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Counselling as a Career

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Counseling- considered as a talking therapy, is a process that allows a person to talk about their problems and feelings to a professional named counselor. Counseling offers an opportunity to explore one's thoughts such as anger, resentment, guilt, fear etc, in a confidential environment. Counseling is aimed at helping one to understand what is going on and enable them to make their own choices, reach their own decisions and to act upon them accordingly.

Counseling is a confidential service and it can be done for different types of situations from education to rehabilitation. Different types of health conditions like anxiety, depression, drug misuse, eating disorders, long-term illnesses etc. can be treated with counseling. Counselors are trained individuals, able to cope with the personal and emotional issues of their clients. They can make out the inkling to depression and can help a client deal with any negative thoughts and feelings. A counselor uses different range of counseling approaches. During counseling, the counselor neither judges nor offers advice, but only gives their client an opportunity to express their feelings. The client can talk openly and freely to a counselor and both work together to come up with different ways to experience various situations. 

A counselor works with people from all walks of life in varying ages and from different family situations and culture. What ever the situation may be, the goal of the counselor is to help clients gain self-awareness and create a better environment for themselves both emotionally and physically. A good counselor works along with their clients to find solution for their problems. Effective counseling reduces confusion and allows the client to make effective decisions leading to positive changes in their attitude and/or behaviour. 

Counseling is an exciting and lucrative career path for those looking for a job centered on working directly with people to help solve real-world problems. At the same time it is a career that requires a combination of experience and professional qualifications along with self evaluation and dedication. To start off a career in counseling, first you should decide what type of counselor you want to become.

Some of the most common types of counselors are : 

Here we will discuss about the career as an Education/Career counselor which is becoming one of the most rewarding and respectable professions in India. It generally focus on issues such as career exploration, career change, personal career development and other career related issues. Career counseling help students to select a course of study that may help them to get a job or make them employable. Educational/ Career Counselors provide career, college readiness, and personal/ social advice to children and adolescents. They help an individual to prepare for a particular career by identifying their unique interests, strengths, talents and help them find their best career path.

How to become a Career Counsellor

Those who aspire to become a counselor is preferred to have a background in psychological studies. This is because psychology provides an insight into human behaviour, which helps to understand problems clearly. Educational/ Career Counselors need to be certified teachers who have earned master's degrees in school counseling or educational counseling. A prospective counselor requires professional knowledge about the field to discharge their duties with perfection. They need proper knowledge and training in the field which can only be achieved by doing professionally designed courses. They may take courses in career development, assessment, human development and counseling methods. Various institutes in India offer Diploma, PG Diploma and Certificate Courses on Counseling and Guidance. 

Educational :
For a career in counseling, after 10+2 one can do their graduation in subjects like psychology, social work etc and can go for post graduation in counseling, Life skill education or psychology from an accredited educational institution. Candidates who have Masters degree in any area are eligible to apply for Diploma Course in Counseling, but some institutes prefer students with psychology background. The duration of the course varies from 1- 2 years. Those having a graduation in Psychology can opt for PG Diploma Courses. Besides regular studies, most courses in counseling and guidance are also offered as part time as well as correspondence.

Counseling courses cover almost every major area of career counseling through course notes, regular assignments, mock career counseling cum testing sessions and more. With these courses, one can acquire skills to help and guide people for coping with their educational, social or personal crisis. 

Skills Needed :
More than academic qualifications, counselors must possess high physical and emotional energy to handle the array of problems they address. The most important attributes needed for counselors are effective communication (both verbal and written), active listening and observation, clarification, reflection and effective questioning skills. Counseling is a job that requires a lot of patience, tolerance, sensitivity and devotion. They should have a strong interest in helping others, be sensitive and perceptive in assessing people and be able to inspire respect, trust, and confidence. A counselor need to be empathetic, so that he can ask appropriate questions and lead the client to positive conclusions. They should be quite soft hearted to handle clients of every nature and kind. They should be able to work independently or as part of a team. Since privacy is essential for confidential and frank discussions with clients, counselors would need private offices.

Job Prospects and Career Options in Career Counselling

Plenty of job opportunities are available for career counselors as most students and adults seek help from these professionals to enable them to make good career choices. Career counseling involves exploring the students/ client's aptitude, preferences and skills for a given career by evaluating their academic or other performance. A career counselor has to be a teacher, confidant and advisor to the clients. The major task and duty of a counselor depends on the individual they serve and the settings in which they work. A counseling session begins with a detailed examination of a student's profile with special focus on his/ her academic background, strengths and weaknesses. Students come with a range of issues. Some may have an idea about what they want to do while others may not have any idea about the career pathway that they want to follow. Counselors guide students based on their grades, aptitude, other eligibility criteria and finances. By listening attentively and without passing judgment, they give students the opportunity to explore, discover and clarify how and why they feel as they do. 

A career counselor can work in different kinds of settings like schools, colleges, universities, career guidance and counseling centers as well as do private practice. Career counselors can work with career information centres and conduct career education programmes. Counselors offer services in the areas of aptitude and psychometric testing, higher-education consultations and financial aid. They provide students the details of courses available in different institutes in and outside India, their entrance tests and the course fees. They can also specialise in employment and placement counseling to assist students with career development, in locating and applying for jobs. Internet has also opened new vistas for counselors, with features which facilities online chat with the counselor. 

Most prestigious schools have counselors to deal with the problems faced by students. Counselors working at the school level provide support to the students development and help them to understand and deal with their academic, social, behavioural, and personal problems. They help students identify any learning disorders or difficulties if any; evaluate their abilities, interests, talents, and personality characteristics so that students can develop realistic academic and career goals. They also help students to develop the life skills needed to deal with problems before they occur, and thus enhance personal, social, and academic growth. Besides these, they try to identify cases involving domestic abuse and other family problems that can affect a student's development. While dealing with the students, the counselor may also consult and work with the parents, teachers and school administrators. 

Pay Scale of Career Counsellors

Remuneration of a counselor varies according to the area of work they have opted. At the initial stage of their career, one can earn Rs. 20,000- 25000 per month. They can charge students and clients anything between Rs.500 to Rs. 2000 for a career counseling session with them. Sky is the limit for skilled and experienced counselors. Top career counselors can earn thousands of rupees each month offering career counseling services for just few hours a day, few days a week. They can charge per sitting according to their choice and can earn more than Rs. 70,000 per month.

Guidance and Counselling Institutes in Institutes

Click on the following courses to get the details of institutes/ colleges offering the courses : 

   psychology career , education counselling , counselling career , talking therapy

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