Master’s in Counseling Concentrations
- Career/Vocational Counseling
- Marriage and Family Counseling
- Mental Health and Wellness Counseling
- Rehabilitation Counseling
- Addictions Counseling
If you are interested in obtaining a Master’s in Counseling, you need to do some research to decide which concentration to pursue. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there will be over 200,000 counseling psychologists working in the United States by 2020. So, while there will be multiple opportunities for you, you need to choose the specialization that will best help you achieve your career goals. To help you begin your search, here is information on 5 concentrations for a Master’s in Counseling.
Career / Vocational Counseling
This is one of the most popular concentrations of a Master’s in Counseling. Career counselors work in schools, community agencies, or private employment firms. Graduate programs in career or vocational counseling prepare you to work with clients to explore interests and aptitudes, and assess personality traits. The more that the career counselor knows about his/her clients, the better able they will be to match them to the perfect job in the best environment. The career counselor may provide assistance at any point in the job search process.
Marriage and Family Counseling
Even the best relationships take hard work to maintain. When problems occur, couples or families may seek a family counselor to guide them through the difficult times. It is the job of the marriage and family counselor to foster communication among the parties, even when things seem hopeless. A professional graduate program, provides courses to give you tools to remain objective, and become sensitive to all sides of a situation. As our schedules become more hectic and life pressures increase, it is easy to see why the need for these counselors will continue to grow.
Mental Health and Wellness Counseling
Mental health and wellness counselors not only deal with those suffering from mental illness, but help any member of society plan for emotional wellness. Understanding counseling theories and the reasons they are effective, is essential training for any graduate program in this concentration. These counselors will focus on guiding individuals to use their strengths as coping mechanisms when difficulties arise. They will also work on helping clients to develop a support network.
Individuals who become disabled as a result of accident or disease, are usually the clientele who seek the services of a rehabilitation counselor. These counselors work throughout communities to assist disabled clients with a variety of problems. Either handling emotional issues associated with the disability, or providing specialized career assistance, the counselor’s focus may vary. The major duty is to guide individuals to find resources, establish systems of emotional support, and determine new ways to be productive. A major component in community rehabilitation counseling programs is to provide internships so that you can gain hands-on experience.
The initial function of the addictions counselor is to assess the willingness of the client to change behavior. Once the client makes a commitment to change, the counselor helps the client identify triggers and together they plan ways to avoid them. Addictions counselor programs focus on teaching you how to create action plans. In addition to helping clients plan to handle potential relapses and repair relationships, the counselor generally works with the entire family to provide encouragement and support.
Now you have some idea of the daily life of a graduate with a Master’s in Counseling in one of the 5 concentrations listed above. But your work is not done. You need to decide on one of the excellent schools offering the program you choose. So keep researching those counseling concentrations, and good luck.