October is Mental Health Month in NSW – an important reminder of the need to talk about mental health. It’s a topic that is often swept under the rug. But, no one should have to suffer in silence. We all deserve for our voices to be heard, and that’s something that Counsellors do every day. They help people simply by being there – by listening and giving people a voice when they need it most.
So, what are some of the qualities of a great counsellor and how do you know if it’s the right career for you?
You like to help people
Do your friends often come to you for advice? Do you get a sense of satisfaction knowing you have helped someone?
People who make good counsellors genuinely like other people. They actively listen, understand and support others. They are driven by a desire to help others without their own agenda.
You’re a good problem solver
Do you look at tricky or challenging situations and try to figure out how to fix them? Are you constantly coming up with new ideas and ways to look at or tackle a problem? If so, you may already be a counsellor, without even realising it!
The first rule of working as a counsellor is that no two people are the same. Everyone has their own unique challenges and ways of responding to difficult or stressful situations. Having that ability to be creative, think on your feet and come up with different tactics for someone to use in their everyday life to try and address the issues they are facing, is a great skill to have.
You like to listen
As humans, we tend to only listen to half of what is being said to us. Most of the time, it’s only the parts we want to hear. This is often referred to as passive listening.
It is a unique skill to have to be able to actively listen to someone, without your mind wandering, free from judgement, bias, or your own hidden agenda. A good listener can process what is being said, but also what isn’t being said. They will be able to pick up on non-verbal cues, as well as verbal ones.
This is a fantastic skill to have as a counsellor. Your clients will come to you looking for someone to listen, to understand, support and help them through issues they are facing. They want someone who really gets them and understands where they are coming from.
You have good communication skills
We can all communicate. What sets a good communicator apart from everyone else, is the ability to be able to articulate what you want to say in a clear and concise way, that people can relate to. It’s about coming from the other person’s point of view. It’s about putting yourself in their shoes and talking to them in a way that makes sense to them. These are all the qualities of a great counsellor. Does this sound like you?
You’re passionate and empathetic
Are you someone who likes to help others? Do you have a positive attitude to change? As a counsellor, people come to you when they are at their most vulnerable. They place their trust in you to help them through difficult times in their lives. When you have that desire to help someone, and give them the skills to be able to cope with life’s changes, it can make all the difference.
Are you ready to make a difference, today?
Turn your passion for helping others, your desire for change and great communication skills into a rewarding career in counselling. The Diploma of Counselling will equip you with the skills and knowledge to guide and support people through the tough times in life. Don’t sit back and wait for the chance to help others – take charge and do it today!