If you have ever gone through a hard time, you know how helpful it can be to speak with someone at length about what’s been eating at you. Counseling professionals utilize their mental health skills to assist patients in their journey toward feeling better.
If you have ever thought about becoming a therapist, you may first want to immerse yourself in the day-to-day responsibilities of a practicing counselor by taking a course. It’s a practical way to familiarize yourself with the rewarding, diverse, and oftentimes challenging world of counseling professionals.
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Counseling Courses: Degree Programs, Certificates, and More
There has never been a better time than 2020 to invest in useful new skills for your future. You can find many excellent options for counseling courses at community colleges, universities, online certificate programs, and more.
If you want to pursue a long-term career in counseling, you will need to obtain your degree. First, you need to get a bachelor’s degree in something like psychology, social work, or sociology. Let’s look at some degree programs that are notable for their counseling courses.
Stanford University’s Undergraduate Psychology Program
Stanford lands among the best psychology departments in the United States. Its psychology degrees offer essential coursework for future counseling professionals.
Along with introductory psychology courses like abnormal psychology and social norms, Stanford also offers classes like Intergroup Communication, in which students work on their communication skills. This is a great option for the budding counseling professional.
Columbia University’s Concentration in Sociology
Columbia University is an excellent Ivy League school where you can be confident you’ll receive a world-class education. Its concentration in sociology is a testament to this, allowing students to study the sociological structures around the world as well as more nuanced parts of human society. This is a degree that will make transitioning into a counseling profession a breeze.
To become an effective counselor, you need to display your legitimacy as a counselor—a great way of building a good foundation for a solid resume and skill set. There are quite a few courses taught by master counseling professionals, where you learn specific information outside of the classroom. Let’s look at a few good choices.
Addiction Treatment: Clinical Skills for Healthcare Providers
This is a counseling course brought to you by the folks at Yale. The entire program focuses on the best ways that health providers can assist patients with substance abuse issues.
Taught by seven different professors, this comprehensive counseling course will equip you with what you need to approach a sensitive issue like substance abuse and showing compassion to clients. In the very first week, you will partake in a lecture regarding compassion and understanding.
Over four weeks, you’ll learn how to approach delicate situations and use standard counseling practices to help clients. The material itself is just a few hours of video material provided by instructors.
Counseling Practitioner Certificate (Beginner to Advanced)
This is an extremely important counseling course, as it offers a Counselling Practitioner certificate at the end.
Over six to eight weeks, students of this counseling course will learn history, partake in social exercises, and learn the best ways to interact with patients. Along with necessary counseling skills, students can form a framework of ethics in psychology.
This counseling course also delves into a counseling professional’s day-to-day responsibilities, like scheduling multiple appointments and running counseling practices.
Top Counseling Skills to Further Your Career
Practicing counselors have a particular set of skills in their mental health toolkit. We all know that counselors and therapists help people, but how?
Communication is one of the most essential skills for a therapist. It ensures that a counseling professional can effectively communicate with their clients. This, in turn, will ideally lead to a great working rapport wherein both the counselor and client share a unique bond. This bond will help clients open up about their mental health issues.
Most clients need reliable mental health advice to tackle their uncomfortable personal situations. This means that your problem-solving skills must be in tip-top shape so that you are providing the best possible care for your patients.
Careers You Can Get With a Counseling Degree
The next logical step after graduating from a counseling course is to explore possible practices and start your career. So what exactly can you do with your newfound mental health knowledge? Let’s take a closer look.
A psychotherapist, or just a therapist, is a counseling professional who sees clients and helps them work through trauma, mental health issues, and more. They have mastered cognitive and social mental health, and use their precious knowledge to help improve their patients’ lives.
Working as a psychotherapist is perhaps the most common career trajectory for a student or psychology. The educational requirements usually consist of a bachelor’s and master’s in psychology and the completion of an internship at a counseling practice or health clinic.
Specialized Counseling Professional
The brunt of counseling courses will equip you with vital knowledge so that you can help people who are going through tough times. Whether facing depression, anxiety or loss, helping people find a way out of dark times is the main goal of a counselor.
However, there’s more to becoming a counselor than just depression and anxiety. Why not specialize in a particular field? You can choose to focus your resources and skills to become a mental health expert.
Marriage and Family Therapists
These professionals help couples and families who are experiencing strife and discord. With extensive knowledge of the psychological and sociological aspects of the family unit, these counseling professionals know what it takes to help groups of people connect and resolve serious issues.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Counselors
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors can earn upwards of $52,720. This is dependent on skill level and what field of counseling you choose.
These counselors help people through their knowledge of the behavior of those suffering from substance abuse. They also assist the individual’s family during a sensitive and often harrowing time in all of their lives.
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Conclusion: Change Lives Through Counseling Courses
If you are interested in counseling or becoming a therapist, why wait any longer to start studying? Once you meet the educational requirements for these jobs, you’ll be ready to launch your career.
Learning vital counseling skills from degree programs and other outlets will provide you with the professional tools you need. Deciding to take a counseling course will put you on a path to change your life, as well as countless others.
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