Though the baseline reasons many pursue careers in counseling are generally similar, such as helping people, challenging yourself, and having financial stability, the types of counseling done greatly differ from one to the next.
Some counselors work primarily with large groups, some work with small groups, such as family counselors, and most work with individuals, with things surrounding mental health.
This list is not exhaustive, and depending on who you ask, there are around 100 different careers for counselors, but almost all of them fall in line with one of these five types of counseling careers:
1. Marriage and Family Counseling
Marriage and family counseling can be pretty intense, as it does involve discussions regarding things like domestic violence and child mistreatment, but with that intensity comes a lot to be proud of, as family counselors have, many times, been the key reason that families stay together and children get to be raised in a happy home.
There is also a lot of fun to be had in marriage and family counseling, especially if you like youngsters. And not all couples who go to therapy are having troubles, so you get to build great relationships with people that could legitimately last a lifetime if that’s something you think you’d like.
And, not unlike other jobs on this list, marriage counselors make very good money!
2. Substance Abuse Counseling
Another counseling job that truly helps save lives, substance abuse counselors help individuals and groups overcome their addictions and stay off of their vices.
Understanding the behavior that leads these individuals to addiction is as much of the job as discussing the substances themselves.
Much like family counseling, lifelong relationships can be made with clients who depend on their counselors to help them stay clean.
Some individuals who “seek” substance abuse counseling do so at the direction of a judge, so one must know how to deal with unwilling clients from time to time, as well.
3. Career Counseling
Career counselors are ones most of us have seen at some point in our lives. Whether the office is at a school or university, a corporate environment, or a career counseling firm, the job is pretty similar.
Listen and learn what individuals have to say about their passions and goals, and help them figure out a career path that will bring them happiness and self-worth.
Within the field, counselors can choose to work with youngsters, college-aged people, or even adults looking to start new due to a number of reasons sometimes overlapping with things like substance abuse counseling or marriage.
4. Residential Counseling
Residential counselors tend to work for local governments in a social work capacity, though other jobs exist in this field. These counselors generally work in places where many individuals require the same counseling, such as substance abuse centers, or homes for the elderly.
Many residential counselors live on-site and are on-call pretty much all day. There is, of course, some good and bad in that, and it should be weighed before choosing this path.
5. Youth Counseling
As the name would suggest, youth counselors work primarily with youngsters to help them overcome challenges caused by their home life, school treatments, or their own mental issues.
In addition to the children, youth counselors work closely with the families of the patients to ensure treatment is streamlined at home, as well as at counseling sessions.
Jobs in youth counseling exist for both group and individual settings.
All of these jobs are beyond fulfilling, and most of them allow for crossover if you should choose one and realize you made a mistake!