing portfolios.
People need professional counseling to develop self-esteem or manage anger in work settings, communicate effectively and deal with authority figures effectively. Mental and emotional strength can ensure career growth and changes efficiently.
Knowledge-based workers worldwide are upgrading their skills to excel in their respective careers and add value to professional lives.
- Professionalize Your Existing Skills
Some people are naturally good at counseling other people in a non-professional capacity. People may prefer such non-professional counselors when they are in emotional turmoil. However, they need a professional counselor for organized, systematic support to grow as a result of challenging times, to resolve conflicts, and heal wounds. If you identify as an individual who is naturally gifted with counseling skills, you may consider professionalizing your existing skills. That way, you will be able to help more people from diverse backgrounds, but you will also be able to monetize your skills along the way.
- Contribute to A Cause You Believe In
Many people who opt for counseling study come from troubled backgrounds or have experienced traumas growing up. Their unmet needs fuel their passion for helping other people in similar situations. For example, a child with a troubled academic career may grow up to become an education counselor. A person with a broken marriage may want to help people avoid relationship issues.
An abuse survivor may choose to study counseling to help others avoid their fate through their guidance. A person with a chaotic family may want to instill peace in other families.
If you are a person who wants to help other people through their troubled times, upskill your existing career, contribute to a cause you believe in, and work flexible hours while doing so, counseling might be the profession for you. Very few professions offer a sense of fulfillment and benefits like counseling.