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In a world beset with problems, stress, arguments, emotional imbalances, and uncertainty, there is a growing need for people who can offer guidance, support and counseling. If you feel that you have a gift for helping others and a genuine desire to bring happiness into people's lives, perhaps counseling is a career field worth exploring.

What is counseling?
As a counselor, your job is very simple. Your goal is to help patients/clients work through their problems, identify the sources, and create solutions that they can implement in their own lives. This doesn't necessarily mean that you solve people's problems for them. Rather, you try to help them help themselves. By creating a safe environment built on trust, you provide support and an opportunity for open communication. In some instances, you act as a mediator if there are two or more parties that need to reach a common solution.

What you need to learn for this job
Patience and understanding are key components of counseling. You're not a judge. You are a friend. Listening skills are essential for this career. So is diplomacy. As a counselor you want to foster greater personal and interpersonal communication. Counseling school, social worker programs, and education certification are just some of the ways to master these necessary skills.

The future of counseling
Unfortunately, drug abuse, martial problems, depression, anxiety, fear, loss of loved ones, and injuries are permanent fixtures in today's society. As such, your counseling skills will be in high demand. People out there need professionals like you to listen, support, and understand them.

Publish date: February 10, 2011