If you are in the process of qualifying to be a counselor or therapist, it could be that you have had a specialism in mind since you started, and have always wanted to help people with a specific problem you can relate to for personal reasons, or to help a certain group such as children. However, for some people approaching their masters in counseling programs, all they know is that they feel that counseling is the right role for them, and they are not yet sure where they want to apply their skills specifically.
While you are studying, for instance if you are doing one of the excellent online masters programs in counseling available from Bradley University, the field of counseling you ultimately want to work in will influence which modules you study towards your degree It is therefore useful to think through some of the professional options you could choose while you are still a student.
Here are just four of the specialisms counselors can choose to give you an idea:
Relationship and Marriage Counseling
This is one of the best known fields in counseling, and one that is sought out by couples from all walks of life at all different stages in their relationships. What couples who go for relationship counseling tend to have in common is that they do want to work to save their troubled partnerships, however their issues can be very different.
Some may be trying to cope with major changes in their lives, such as having children. Others may be trying to get over something, such as one partner’s infidelity. Others still may not have a very specific problem but feel they are not as close as they used to be and want you to help them reconnect and communicate better.
Youth Counseling For LGBT Teens
Another area where counseling can be in high demand is for teens who are struggling with issues related to sexuality and gender identity. In these cases, the teens you speak to may be confused about their own preferences or gender identity, or may be sure of these things but facing issues with family and friends because of them.
Stress Counseling For Professionals
Another field of counseling that can be important to people is stress counseling. Many people in stressful jobs can suffer in terms of their mental health as a result of pressure and exhaustion, and seek out help for this. Some companies even employ counselors to help their executives and other stressed out workers.
Addiction Rehabilitation Counseling
Counselors who work with people who are trying to overcome addictions, including drugs, alcohol, gambling and sex, can work either privately or in rehab facilities, and are often a very important part of the recovery process for these people. In a rehab setting, counselors tend to both see patients one on one and also lead group therapy sessions.
These are by no means the only specialisms you can consider, but will hopefully give you some ideas for fields that might interest you as you go on to become a professional therapist.