When hearing the word “counselor”, most people often think about a therapist that can either be a social worker, a marriage and family therapist, or a psychiatrist. However, there are other kinds of counselors that function outside the world of therapy and they include school counselors, college counselors, education counselors or career counselors.
Counselors hold jobs in a variety of environments. Depending on their specialized field, the responsibilities of counselors are defined by their work settings and their target population. In most cases, counselors work to provide mental health therapy, psychoanalysis, and rehabilitation services to children, teenagers, adults, families, and married couples that are undergoing issues. Some of the most common issues that counselors have to help their clients with are addiction or substance abuse, mental health problems, school and career issues, shock, disability and employment.
Counselors that provide career advisement and educational counseling are called educational or school counselors. These counselors help all students from all school levels, starting from elementary up to college. They work with students in order to encourage academic, career and personal growth. School counselors also develop programs that will effectively assist students when it comes to the assessment of their abilities, development of their talents, discovering of their interests and evaluation of their academic and career goals. They also perform methods such as conducting interviews and administering aptitude tests to aid them with their evaluations.
Vocational or career counselors provide individuals the assistance they need in making career decisions by evaluating their client’s training, work experience, skills, educational attainment and personality. They administer aptitude and personality tests and they also help individuals develop their skills in searching and applying for jobs. They also provide support to those who are experiencing job-related problems such as job loss, career transitions and job stress.
Rehabilitation counselors provide assistance to people who are affected with physical and emotional disabilities. These counselors perform a wide variety of tasks including helping their clients realize their strengths and weaknesses, providing personal counseling, offering job placement advisement and evaluating medical reports. The primary goal of rehabilitation counselors is to promote the independence of their clients through a program that includes development of job skills, training for employment, elimination of environmental and behavioral obstacles and providing of education services.
Mental health counselors are professionals who address and deal with mental and emotional problems. They are adept in performing therapy techniques in order to encourage a sound mental health. They focus on mental issues such as depression, obsessive compulsive disorders, anxiety, addiction, trauma or stress. They also develop programs that are unique to their clients in order to help them cope with mental concerns, career problems, school stress, and relationship difficulties. Mental health counselors also communicate with other health care professionals such as psychiatrists, social workers, psychiatric nurses and licensed psychologists.
Another type of a professional counselor is a marriage and family therapist (MFT). They are more focused on addressing and treating emotional and mental problems that may result in family and personal crises. They develop programs that aim to put an emphasis on their client’s interaction with their existing environment. They also promote understanding among families, enhance communication between members, and modify perceptions, behavior and attitudes.