Want To Become A Counsellor? Here’s Some Important Advice

There is nothing in the world more gratifying than helping people.  The satisfaction of knowing that your work makes a difference in other people’s lives is huge.  So many people look for counselling help during their lives, and often they don’t even know that it is available to them.

Counselling is a noble profession that has existed as long as humans have been interacting with each other – so it’s not new by any means – and there are counselors all over the world doing everything from policy development to individual therapy sessions.

What to Know About Counselling.

Counselling can be used for all kinds of things, depending on the counselor’s personal style and how they choose to practice their counselling trade.  Generally, however, it is employed to help people make changes in their lives.

The great thing about becoming a counsellor is that you get a chance to help a large number of people in a very direct way.  You also get to be in a position where you have the opportunity to make a positive change in their lives, which can sometimes have ripple effects that could affect their families and even entire communities.

Important Tips For Becoming A Counsellor.

There are lots of things that you can do to help yourself become a counselor, but it is important to remember that the counselling trade is highly regulated in every part of the world.  You need to pay attention to this fact when you begin your career planning efforts.

 1.  Know why you want to do it. 

Knowing why you want to become a counsellor is the first thing that needs to be asked. It’s an intense field of work, and if you don’t know why you are doing it, chances are there will come a time where you’ll need to re-evaluate your career choice.

Try to think of all the reasons you want to do it. Is it for the money? For the prestige? Because you have witnessed firsthand how being able to talk with someone has made a difference in your life or in someone else’s life, and you would like to feel that satisfaction too?

Or is it because you are genuinely curious about people, and you want to help them? Is it because you love the idea of helping people who are stuck in a rut and need someone to talk to? Whatever your reason is, make sure it’s something that will push you forward and not something that will make you fall back.

 2.  Pursue a master’s degree in counselling to become a counsellor.

Pursuing a master’s degree in counselling to become a counselor is important because it shows your interest and passion for helping people. A master’s degree in counselling will allow you to learn more about the field, about yourself, and how you can help others. You can become a master of counselling online with a master’s degree in counselling. There are many websites to help you find the best master’s degree programs in counseling.

3. Complete practicum and/or internship hours.

Practical experience is not only helpful for becoming a counsellor but it is also an essential part of the training. This could include completing practicum and/or internship hours. If you are a student or recent graduate, your school might offer these courses as electives. In this course, students learn how to approach various counselling settings and carry out their duties as a counsellor. They also learn how to counsel clients.

4. Choose your specialization.

Counsellors should choose their specialization depending on their interests and skill set. Counsellors can specialize in working with children, families, couples, individuals, or groups. People who are particularly skilled in these areas may want to consider specializing in them. They can also consider specializations that are related to their own experience. For example, if you are interested in working with people who have gone through trauma, you can choose to specialize in counselling victims of crime.

5.  Obtain counselling licensure and/or certification.

The journey into the counselling profession begins when an individual decides that he or she wants to be a counsellor. The next step in this journey is to obtain licensure and/or certification in order to practice as a professional counselor. There are several states that have an examination for licensure. In order to take this test, individuals must be a graduate from a Council on Accreditation school or program and they must have an approved internship under the supervision of a qualified mental health professional.

In order to practice as a clinical counselor in many states, individuals need to pass the National Clinical Mental Health Counselling Examination (NCMHCE). There are 48 U.S. states that honor this exam. 44 states require licensure in order to become certified, while four do not because they have their own certification exams instead of the NCMHCE. It is important for counselors-in-training to know that there are several different licenses for mental health professionals. It is important to know what kind of license you need and why, because some licenses do not allow the use of certain titles.

 6. Advance your practice through continued learning.

As a counsellor it is important to not only experience personal counselling but also continue learning through courses, workshops, and seminars so you are always able to improve your practice. When researching different types of therapy, be sure to consider the cost of training as well as the time commitment required in addition to finding out about employment opportunities in that particular field.

If you would like to improve your skills and advance your practice, the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) is a great place to start. With HCPC registration, counselling professionals are able to differentiate themselves from the competition by demonstrating that they meet rigorous standards for counsellors and other allied health professionals.

The process of becoming an approved counsellor is based on demonstrating your competency in counselling. An approved counsellor will be able to work with clients by applying the skills and knowledge they have gained through training, qualifications, and experience.

You can begin this process by either working with a currently approved counsellor and asking them to provide you with references or applying for an HCPC accredited course. If you choose the latter, be sure to check the type of course and where it’s based as these will affect your work opportunities in different geographical areas.

In sum, to become a counselor it is very important that you have the right training and keep learning in order to best serve your clients. In addition, it is important that you choose your specialization depending on your interest and skill set, obtain counselling licensure and/or certification, advance your practice through continued learning like courses, workshops, and seminars and obtain references from an approved counsellor.

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