Everyone goes through stressful situations. Whether people are dealing with job loss, bankruptcy, health problems or the turmoil of everyday life, it’s important for them to have someone to turn to. Friend and family may be there to support these individuals, but they often benefit from professional help too. If you have a gift for compassion, a master’s degree in counseling may be the ideal path for you. Whether you’re interested in providing services in a school, clinical or community environment, one of the following concentrations in counseling can help you achieve your career goals while making a difference in peoples’ lives.
1. Mental Health Counseling
Focusing on mental health counseling will give you an understanding of the basics of counseling, which involves providing guidance and making assessments. Mental health counseling programs can set you up to apply these principles within community and individual programs. The mental health counseling concentration is usually focused on clinical content, and students can learn about testing methods and other techniques previously reserved for psychologists.
2. School Counseling
Adults aren’t the only ones who go through strife. School-aged children must receive mental, physiological and emotional support throughout their young lives. School counselors help students understand the changes they’re going through and work with them to create positive perspectives. School counselors may work with individuals or groups of students. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this field will grow by about 8 percent from 2014 to 2024. Join this essential industry by earning a Master of Science in School Counseling from a reputable university.
3. Marriage Counseling
Committed relationships take more than just love; they can take work. Sometimes, it’s necessary for an objective party outside of the relationship to help mediate struggles between the individuals. Marriage counselors can help those in long-term relationships work on their individual emotional and psychological challenges. A concentration in marriage counseling will also prepare students for facilitating communication between couples. This field requires strong problem-solving and intervention skills. Although many marriage counselors work with couples at the same time, some will address the individual’s concerns separately, so it’s important to learn how to work with individuals as well as with groups.
4. Family Counseling
Parents aren’t the only ones within the family dynamic who can experience psychological and emotional challenges. Children are exceptionally susceptible to life changes, as minimal as they may seem. Students of family counseling will help families function as a unit by introducing techniques for communication, emotional awareness and problem solving. Family counselors can address behavioral issues in children and adolescents, depression and anxiety, emotional issues that are involved in the grieving process, and substance abuse issues. Family counselors may also work as marriage counselors to address the needs of the family as a whole.
5. Career Counseling
A specialization in career counseling can prepare you for working with individuals to help them follow the path toward their own ideal career. Even as adults, many people aren’t sure how they can make money using their skills and education, or they may feel indecisive about what the right career is for them. In a career counseling program, students will learn the skills necessary to equip them to work with individuals in educational, business and government settings. They can also go on to work for career counseling and consulting firms.
Related Resource: Top 15 Online Masters in Counseling Degree Programs 2015
If you’d like to work in a rewarding field where you can use your skills to help people, look into earning a Master of Science in Counseling. Gain the knowledge to help people cope with challenges and improve their perspectives so they can be better versions of themselves.