I have been a masters level counselor/educator since my career switch at 43 years old. I graduated in 1996, at the age of 48, and not for one moment do I regret it.
Counseling is a profession in which your clients, court ordered or not, bring you a level of trust, and share extraordinary stories of change and growth and pain. To be involved in their stories is a humbling experience.
My field, domestic violence psychoeducation, has had its share of death, mostly my clients killed in one criminal endeavor or another, which is a humbling experience.
There is an intensity and an immediacy in their work which is profound, and I would recommend this field to anyone who wants a deep level of involvement in the human experience. By the same token, it is not an experience to be taken lightly.
You must be able to look inside and know who you are and how you operate psychologically before undertaking an effort on behalf of a client because they are offering you a priceless gift, their trust.
Counseling Careers from Cacrep.org
From seed to career, the oak tree is a perfect metaphor for your work.
Choosing a Career in Counseling
All people need help and support as they experience the various stages and transitions of life. People enter relationships; make career decisions; face physical, educational, emotional, and economic challenges. Counselors realize that people continue to grow and change throughout their lifespan.
This profession differs from other human service professions in its developmental approach to problem solving. Counselors deal with human development concerns through support, therapeutic approaches, consultation, evaluation, teaching, and research. Simply stated, counseling is the art of helping people grow.
Careers in the counseling field are open to men and women of all ethnic and social backgrounds. Professional counselors can be found in a variety of settings....
Private Practice Schools Colleges/Universities Hospitals Mental Health Agencies Public Employment Agencies
Success in this field requires motivation, a commitment to service, and skills in communication.
Counselors will be faced with numerous challenges and opportunities over the coming years. Society is in a state of flux.
The drug problem is reaching crisis proportions; many people have been forced to live on the streets; the graying of America has become a reality.
The foundations of the counseling profession have been intertwined with both social and educational reform movements in this century. Neither counselors nor the problems with which people are expected to cope exist within a vacuum.
CACREP's standards outline the necessary knowledge and skill areas that programs must offer to enable their graduates to practice successfully as professional counselors.
For more information on the profession of counseling, including a description of the types of work settings, job outlook, earnings, and required qualifications, please visit http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos067.htm which covers information offered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2004-05 Edition.
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When I was beginning my personal growth journey, a wise person told me that when I was feeling resentful or afraid or sad, that I should remember the phrase "gratitude is the attitude" when I was ready to feel better. That phrase has helped me feel better tens of thousands of times.
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