Counseling degrees are available for students who enjoy helping others and wish to play a role in serving the community. It is a very diverse field, so students may choose to specialize in an area according to their interest and career objectives. Counselors are mainly responsible for serving the community and helping others deal with the challenges and hardships that they may come across in life. Counselors assess and evaluate their client's needs and problems with the help of investigative tools such as interviews, case histories, and observations. Based on their evaluation, counselors offer different kinds of support services; with the purpose of helping people in achieving more effective personal, social, educational, and professional adjustment. Although many professionals work as independent free-lance counselors, others are employed by private and public organizations and agencies.
Types of Counseling Specialties
Some of the commonly pursued specialties include mental health counseling, which is concerned with helping people cope with the mental and social disorders like depression and anxiety. The field of marriage and family counseling requires working closely with individuals, couples, and families; and help in dealing with issues like relationship problems and communication issues. It involves correcting behavior and improving communication and understanding between couples and family members. Career counseling, also known as vocational counseling, helps students formulate and explore different career plans based on their education, experience, skill set, and personality characteristics. In order to provide proper guidance, career counselors are supposed to remain well informed with employment and labor market trends. Addiction counseling, as the name suggests, requires working with people who suffer from alcohol, drugs, gambling, sexual, and food related addictive disorders. Addiction counselors also help family members who have been affected by the primary client's actions and behavior. Rehabilitation counselors work closely with people who suffer from any kind of physical and emotional disabilities that may adversely affect their personal, social, or professional life.
The program curriculum generally varies depending on the institute at which you are enrolled. The coursework generally covers topics like psychology, sociology, statistics and research, and counseling techniques. However, in order to give you a general idea, we've compiled a list of examples of the courses that you may find in programs for counseling degrees:
Group Process Application & Theory
Human Growth & Development
Theories of Counseling
Trauma & Crisis Intervention
Clinical Skills for Counselors
While choosing a program, you should ensure that it is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
Many institutes are now offering an online degree program in counseling. Distance learning programs make no sacrifice when it comes to the quality of the course content and program curriculum. In fact online programs offer a number of benefits. By eliminating the need to travel to a campus to attend classes, they enable you to cut down on costs and study within the comfort and convenience of your home.