Everyone can use help when it comes to their mental health and the behavior which stems from these thoughts. This is where a community counselor comes into play. As a professional counselor, your job is pivotal in keeping society glued together.
Whether talking to an individual or discussing an issue with a group of people, you help people seek the answers they’re looking for. When thoughts, fears, and troubles become one tangled mess, you can help pluck the strings apart, which enables your client to feel calm and think more rationally.
However, at the same time, it can sometimes feel overwhelming. There are several pros and cons to counseling. As much as you want people to turn more towards getting professional help, expect people to resist too. For your understanding, here’s a deep dive into what counseling has to offer and where it can’t help:
What Are The Benefits Of Being A Counselor?
The world has many tragedies. There is far too much pain and suffering around us. Recovering from one event after another is exhausting and only pushes us further from becoming a community.
As a counselor, you can act as a guiding light for people and families seeking an outlet from the distress around them. Similarly, you can help those feeling isolated, harboring negative thoughts, feeling scared, or maybe going through a severe mental health crisis.
Therefore you can render your services in correctional facilities, mental health centers, and retirement houses. Here’s how:
- You Prevent Crimes
The law and order system can use your expertise as a crime counselor where you can work in rehab centers and correctional facilities. Living in a world where mass shootings, Asian hate crimes, and racially motivated violent attacks exist, your role can be imperative.
While speaking to a person who expresses the desire to hurt others, you are well within your rights to inform the police. If a person explicitly discusses how they plan on carrying out the crime or have committed felonies, letting law enforcement know allows them to monitor the situation and intervene when necessary. If you’re working with inmates, you will have to take a different approach.
Since these individuals are already in jail, you have to help them find their way back to society. Remind them about the positive aspect of living a fulfilling life, give them strategies to deal with their anger and frustration, and encourage them to acknowledge what they did and how to move forward.
- Bring A Sense of Belonging
Counseling involves discussing and shedding light on issues clients frequently hide. These can be anything from having a troubled marriage to struggling with eating disorders, or feeling inadequate. You also work with older people who feel rejected and abandoned by their loved ones in their old homes.
When you give your clients the space to lay it all on the table and slowly help them comprehend their traumas, remind them about those times when they were brave and patiently unraveled the troubles bothering them. This can help them feel more accepted.
- Help Introduce Coping Mechanisms
Coping mechanisms help the client deal with a disturbing or traumatizing incident without internalizing it. These can be a sudden memory that can invoke PTSD, an onslaught of anxiety, a craving for substances, or the desire to self-harm.
When clients come to you, they may need your assistance in dealing with urges that may push them back to their ways of abusing and harming themselves. By taking the situation into account, you may advise the client on breaking the pattern.
These can be simple distractions such as humming or singing. You may tell your client to remove themselves from the situation, develop healthier habits, socialize more, and also recommend meditation they can try.
- Bring Families Together
As a counselor, you can invite people with troubled marriages, bitter partners, and estranged family members to participate in a discussion. Family counseling aims to give every member the space to speak their mind, express their concerns and help them assess why they feel that way.
Resentment builds from being misunderstood and unacknowledged. Telling couples and families how they should communicate can re-establish bonds.
- Provide A Room For Shared Experiences
When speaking to people in a group setting, you allow them to share experiences. This removes the feelings of loneliness and inferiority since clients can connect. People dealing with domestic violence, a family member who is a criminal, and mental health ailments can use your counseling sessions as a medium to express their thoughts.
Every fear, trouble, and worry they harness is out for others to see. Once you hear your client, you can help them dissect their ideas further. Explain how these thoughts occur and what the truth is to them. Other clients attending the session may also relate, forming a bond.
- Excellent Career Outlook
Counseling starts after you get your master’s degree. But once you acquire the relevant credentials and certificates, you can enjoy a promising career.
According to the BLS, this sector will grow by 22% until the next decade. So you can make yourself a steady profession comfortably. Your salary will also range from five to six figures which is another bonus for your work.
What is The Downside of Being A Counselor
As a counselor, you may try your hardest to re-establish a community but not every client may respond favorably to your antics. There are times when a client may reject you, shun you, or the situation may be too tedious for you to handle. Here are some ways being a counselor can be challenging:
- Violent Clients
Not every client you meet will sit across from you and talk calmly. Some may reject you from the get-go and mistrust anything you say. These clients may mock, insult, or taunt you and try to attack you in the worst-case scenario.
Some clients live in deep denial. So no matter how much you guide them, they’ll see you as the culprit. They’re also not interested in sitting through sessions and may skip the meeting or walk out. But, if a client makes active threats, you should get the police involved. As a counselor, you will always meet different types of clients, some too difficult to handle.
- Mental Fatigue
Listening to clients and their stories is not easy. Some events are too traumatizing and disturbing to witness. These cases can take a toll on you. If your client is emotionally disturbed, it adds to your fatigue. You may start feeling fear, getting startled easily, feeling despair, or even finding yourself getting depressed after listening to your clients. These are all human emotions and natural when you come across intense reactions. If you feel like a client is too much to handle, take a break, refer them to another professional, or space out the meetings.
- Tedious Schedule
You may have several clients to see in a day. Unless you’re running a private practice, you have to stick to the schedule the establishment provides you. This may involve working at least four days a week from nine to five. At certain times you may need to see back-to-back clients in a week. If you’re the only professional community counselor for schools, you may get more than one educational institution to look after. This constant running around and keeping up with your clients can get tiring.
Community counseling is a dire social need. People need help navigating through their lives, whether in school or a correctional facility. Therefore your role as a professional is vital in providing service. Through your expertise, you can prevent crimes, allow shared experiences to blossom, help people cope, and even bring families closer to each other. You’re no short of a blessing for people who wish to live in harmony. But at the same time, you may also have to deal with clients who want nothing to do with you, get affected by the troubling lives of your clients, and get a tedious schedule that is not easy to maintain.
Saad Mushtaq was born and raised in the busy city of Abbottabad. As a journalist, Saad Mushtaq has contributed to many online publications including the PAK Today and the Huffing Post. In regards to academics, Saad Mushtaq earned a degree in business from the Abbottabad UST, Havelian. Saad Mushtaq follows the money and covers all aspects of emerging tech here at The Hear Up.Thanks
How to Prepare for a Long-Distance Move
More than 27,059,000 people move each year, whether traveling across the state or the country. Regardless of when you’re preparing for a long-distance move, there are several things you’ve got to be aware of ahead of time.
We’ve created a checklist that you can use full of packing tips and other things you need to know, like the importance of hiring movers to aid in the big move. The more prepared you are, the easier and more stress-free the move will be.
Get ready to settle into your new home after you check out these need-to-know packing tips below.
When moving to NY from California, you need to plan ahead. You need to do this to get everything in order, such as shutting off the utilities and turning it on at the new location before you’re scheduled to arrive.
The last thing you want to do is risk arriving at your new place and not having running water or working electricity when you get there. Another reason you want to plan ahead is that if you’ve decided to hire movers, you’ll need to coordinate the day they plan to pick up your items and deliver them to the new house.
Again you don’t want to arrive at your home and the movers not arrive with your items on the day you expect them to. Not only does this leave you without your necessities, but it could also mean you pay additional delivery fees that you’d not planned for.
If it helps, you could make a list of everything you need to do before you are set to move. We recommend making this list ahead of time so that you don’t feel rushed at the last minute to get everything completed.
Moving lots of items a long distance can be tricky, especially if you’re not used to driving a moving truck. Before you’re set to move, make a list of the best movers in your area.
You can do this by creating a list of mover names and estimates from your area. Ensure you have them clarify what you’re paying for because most rental companies provide a specific number of miles locally and out of state that could increase your overall rental price.
You’ll also want to inquire about the insurance needed to schedule movers to come and help transport your items. Ensure you get the estimates for each type of vehicle they offer.
When the move is complete, the larger the vehicle and the more movers you need, the higher the rental price. Once you’ve decided which moving company you’re going to work with, take the next steps to set your reservation.
If you’re making the appointment over the phone, ask the company to send you a confirmation email once the phone call has concluded. This will ensure you have tangible evidence of your appointment reservation just in case something comes up the day of the move where you need to contact the moving company.
When you move a long distance, it’s in your best interest to only pack the items you need and discard items you no longer use. The best way to do this is to take some time to declutter your home before you begin packing.
Make a pile of the items you need to get rid of, whether that means donating or discarding them accordingly. While it might prove to be a time-consuming process, in the long run, it will pay off when you don’t have to do these things while unpacking in your new home.
This is especially true if you’re downsizing and don’t have enough room to store all the items that you have currently in your home or apartment. Another reason to declutter your home is so that you can effectively determine how much packing material you need to pack, such as boxes and packing tape.
Check your local area for packing items because there are several places online where people want to get rid of their extra boxes for free. This can help you to save on packing expenses.
When you move into your new place, the last thing you want to happen is for essential items to be mailed to your previous email. This means you need to take the steps necessary to forward your mail to your new address, which can be done online via the united states postal service website.
When forwarding your mail, ensure you list the names of everyone moving and the address of the new home. Then you will need to specify a date when you want the mail to begin being sent to the new location.
Along with forwarding your mail, you need to remember to change the address on other government documentation, such as:
- Car registration
- Drivers license
- Voter registration
When you don’t place your new address on these documentation forms, completing other things you need to complete after you’ve moved can become challenging.
When you’re moving a long distance, the last thing you want to do is travel back to your previous residence to take care of things that should’ve been completed before the move.
When preparing for a long-distance move, you need to know several things, such as ensuring you forward your mail ahead of time. You should also remember to schedule movers and request estimates to help move your belongings from one place to another.
If you want to know more about this topic, continue to scroll through the posts in this section.
Khalil ur Rehman is a proud born and raised in Abbottabad. Khalil has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade having contributed to several large publications including the Yahoo News and The Verge. As a journalist for The Hear Up, Khalil covers climate and science news. [email protected]