For many people who have experienced depression, addiction or other mental health difficulties and have managed to recover or find a way to manage their condition, the idea of helping other people get through their own mental health problems is strongly appealing. There are lots of roles where you can support and help people, but one of the ones that often stand out to those who want to help people with mental health issues or who are getting over bad times in their lives is working as a counselor.
How Can You Train To Be a Counselor?
As you might expect for a job where you often have to work with vulnerable people, you need a lot of training to be able to become a professional counselor. A good place to start is by taking online further education. Many good universities offer online counseling degrees, or you can go on to do an online masters in counseling if you already have a degree. Studying online to earn counseling qualifications can be a good way to balance learning what you need to know for your new career with your current job or with your domestic situation, as it costs less than going away to college and also means you won’t have to relocate or travel much. Community college may also be an option for you to do a counseling course.
Do You Want To Specialize?
Some counselors specialize in certain groups of people, certain conditions, or specific situations. There are those who work specifically with young people, counselors who help people get through hard situations like bereavement or divorce, and those who work with a niche target audience, such as recovering drug addicts or war veterans with PTSD. It is likely that you may have a niche in mind based on your own personal experience or on somebody in your life, and so if you do, this will help you decide where to focus for your counseling career. However, there are also counselors who work with all kinds of different cases, so a specialist area isn’t a necessity if you just want to be able to help anybody who needs you.
The Demands of Counseling
Counseling can be a hugely rewarding job and a great way to use your own experience of mental health problems to help benefit other people. However, it is important to be aware that it can also be very demanding emotionally. You need to be confident that you can take on the challenges the role will bring to you without experiencing any negative effects on your own mental wellbeing. A good idea could be to talk about your ideas around becoming a counselor with somebody you know who already does the job, or even with a counselor you have worked with yourself in the past. They should be able to help you assess if it is right for you.
If you are interested in starting a new career as a counselor, why not start looking into it in more detail today.