Counseling Careers

Areas of Focus for Counseling:

Life Coaches >

Life Coaches are typically people who share their life lessons with others. These counselors are usually individuals who are retired from a certain field or profession who want to share their knowledge and experience with others. Although anyone can become a life coach, there is an accrediting agency that educates and certifies life coaches. Certified life coaches have anywhere from 125 to 300 hours of education.

Grief Counselors >

Grief counselors help individuals process the emotions that occur when someone suffers a loss. Although this can be any type of loss, it usually focuses on loss due to death. Everyone will suffer loss and grief. It is inevitable, but without help, some individuals may not work through this process. This can lead to depression, loss of productivity, or dysfunction in other areas of life. Grief counselors help individuals process through the five stages of grief. Becoming a grief counselor often requires education at the PhD level.

Christian Counselor >

Christian counseling is a type of counseling that uses the Bible and its principles to guide and inform the individual and the counselor as they work through life’s difficulties. Diagnosis and treatments are based on the Bible rather than on psychotherapy techniques. Some universities offer bachelor’s degrees in Christian counseling. Some Christian counselors combine scriptural teachings with modern medical counseling models, others do not. While some denominations require classes and certification programs in order to become a Christian Counselor, there are currently no state requirements or licenses to meet in order to become a Christian/Biblical counselor.

Marriage and Family Counselor >

Marriage Counseling is focused on helping couples work through difficulties, resolve conflict, and improve communication within the marriage. Some couples also seek pre-marital counseling which would fall under the marriage counseling category. Becoming a marriage counselor requires a Master’s level education and special licensing.

Family Counseling treats the family as a unique entity with a personality of its own. Problems in the family are treated as a systems issue. Family counselors seek to strengthen each family member and the family unit as a whole. This type of counseling requires a Master’s level education, clinical experience and state licensing requirements.

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counseling >

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counseling, sometimes called rehabilitation counseling, is a field where counselors seek to help the addicted individual learn what underlying causes and self-destructive behaviors or thought patterns led to the addiction in order to help the individual overcome or manage the addiction. Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counseling also helps individuals learn what emotions or situations trigger the individual’s need to “self-medicate” and to avoid those triggers. Requirements for becoming a substance abuse counselor vary depending on the setting where services are provided. Religious substance abuse recovery programs require only a certification program be completed while those working in a medical setting will need to meet the same requirements as other mental health counselors.

Mental Health Counselor >

Mental health counselors are trained to diagnose and help individuals who suffer from depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, or other types of mental health issues. Mental health counselors are not approved to provide medications. However, these highly trained professionals are trained to know when to refer their clients to other types of help such as a psychiatrist who can prescribe medications. Becoming a mental health counselor requires a PhD and additional state licensing

Depression Counselor >

Depression is a very common struggle; at some point nearly everyone has felt depressed about something that is happening in their lives. Whether it is dealing with loss, addiction, financial stress, depression, if left untreated can become debilitating and overwhelming. Depression counselors are trained to help you deal with these times in your life, whether it be written and verbal communication or treating your depression clinically. Outreach from depression counselors can be life-changing.

Credit Counselor >

Credit Counseling is a form of financial counseling that helps individuals, couples and families make wise financial decisions, or recover from poor past decisions. Most credit counselors work for non-profit agencies and help their clients with money management and budget development. This type of counseling requires financial knowledge rather than mental health knowledge, although some financial counselors may explore emotional reasons for spending that need to be overcome before financial issues can be rectified.

Career Counselor >

Career Counselors help people understand themselves, their interests, values, and abilities in order to help them choose a career path. These professionals help their clients understand what they want out of their education and what goals they have for themselves. There is much more to career counseling than helping a student choose a degree. Career counselors also connect their clients with appropriate resources.

Crisis Counselor >

Crisis Counseling is short term counseling designed to help an individual cope with a single event that is overwhelming or traumatic for the individual. In these cases, trauma that is not properly dealt with by the individual can lead to other long term problems such as PTSD, depression, or anxiety. Crisis counselors are mental health counselors and must meet the same educational and licensing requirements.

Guidance Counselor >

Guidance Counselor is an education professional that works in a school setting to help students prepare for college, or a career. They are often responsible for helping students choose a college major, take assessments, and choose classes during high school that complete graduation requirements and prepare them for the future. Depending on the state, the guidance counselor may also provide education in group settings on topics such as bullying and self-esteem. To become a guidance counselor requires a Master’s degree with a school counseling credential. Some states may require a teaching certificate as well, which requires passing the National Teacher’s Examination or its equivalent.

Genetic Counselor >

Genetic Counselors are health professionals who specialize in genetics and counseling to help patients understand and identify the risks for certain diseases and genetic disorders. This is a critical field for those who are considering genetic testing before conceiving a child. Genetic counselors help prospective parents understand and adapt to the medical and psychological implications of genetic disease factors. To become a genetic counselor, you must earn a bachelor’s degree in either medical science, psychology, or health care and then earn a master’s degree in genetic counseling from an ABGC accredited school and pass the American Board of Genetic Counseling exam.