What Career Options are Available to a Counseling Psychologist?
What comes to your mind when you hear the words “counseling psychologist”? Your answer is most likely an image of two people sitting in a dimly lit room, deep in introspection. In reality, counseling psychology is an incredibly complex and multi-faceted profession comprising therapy, general psychology, and counseling. This profession provides a wide assortment of job options, which combined with the fact that many institutions offer a bachelor’s and masters in counseling online make counseling psychology a very popular choice for future students. Read on to gain a deeper understanding of the field of counseling psychology and some of its most attractive career paths.
Delving Into Counseling Psychology
Counseling psychology is one of the several branches under the umbrella of professional psychology. This discipline ensures the proper functioning of various aspects of our personal and social life. Additionally, its scope encompasses our emotional, vocational, social, organizational, educational, and health needs.
Moving beyond cultural and ethnic boundaries allows counseling psychology to focus on people’s behavioral patterns, how they function, and their interactions in different social settings. This psychology field also focuses on an individual’s physical, emotional, and social well-being at school, home, or work.
What Makes A Counseling Psychologist?
A counseling psychologist’s job involves assisting their patients with physical, emotional, and mental health-related needs. These professionals work with people of every age group and help improve productivity levels and craft a better sense of well-being. For instance, counseling allows people to be functioning members of a society and contribute to its prosperity.
Other areas of expertise include helping individuals and groups manage and resolve conflicts, overcome low self-esteem issues, and cope with distressing situations.
Career Options Available To a Counseling Psychologist
There’s no need to worry about your work prospects when employed in a flexible field like counseling psychology. Rest assured because you’ll be able to work in diverse places such as business corporations, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, schools, and mental health facilities. You can even set up your clinic as a private practice. Prospective graduates of online masters in counseling can choose to perform a variety of jobs:
1. Group Therapist
Counseling psychologists also facilitate people to become better team players and proactive members in group settings. As a group therapist, you’ll be supervising meetings between members of a shared background or who have gone through similar experiences. Safe spaces like these are essential for people to open up about their issues in a dignified manner. Group therapy is one of the most-accredited therapeutic practices proven to provide fruitful outcomes in mental health. If you choose to counsel in this specific arena, you’ll be leading countless individuals to a better future.
2. School Guidance Counselors
As a school counselor, you can help the young ones navigate difficult mental health issues, career development, time management, peer pressure, among other things. A counseling psychologist has an in-depth understanding of the human mind and a knowledge of students’ behavioral patterns in a social context. Based on this knowledge, a school counselor can give appropriate advice to an academic institution’s students and guide them in the right direction.
3. Geriatric Counselors
Geriatric counseling involves guidance during the aging process. Counseling psychologists have the tools, emotional intelligence, and patience essential in caring for the aging and elderly. Counseling psychologists know how to communicate with older people, guarantee they’re mentally fit, and acknowledge their needs. If you choose to be a geriatric counselor, you’ll provide physical and psychological assessment services for the elderly. These services also extend to direct care, counseling, and resolving any issues to enhance your client’s longevity and quality of life.
4. Industrial-Organizational/I-O Psychologists
If the question “what is IO psychology” is on your mind, then we’ve got you covered. An industrial-organizational counselor’s job includes supervising business strategies, meetings, interventions, and recommending organizational changes to achieve set goals. As a counseling psychologist, you may work in business corporations, firms, and other workplaces. Your job will revolve around the employees, mostly how to help them be their most efficient selves and perform optimally. Professional counselors recognize the importance of employees’ comfort, emotional/psychological health, and motivation levels in determining a company’s overall productivity. Hence, they can provide suitable solutions to tackle issues in these spheres.
5. Sports Counselor/Psychologist
People in sports may also benefit from the support, rationality, and motivation that a counseling psychologist brings to the table. As a counseling psychologist, you’ll help athletes be the best version of themselves and achieve all their milestones, both in personal and professional lives. A sports counselor’s job involves assisting athletes in overcoming psychological barriers, boosting their performance on the field, and improving overall health in their daily lives.
6. Health Psychologist
A health psychologist’s job covers assisting patients living with chronic illnesses, preventing possible injuries, and advising patients on recovery options that help retain maximum functionality. A job like this requires understanding how psychological, biological, and social factors impact disease and illness within the community you work.
7. Clinical Social Worker
By now, you’ve realized that the client’s age is not much of a factor in a counseling psychologist’s job. They can work with kids, youngsters, and the old alike. The ultimate goal is to provide mental health support and work towards improving their overall well-being. Being a clinical social worker is much the same, except you will have to deal with trauma and abuse victims. Besides ensuring a sound mental state, you’ll have to design effective treatment plans that boost your patient’s recovery.
Pursuing a Career in Counseling Psychology
Before you set to pursue a career in counseling psychology, ask yourself if you have the right amount of compassion? If supporting and building others satisfies you, then this is the right career for you. A counseling psychology career will test your people skills, empathy, and analytical skills, which fall under applied psychology.
Though specific job descriptions may deviate from place to place, most counseling careers have very few differences. The methods and techniques remain identical, regardless of where the counseling occurs; for example, individual sessions, group therapy, couples counseling, etc. As a counselor, you’ll facilitate your client to communicate their issues, talk about complex emotions, navigate problems like substance abuse, and gain deeper insights into their personalities.
Ways to Begin Your Career as a Licensed Counselor
If you wish to become a licensed psychologist, the first thing you’ll require is a master’s degree. Moreover, you’ll also have to apply for licensure.
Some essentials of obtaining a license include decent grades in your education, continuing education for license renewal, specific exams, and supervised clinical experience. Though these requirements are universal for all counselors, the type of license and your region may affect them.
In a Nutshell
Counseling psychology is more nuanced than the mainstream media has made it out to be. It involves dealing with sensitive parts of one’s life, which seems an impossible task without a professional’s assistance. This article provides some information to broaden future counseling psychologists’ career choices and guide them on their professional journey. These consist of pursuits like an industrial-organizational psychologist, sports counselor, clinical social worker, school counselor, and group therapist. If you’ve just come fresh out of your college campus bubble after finishing your degree, know the world’s your oyster.