In Summary - Counsellor
Counsellors typically work in the following Career Sectors:
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The Work - Counsellor
Counsellors help people to explore, understand and come to terms with their problems. They give their clients the opportunity to work through their emotions by offering them time, attention and support within a confidential and trusting environment.
They aim to enable their clients to talk freely, to improve their self esteem, develop better relationships and discover more satisfactory ways of living.
Some counselors work in specialised areas such as victim support, marriage guidance or bereavement.
They may also choose to work in a specialised way for example by using cognitive behavior therapy or psychodynamic counseling.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Collect information about individuals or clients, using interviews, case histories, observational techniques, and other assessment methods.
- Document patient information including session notes, progress notes, recommendations, and treatment plans.
- Counsel individuals, groups, or families to help them understand problems, deal with crisis situations, define goals, and develop realistic action plans.
- Develop therapeutic and treatment plans based on clients' interests, abilities, and needs.
- Supervise interns, clinicians in training, and other counselors.
- Advise clients on how they could be helped by counseling.
- Analyze data such as interview notes, test results, and reference manuals to identify symptoms and to diagnose the nature of clients' problems.
- Consult with other professionals, agencies, or universities to discuss therapies, treatments, counseling resources or techniques, and to share occupational information.
- Evaluate the results of counseling methods to determine the reliability and validity of treatments.
- Refer clients to specialists or to other institutions for noncounseling treatment of problems.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Coaching and Developing Others Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Training and Teaching Others Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
Interests - Counsellor
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.
Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.
Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
You must enjoy working with people and helping them to solve their problems. You must respect the client's right to make their own decisions, and avoid making judgements, giving advice or imposing solutions.
The ability to use tact and treat your client's problems in strict confidence is essential to counselling. Some clients experience positive changes after a short time, but others need counselling over a longer period, so you will need patience, tolerance and determination.
You will need excellent communication skills, to listen carefully and to ask the right questions to guide the client towards decisions. Maturity, self awareness and an openness to self-development are also key factors in this profession.
Clients may reveal intense emotions, and discuss painful aspects of their past or present experiences. You must be comfortable with this, and not become burdened by the problems you encounter.
Entry Requirements - Counsellor
Pay & Salary - Counsellor
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 24k - 46k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Counsellor
Useful Contacts - Counsellor
Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP)
Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP)
National Counselling and Psychotherapy Institute of Ireland