Are you trying to work out if you want to pursue a career in psychology, possibly as a counseling psychologist?
Like all jobs that are focused on helping other people, a career as a counseling psychologist can be extremely rewarding.
But you are also potentially exposed to some people who have had some troubling and disturbing experiences, and if you’re the sort of person who is extremely empathetic, this can be a very tough aspect of your job.
So to help you make your decision there is some info below about exactly what it is that a counseling psychologist does, and how you go about completing the necessary study and certification to start work in your chosen career.
What Does A Counseling Psychologist Do?
As the name would suggest, the focus of the counselling psychologist is to use various counseling techniques to help people modify their behaviors to achieve a particular outcome.
While a clinical psychologist will be focused on providing treatment to people with mental illnesses or disorders, the counseling psychologist is working with people who need to change their behavior in some way.
So for example you may be helping a married couple who are experiencing problems in their relationship.
Or you could be helping people that are suffering from sort sort of addictive behavior to overcome their problem.
Or maybe you will be helping someone improve their communication skills in order to boost their chances at advancing within their career.
The type of issues you’ll be dealing with can be quite varied – every person has their own individual problems, many of which hold them back in their lives.
You’ll be helping people overcome these problems.
How Do You Become A Counseling Psychologist?
Your first task if you want to become a counselling psychologist is to go to college and complete an undergraduate degree.
Most people will choose psychology s their major at college, but their are other options available to you that will still allow you to pursue a career in psychology.
While you are studying for this degree it is a good idea to start thinking about where you want to go with psychology.
If a career as a counseling psychologist is still appealing, then you might want to start talking to some of your professors about anything you should be doing to give yourself an advantage down the track.
This might involve taking specific classes or helping some graduate students out with their research studies.
Once you have completed your degree, you will then need keep studying and achieve firstly a Masters degree and then your Doctorate in either Philosophy (Ph.D) or psychology (Psy.D).
In general, if you want to pursue a career as a counseling psychologist then you will probably choose the latter, although you will want to talk with some of your professors about the specific options available to you at the educational institute you choose to study at.
Working As A Counseling Psychologist
Once you have achieved the necessary education you will then need to be licensed to practice as a counseling psychologist.
This is done at State level so you will need to find the relevant licensing authority in your state and go from there.
Like with many other careers you have one of two options – you can either work for someone else, or you can go into business for yourself.
While it may be a goal of yours to start your own practice as a counselling psychologist, you’re going to need to get some experience first either with someone who has their own private practice or at a community based facility.
Once you have built up some good, real world experience you’ll then be in a great position to decide where you want to take your career as a counseling psychologist.
So hopefully this has given you a bit of an idea into what it takes to become a counselling psychologist.
This is definitely not something you enter into lightly – you’re looking at close to a decade of study before you can even begin working professionally,
But the rewards both in terms of salary and job satisfaction can be great so if you’re serious about helping people in a meaningful way and earning a decent living doing it, then a career as a counseling psychologist may be just what you’re looking for.