By Jessica Baral
Communications Major, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Have you ever considered a career in counseling? A counseling degree will not only help you begin your career, but it will also prepare you to effectively lead and guide others to a healthy mental state and lifestyle! Here are just a few great characteristics of those pursuing a counseling career:
It goes without saying that as a counselor, you will spend a large amount of time listening to people. During this time, you will have to allow the client to tell their story, speak their feelings and share their experiences. As a good listener, you should make everyone that enters your office feel welcomed and comfortable to communicate with you. You will also be challenged to make sense of what each client is saying, finding correlations between their current feelings and past experiences. A great tip to ensure someone that you are listening, is to paraphrase what they just expressed to you and then say it back to them.
An empathetic spirit is a very important trait in a counselor. You will have many clients from all walks of life; thus, you will have to empathize with each individual situation and person. This also means that there will be times that you will not agree with the client’s point of view or can’t relate to their situation or feelings. By exercising an empathetic attitude, you will be able sympathize with them and begin to gently guide them to a path of healing.
In an age of constant discovery, it is important for counselors to keep up with the latest research and practices. Reading credible books and articles is important and helps ensure you are up-to-date with your counseling methods. This not only increases your knowledge of the counseling field, but can also help you better understand your clients and what they may be experiencing!
As a counselor, you will need to be aware of your own emotions and fears. When meeting with a client, there is no room for your own insecurities to stand in the way of your client’s needs. By being self-aware, you can have the confidence to explore all areas and topics that your client may need to talk about without having to worry about yourself throughout the session. This will help your client come to revelations about themselves, while you may even come to some of your own too!
Passion for Counseling
Being passionate about your field can be what fuels you throughout your entire counseling career. Using your own innate gifts, as well as the information and training you have received through earning your degree, you will be a witness to the success and growth of each of your clients. This will not only give you a successful career, but it will also motivate you to continue learning more about how to be the best counselor you can be and how to lead each individual to a physical and emotional healthy way of life.
Grand Canyon University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences offers a wide range of degree programs. To learn more, visit our website or use the green Request More Information button at the top of the page.