How to Become a Counsellor Without a Degree

Counsellors help people navigate a variety of issues, including family relationships, substance abuse, career challenges and stress or anxiety. They provide support to clients in a range of settings, including hospitals, therapy centres and their own homes.

How to Become a Counsellor Without a Degree

A counselor helps people through difficult times. They use a number of approaches to counselling, such as psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and clinical or counselling psychology. They work with both children and adults, and may specialize in specific areas such as trauma or substance abuse counseling.

The first step is completing a training course to become qualified. This typically consists of one year full or part time taught courses at universities, colleges and private training providers. This can include a minimum of 100 hours in supervised placements and is the bare minimum qualification to practice counselling professionally.

There are a number of routes into becoming a counsellor, however. The most common route is to complete a master’s degree in counseling. These programs pair theoretical lessons with hands-on practice. They’re available in both traditional and accelerated formats, and students can find them on campus or online.

Master’s degrees in counseling require at least two years of study and often require an internship. Graduates of these programs must then earn state licensure or certification to practice independently. The requirements for this can vary by state, so students should consult their state’s licensing board to make sure they’re meeting the qualifications.

License requirements are determined at the state level, and they may differ by specialty area. The most common licensing title is licensed professional counselor (LPC), but some states also offer the term “licensed mental health counselor” (LMHC).

During this period, students must meet a number of requirements, including supervised hours and passing a qualification exam. They’re also required to undergo a period of independent study, which can be completed on a part-time basis.

Some states have reciprocity agreements that allow a graduate of an accredited program to get a state license without having to pass an individual exam. This allows people to pursue careers in multiple states, and helps them connect with new clients across the country.

The average annual salary for a professional counsellor is PS28,080. Those who work in a team or on a self-employed basis can expect to make more, though the exact figure depends on your experience and skill set.

How to Become a Licensed Counselor

Once you’ve graduated with your master’s degree, you can take a professional certification exam and become licensed. Licensure requirements vary by state, and it can take three to five years for a student to complete this process.

There are a number of ways to become a counselor, and some are more difficult than others. The most important thing is to have a strong passion for helping people and being able to communicate effectively with clients.

You should also be willing to do your own personal therapy as a part of your studies, as this will provide you with the empathy needed to be a good counselor.