Being a counselor is one of the many promising career options in India. Have you ever wondered How to be a counselor in India? If you have a passion for helping people get over their problems and have a natural skill to provide guidance, being a counselor can be the perfect job for you. Chances are, you have already been a counselor for someone you know without even understanding the concept of counseling or how being a professional counselor works. Read on to find out the skills and knowledge you need to know for being a counselor in India.
Counseling can provide a complex term that incorporates a lot of professional and non-professional fields. A professional counseling session consists of client and counselor interactions and the depiction of emotional and stressful feelings by the client. The counselor helps the client to make more precise decisions with a different and more efficient point of view.
Professional counseling also involves a relationship of trust, as confidentiality is paramount in this line of work. The client confides their problems and decisions with the counselor, and hence, the client needs to trust the counselor not to disclose any of the information. But, in cases where there is a risk to life, the counselors are required to disclose the information if required by law.
Now, if you are wondering how to be a counselor in India, then the first thing you need to know is the job that a counselor does. The main goal of the counselor is to help a client to develop an understanding of his perception of a problem, as different clients are bound to have a different understanding of a problem. A good counselor helps their client to break down their problems and enables them to solve it in their way. A counselor also needs to act as a facilitator for their client to help them reach their goals.
Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Taking up Counseling as a Profession –
Taking up counseling as a profession is not an easy task, and you should consider it only after you ask yourself these questions –
- Do you enjoy having to deal with people on a personal level?
- Do you understand the importance of being confidential?
- Do you consider yourself to be able to encourage and help others?
If your answer to all of the questions mentioned above is ‘yes,’ then go ahead and read on to know how to be a counselor in India. These skills are essential for a career in counseling. It is one of the few underrated jobs out there, but an important one.
Different types of counselors –
Before you think about how to be a counselor in India, you need to know about the various kinds of counselors that exist in the country and the roles they play –
Marriage and Family Counselors –
These counselors look into issues such as depression, behavior problems, marital conflicts, domestic violence, and more. Their job is to notice the behavior of family members and come up with treatment plans for individual needs for the betterment of the whole family.
Career Counselors –
The job of a career counselor involves helping people to evaluate their interests and skills and help them to develop the necessary mindset for their dream career. Career counselors also help the students to develop realistic and feasible goals and help them to overcome obstacles and challenges in professional life. Even if you’ve been wondering how to be a counselor in India, then you should know that this is one of the most popular types of counseling practiced in the country.
Rehabilitation Counselors –
Rehabilitation Counsellors help people with disabilities, either mental or physical, to cope with their daily lives and make them capable of independent living. Rehabilitation counselors also help their clients to achieve professional and personal goals and help them to live more freely.
Mental Health Counselors –
Mental Health Counsellors address mental health disorders such as depression, PTSD, eating disorders, personality disorders, anxiety, and many more psychological disorders. They offer guidance to their clients to help them get over these problems and live a healthy life.
School Counselors –
School Counsellors help children and their families to deal with problems such as academics, behavioral problems, social anxiety, and other problems that arise at the school-going age.
Counseling is a broad term, and hence there are a lot of sub-fields that you can pursue. You don’t need to select your specialty at the beginning of your master’s program in counseling.
Counseling is a job that requires dealing with practical issues in the day-to-day life of the clients, and If you are wondering how to be a counselor in India, then you will have to master these few skills to name a few before you take up counseling as a profession –
1) Good Communication Skills –
Counselors need excellent verbal communication skills as they have to work with a wide range of clients. They also need excellent communication skills to understand the mindset and provide a stress-free environment for their clients.
2) Being Patient –
A counselor needs to understand that in most cases, progress is not instant, and some clients may require a lot of time before significant results can be obtained. Once you take up counseling as a profession, you need to keep your client, and yourself motivated when results take a lot of time to show up.
3) Being Compassionate –
If you have been wondering how to be a counselor in India, then you need to have the desire to help others and the ability to be sympathetic with your clients as a few of the essential skills. You should be able to ease the pain of your clients and make them feel comfortable in your company.
4) Being Up-To-Date With Laws and Regulations –
Being a professional counselor requires you to have a strong knowledge of all the relevant laws and regulations in your country. As a counselor, you need to be work within the constraints placed by the law.
5) Problem-Solving Abilities –
If you are thinking about pursuing counseling as a profession, then this is one of the most essential skills you need to have. You must be able to solve the problems of your clients creatively and efficiently so that they can have good results. There are a lot of problem-solving strategies that you need to use when working with your clients, and these can be learned in a counseling course.
Academic Qualifications Required to Take up Counseling as a Career –
Now that you know the relevant skills and have the right mindset to pursue counseling, you need to know the minimum and recommended academic qualifications required to take it up as a profession. Take a look at these undergraduate courses and the leading colleges if you have been wondering how to be a counselor in India –
Applied Psychology or B.A/B.Sc in Psychology (3 Years Duration) –
For a career in counseling, you need to have an undergraduate degree in Psychology. For a successful career in counseling, you need to be knowledgeable about fields like counseling psychology, general psychology, statistics, and more. You can also take advantage of internships in the area of psychology to gain work experience and make contacts in the industry.
The minimum eligibility for this 3-year undergraduate course is a 10+2 (Higher Secondary Certificate) with a minimum aggregate specified by the college. You can consider these leading colleges to pursue applied psychology or B.A/B.Sc in psychology in India (source) –
- University of Mumbai, Mumbai.
- Amity University, Noida.
- University of Calcutta, Kolkata
- JNU, Delhi
- University of Rajashtan, Jaipur
- Fergusson College, Pune
- Christ University, Bangalore
- Utkal University, Bhubaneshwar
M.Sc or M.A in Applied Psychology/Counseling Psychology (2 Years Duration) –
After acquiring an undergraduate degree in psychology, you can pursue M.Sc or M.A in applied psychology or counseling psychology to further increase your knowledge in the field and get better job prospects as a result. Once you start your postgraduate degree, you will be able to select your specialization and gain expertise. You will also be required to write your thesis before completing your postgraduation.
You can consider these leading colleges to pursue applied psychology or B.A/B.Sc in psychology in India (source) –
- Amity University, Noida
- Ambedkar University, New Delhi
- Tata Institute of Social sciences, Mumbai
- Christ University, Bangalore
- Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
- The University of Delhi, New Delhi
PG Diploma or M.Phil (1 Year Duration) –
After completing your postgraduate degree, you are ready to take on counseling as a career. Still, in order to practice as a clinical counselor, you need to have a license from the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI).
Leading institutes offering M.Phil/PG Diploma in India (source) –
- National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development, New Delhi
- Punjab University, Punjab
- University of Calicut, Calicut
- Amity University, Jaipur
You don’t need to complete all of the courses mentioned above, but if you have wondered how to be a counselor in India, then you need to complete at least one degree in psychology to enter the field of counseling.
Counseling is based on the idea that people can help themselves if they get the right sort of support. So, if you believe you have the passion and the necessary skills to take up counseling as your profession, then go right ahead and be a supportive figure for the people who require help.