Earning a counseling degree could be one of the best things you can do with your life - especially if you like helping people. A counselor, by definition, is a person that counsels people through personal, social, health, and family problems. There are also counselors called Career Counselors that can help people figure out what they want to do with their lives, or help them find activities or a better job to make their lives feel more fulfilled.
Counseling Degree Success Factors
No matter what kind of counselor you are, it's important that you like to deal with people on a day to day basis. It's also important that you are empathetic towards their lives and their problems, and are determined to help them with whatever problems they need. A patient person is the best type of counselor, especially if you are dealing with internal problems the patient is facing. Another big personality trait you need to have is to be a good listener. In fact, if you have watched any movies recently with therapists or counselors you might notice that the counselor says very little. Instead, they listen to what the patient is saying and then helps them figure things out. Among other traits you should have, you should be unconditional towards the person, you should be genuine, and you should be able to give them encouragement as well.
Counseling Degree Majors
Broadly speaking, a counseling major will prepare you for various situations you might face on a day to day basis with your patients. The major really depends on the specialization that you choose and there are quite a few. You might be dealing with people that have anxiety, depression or mental disorders such as bipolar-ism, you may be dealing with a person's past background which could include drugs, alcohol, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional, etc. You could also be dealing with a person that is grieving over a loved one, or a person that is suicidal. It really depends on the specialization you chose for your major.
Counseling Degree Curriculum
Some of the mandatory classes you will be taking for a degree in counseling include psychology, human development, biology, sociology, and statistics just to name a few.
There are three main degrees in counseling: Bachelors, Master's and Doctoral degrees. Most all of the states in the US require that you at least earn a Bachelor Degree. However, many facilities recommend that earn a master's degree or doctorate degree in counseling.
Once you earn your degree in counseling, you can find work as a Mental Health Counselor, Degree Counselor, Vocational (Career) Counselor, Substance Abuse or Behavioral Disorder Counselor, Counseling Psychologist, Marriage and Family Counselor. Other related professions that have the same themes or courses in common include nurses, social workers, and teachers.