Counseling can be a very rewarding career choice, both for you and those in need of your guidance. Options abound for counselors who seek careers working with individuals, groups or entire communities and in settings anywhere from private practice to large organizations and beyond. The helping professions, especially counseling, can help prepare for a promising career. Here are four great options to consider.
- Marriage and Family Counseling: Whether you decide to join (or start) a private practice, counsel families for a community organization, or join the staff at a place of worship, marriage and family counseling can change the lives of the people you are working with in extremely positive ways. Couples often need to learn how to better communicate, and unfortunately, families can find themselves in need of professional guidance during a crisis or time of hardship. Marriage and family counseling also generally provides a balance of new and longstanding clients.
- Group Counseling: Group counseling can also take place in a variety of settings, making career options bountiful. For example, counselors can work for a variety of organizations that offer counseling to groups of youth or adults to both prevent substance abuse as well as help treat those already fighting addiction. Group counselors can also be of great help to the recipients of mission work who may be experiencing difficult circumstances beyond their control. Many churches and religious organizations offer group counseling to people who are grieving the loss of a loved one or need emotional support due to a physical or developmental disability.
- Hospital Counseling: Working in a hospital is a great way to ensure steady full time work and a constant client base. Counselors working in a hospital setting can expect to work with clients with a variety of backgrounds, demographic characteristics, and needs. You may begin your day performing a mental health assessment, followed by visiting a grieving family, only to finish your day helping to prepare a family to bring home a loved one who has physical or health needs that must be cared for.
- Correctional Settings: Counseling careers in prisons or other correctional institutions can provide you with opportunities for individual and group counseling as well as a variety of services offered. Correctional facilities often need counselors to work with individuals with a history of addiction, mental illness or developmental issues, and often a combination of these challenges. You may be asked to help inmates with their rehabilitation goals, provide general mental health counseling, as well as prepare certain inmates for the transition to society after their release.
The counseling profession offers many career options for those looking for general or specific opportunities within the field. People who live and work to improve the lives of others through counseling are highly regarded and qualified professionals with the opportunity for a wide variety of rewarding positions.