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Counselors are individuals who help people resolve their personal and interpersonal issues. They help people explore their emotions about different incidents by talking it out with them in a confidential setting. Their aim is to empower their clients to face challenges, resolve issues and make positive changes to their life. To facilitate this process, counsellors are required to be patient, sensitive, non-judgmental and accepting of individual differences.

Career Opportunities as a Counsellor

  • School Counselor
    School counselors are counselors who work with school students of different ages to help with matters related to their education, such as academic achievement, career selection, personal, social and career development, college readiness, etc.
  • Career Counselor
    Career counselors help individuals with career choice and development, taking into consideration factors such as interest, personality, and aptitude. They generally focus on issues such as career exploration, career change, personal career development and other career-related issues.
  • Psychological Counselor
    Psychological counselors are professionals who help people gain control of their feelings and emotions. These professionals focus on treating individuals with a variety of different emotional, behavioral, and social problems related to daily life and adjustment.
  • Marriage and Family Counselor
    Marriage and family counselors are licensed therapists who help people resolve and deal with issues related to family and married life. They work with couples and families to resolve issues that arise in a relationship, such as domestic violence, jealousy and infidelity, and those that affect families such as child misbehavior, parent-child relationship, temper outbursts etc.
  • Child/Adolescent Counselor
    Child/Adolescent counselors provide support and counseling to childrean and adolescents with behavioral, emotional and social issues. They also deal with children with developmental disorders, anxiety, personality disorders, sleep or eating disorders, etc.
  • Forensic Counselor
    Forensic Counselors deal with sensitive issues in relation to rape, child abuse, violence and other criminal activites. They also counsel criminals to make their behaviour normal and socially acceptable.
  • Substance Abuse Counselor
    Subtance abuse counselors help people overcome their dependencies on substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Such professionals help people deal with the mental, social and emotional effects of subtances, and make systemic changes to overcome these habits.

How to Become a Counsellor

Stream Graduation After Graduation After Post Graduation
path 1
Clear 12th standard in any stream with/without PsychologyPursue B. A.(H) Psychology/Applied Psychology or for 3 yearsPursue Masters in Psychology/Applied Psychology/Counselling Psychology for 2 yearsPursue PG Diploma in Counseling and Guidance
path 2
Clear 12th standard in Any Stream with/without PsychologyPursue B. A.(H) Psychology/Applied Psychology or for 3 yearsPursue Masters in Psychology/Applied Psychology/Counselling Psychology for 2 yearsPursue Ph.D for 2-3 years in the same discipline
path 3
Clear 12th standard in Any Stream with/without PsychologyPursue B. A.(H) Psychology/Applied Psychology or for 3 yearsPursue PG Diploma in Counseling and Guidance-

Important Facts

  • Most colleges have eligibility criteria of minimum 50% aggregate marks in Class XII / and some of minimum 60%. Some colleges/ universities also have an age limit

Leading Institutes

Top Institutes in India to Become a Counsellor
College Location Website
Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi Delhi
Jesus & Mary College, University of Delhi Delhi
Gargi College, University of Delhi Delhi
Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi Delhi
Tata Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai and Other Locations
Christ University Bengaluru
Ashoka University Sonepat
Fergusson College Pune
Ambedkar University New Delhi
Punjab University Chandigarh
Jamia Millia Islamia New Delhi
University of Mumbai Mumbai
Banaras Hindu University Varanasi
Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh
Indian Institute of Counselling New Delhi
National Council of Educational Research and Training Delhi,Mysore, Shillong
Rajiv Gandhi National Institute Of Youth Development Tamil Nadu
IGNOU New Delhi
Gautam Buddha University Utter Pradesh
National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development New Delhi
Top Institutes in the World to Become a Counsellor
Institution Location Website
Harvard University United States
University of Cambridge United Kingdom
Stanford University United States
University of Oxford United Kingdom
University of California, Los Angeles United States
Yale University United States
University of California, Berkeley United States
University College London United Kingdom
University of Amsterdam Netherlands
The University of Melbourne Australia
The University of New South Wales Australia
University of Toronto Canada
University of British Columbia Canada
The University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
National University of Singapore Singapore

Work Description

  • Establish a relationship of trust and respect with clients
  • Encourage clients to talk about issues they feel they cannot normally share with others
  • Actively listen to client concerns and empathize with their position
  • Accept without bias the issues raised by clients
  • Help clients in deeper understanding of their concerns
  • Challenge any inconsistencies in what clients say or do
  • Help clients to take decisions and choices regarding possible ways forward
  • Refer clients to other sources of help, as appropriate
  • Attend supervision and training courses
  • Undertake personal therapy (mandatory for accreditation)

Pros & Cons of a Career in Counselling

  • Counselors get a chance to positively impact people’s lives and make a difference.
  • There are regular changes involved, as counselors get to meet and help different clients every week.
  • There are opportunities available for self-employment, as counselors have the option of opening their own setup after a few years of experience.
  • There is a choice of working in different settings, such as NGOs, clinics, government and private counseling centres, etc.
  • The work can be emotionally draining.
  • Counselors need to read regularly to up-to-date with developments in research and psychotherapeutic techniques.
  • Counselors need to constantly update their skills and knowledge through seminars and workshops etc.
  • Initial salary is not very high.
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