If you eavesdrop on a few coffee shop conversations, it becomes clear that many people think they are counsellors. And that many of us need a good counsellor!
But a good counsellor has more than just an opinion. Simply sitting, listening and offering advice is not enough for a professional counsellor and can even be dangerous.
So what makes a good counsellor?
A good counsellor is made, not born. A good professional counsellor has wisdom, experience, and a wealth of expertise gained from studying, learning, and doing.
To become a good counsellor, you need to find a training ground that will teach you and shape you, so that you can move out into the world and help make a difference. And that’s the other thing a good counsellor needs: a passionate desire to help people and bring positive change.
Should I become a counsellor?
If you’re someone who sees a need for change in the world; and who sees that as people, we can all use some guidance and help; you might decide to commit to being the change in others’ lives.
Is being a counsellor a good job?
As well as being frequently very satisfying work, counselling is also a great responsibility. These are human lives you are responsible for, which is something you must take seriously as a professional counsellor. There is a wide and well-coordinated community of professional counsellors who are often engaged in further development and growth. You won’t be alone, even if you are self-employed.
So, if you have the passionate desire, all you need to do now is find a well-established and well-regarded counselling degree that will guide you and push you to become the best counsellor you can be. This is vital, not just for your career, but also for the wellbeing of the people who will come to you for help.
There is far more to being a counsellor than just listening and talking. The professional requires knowledge of counselling theories and skills, a deep and robust understanding of human behaviour, the impact of grief and trauma, the unique challenges of a vast range of relationships, and even medical and psychological factors.
All this partnered with the skills and capacity needed to engage in therapeutic conversations that will assist clients in problem-solving, building resilience and experiencing improved mental-health outcomes.
To ensure that you have met the criteria to be a fully qualified counsellor, you should select a training course that helps your understanding of all these things and leads naturally into securing official accreditation as a professional counsellor.
Do I need to have a licence to be a counsellor?
This accreditation will let your clients know that you know what you’re doing, and give you the confidence to bring change even in the most trying of circumstances.