When we are in distress, we look forward to our best friend or our parents. But at times, we feel that they are unable to take you out from your stressful state. At such an event, what we are actually looking towards is a Professional Counselor.

Counselors help people make the most of their lives in the face of unique challenges and adversity. The counseling field is growing, yielding many opportunities for counselors with a variety of training specialties across the United States. The field is also incredibly diverse, with counselors working in numerous settings and with a wide range of potential clients. If you are emotionally astute, have good listening skills, and are interested in psychology, you may find a perfect career in one of the many sub fields of counseling.

Here also there exists a wide of options to choose from. there can be many reasons why a person wants to get into this field. But individuals that choose to seek a career in counseling usually have one thing in common – a desire to help people work through life’s challenges. Some individuals want to work primarily with children or teens. Others prefer to work with adults. Some want to work in specific settings, such as schools or college campuses. Others prefer to work in a community setting such as a mental health center or private practice setting. So it depends on you entirely that over which part of society you ant to work and leave and impact.

These days, counselors are in great demand in colleges, schools, institutions, etc. So learning up human psychology or specializing in a specific field to counsel others is a wonderful alternative career.  Choosing to become a professional counselor is a commitment to yourself, to others, and to society as a whole.

So the first step of becoming a counselor seems to be finding out your specialization field. It can be any of the following:

  • General Counselors help a wide range of people overcome issues of every sort. They work to determine the cause of persistent problems at work, in relationships, with substance abuse, or with mental health disorders.
  • Mental Health Counselors work with people struggling from diagnosed and undiagnosed mental health issues including depression, anxiety, stress, obsessive behaviors, substance abuse and other addictions.
  • Rehabilitation Counselors work with people who have physical disabilities to help them cope with the physical, emotional, and vocational consequences of those disabilities.
  • School Counselors receive specific training to work with children and young adults in a school setting. They facilitate the student’s academic, personal and social, and career development.
  • Marriage and Family Counselors help people overcome a wide range of personal and psychological issues, but focus specifically on how these issues affect the dynamics of families and married couples.

So these are the basic categorization of professional counselors. The another important thing to realise about yourself is to know whether you as a person have soft skills to be a perfect counselor or not. these skills include being Curiosity, having a good listening power, being accessible and emotionally available to the people, tuning yourself up to reflect good on your audience and a bit of humor will do the rest. 

Education and further Training

After realisation of the fact that yes, you can become a good counselor, the next step is to obtain a bachelor’s degree. You are free to study any subject you like before moving on to a master’s program. However, a degree in psychology or human services lays a solid foundation for further study.

Then comes the main step of shaping your skills. Beyond basic course requirements, most counseling programs have mentoring, skills development, and internship components as well. During the mentorship period, an experienced counselor oversees students in all aspects of counseling, ensuring that the students gain the necessary skills, and providing assistance when the students encounter unfamiliar diagnoses or challenges.

Colleges that offer courses to become a Counselor

  • The Sarojini Naidu Government Girls Post Graduate College in Bhopal offers a postgraduate degree in guidance and counselling.
  • The same degree is also offered by the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) in New Delhi.
  • For the first time in India, an online course in global career counselling is being offered by the University of California, Los Angeles (Extension), and Univariety.
  • While UCLA (Extension) is the continuing education wing of UCLA, Univariety is Asia’s largest career counselling company, offering guidance to over 1,00,000 students. The programme is called Global Career Counsellor (Green Belt Certification) that is delivered online and is a self-paced course.

To know more about this field , read here.

Finally putting forward you guys some of the heroes of this field too, although everybody as a counselor is a hero to us but still here are some well-known:

1. Kum Kum Tandon

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Kum Kum Tandon has been a leading career counselor and expert in career guidance for over three decades. Her academic qualifications include MA (Psychology), M.Ed., Diploma in Educational. Psychology, Vocational Guidance & Counselling (NCERT, Delhi).

Mrs. Tandon’s interest and passion in providing career guidance to students inspired her to author her widely acclaimed books ‘Career Options After 10+2 and Beyond’ and ‘Study Abroad’. Her profound knowledge and experience has inspired thousands of students both in India and abroad.

2. Dr. Nisha Khanna

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With a career span of 14 years, Dr. Nisha Khanna to be one of the prominent Delhi’s leading Marriage Counselors sharing her amazing and uncanny insight with the worldwide clientage who she values as friends and followers today.

Over the years, she has been working with couples to help them put their marriages back together. Couples are often referred to her when they are on the verge of divorce or when they are trying to pick up the pieces after an affair. Her premarital counselling, relationship counselling, depression counselling, family counselling and marriage counselling services are unsurpassed in the city of Delhi.

3. Michael Posner

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Michael Posner is Professor Emeritus at the University of Oregon and an Adjunct Professor at the Weill Medical College. A graduate of both University of Washington and University of Michigan, Posner’s research interests include neural mechanisms and structures underlying selective attention. Current research includes the exploration of brain development and the interaction of genes and experience within normal and atypical development. Posner combines the work of psychology and neuroscience, making him a leader and innovator in the study of brain development.