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What degree do I need to be a counselor?

Becoming a counselor takes a very selfless, knowledgeable person. Counselor's help patients with the downfalls and accomplishments in their lives. For someone to guide another in a healthy, safe path you must be well educated on how to do it.

Education plays a big part in the path to becoming a counselor. Depending on the type of counseling you would like to do, you may need more or less education. Credential specifics can also vary from state to state. Specific information on credentials can be found from the American School Counselor Association. Generally speaking, you must obtain a Bachelor's and then a Master's degree in Psychology or a related field to even be considered for a counseling position. In addition to education, most places of employment like to see that you have experience or have done an internship or competed clinicals that relate to counseling. There are many part-time positions at rehabilitation centers that can give you experience while obtaining your degree. This way, an employer will see that you have been in a related field while obtaining your degree. This shows you are committed to the profession.

In addition, someone who wants to become a counselor must have the personality it takes to thrive in this position. You must be patient, a good listener, compassionate and clear headed. You must want to help people and be dedicated to that end. Many couselors find that listening to other's trials and triumphs on a daily basis can be taxing to themselves. You must be able to wholeheartedly listen and help others but also know when to have time for yourself. Often, counselors find that an outlet such as exercise or yoga can be extremely helpful to them.


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