Four Types of Counseling Careers

Counselor talks with patient in his office

Students earn counseling degrees because they want to help others. Counselors and therapists work with clients to help them understand themselves, their emotions and their behaviors. Counseling degrees cover many different specialties, allowing graduates to work with diverse patient populations in different fields.

Counseling degree students often choose their specialty based on the clients and environments they want to work with. Let’s explore four of the top counseling career specializations.

1. Marriage and Family 

Marriage and family counseling is aimed at couples and families seeking guidance from licensed counselors. Couples and families dealing with issues that affect mental health and the relationship may seek this type of counseling. Marriage and family counseling can improve communication and develop respect in relationships. Marriage and family counselors may treat some other specific issues, such as depression and anxiety, but their work is primarily focused on the family or couple and how specific issues affect everybody involved, including adolescent behavioral problems or martial conflict.

2. Career 

Career counselors help people understand their career development. The process usually begins with the counselor helping a client get to know themselves by understanding their interests and talents. Career counselors help people make sense of the working world to make informed decisions about career and educational goals. Career counselors provide guidance on immediate issues, like helping students know what type of college they want to get into or what degree they want to pursue. Career counselors also assist people at other points in their life and career. The goal is help clients understand themselves better to determine the right work and job-related decisions.

3. Mental Health 

Mental health counselors are the people you probably think of when you hear the word therapist. They help people in need of emotional support, behavioral issues and other problems. They offer psychological help so they can make healthy decisions. Mental health counselors may work with individuals, couples and even groups of strangers who are dealing with issues such as depression and anxiety, eating disorders, personality issues and PTSD. Mental health counseling involves many different approaches, including psychodynamic therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. These counselors also draw on integrative approaches using multiple methods.

4. Substance Abuse

Substance abuse counselors work with people who have drug, alcohol or other addictions. They may also work with clients who have eating disorders or other behaviors. Substance abuse counselors can diagnose addiction problems and create treatment plans for their clients. Treatment plans are typically individualized to help patients in their specific situation. A substance abuse counselor may work with a client during recovery – and long after – to ensure they have the support needed. Substance abuse counseling generally includes helping people alter their attitudes and beliefs about themselves and their afflictions.

In order to work with clients, counseling degree graduates must hold advanced degrees and obtain state licensure. When you enroll in Grand Canyon University’s counseling degrees. In degrees like the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program, you will be able to choose from several specializations such as trauma or marriage and family. To learn more about the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, visit our website or click on the Request Info button at the top of this page.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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