Community counseling provides psychological support in communities that are afflicted with social or psychological discord.
A community counselor treats individuals within the community on a wide range of psychological problems, proffering curative solutions and preventive measures to ensure that such issues do not recur in the future.
Requirements for a community counseling career
To enter into a community counseling career, you need to have most or all of the following requirements:
Leadership and communication skills
Effective communication skills are the strongest weapon in your arsenal as a community counselor. With it, you will be able to get to the root of the matter.
Often, psychologically afflicted individuals are mentally closed up, and it can be difficult to get them to say anything significant enough to help you to help them.
Excellent communication skills will help you understand and connect better with the issues and their causes on a community level.
As you will be dealing with individuals in a community, you also need leadership skills to effectively relate with people, make them more willing to talk about their problems, and trust your counseling.
Good listening skills
Effective communication isn’t just about getting your point across to the other person. In community counseling, effective listening is key to understanding the problems that the person or persons face. You will have to maintain clinical objectivity in the light of sympathetic and attentive listening.
Relevant training and education
Other than the mental fortitude, empathy, and social skills required to begin a career in community counseling, you will have to do a related course at the undergraduate level. Subsequently, you have to proceed to earn a Master’s in clinical psychology.
The gradual degree you choose does not have to be linked to clinical psychology. As a result, you will be required to undergo a residency or internship that will help you to become a licensed community counselor. The internship or residency will count as work experience.
After earning the required amount of experience, you will have to write an exam with the NBCC.
Career trends and salary
The role of a community counselor is one whose demand is on the rise. It is predicted that almost 50,000 positions for the role will be open in the next 10 years.
As a community counselor, you can earn up to $40,000 annually or more, depending on your position level and years of experience.
Specializations and career paths
Community counseling is a vast discipline. Thus, it has subdisciplines, some of which include:
Rehabilitation counselors provide aid and advice for people with physical disabilities. Behavioral disorder and substance abuse counselors help folk addicted to various substances and those with behavioral issues. These counselors often work in tandem with healthcare professionals and families to provide all-in-one support.
Career and School Counseling
Most community counselors work in schools or are career counselors. With the exposure to students in secondary and post-secondary levels, they provide social, emotional, career and academic support.
Family and Marriage Therapy
Family and marriage counselors help resolve emotional and social issues within marriages and families, while mental health counselors do pretty much the same.
Some other areas of community counseling are:
Behavioral disorder and substance abuse counseling
Mental health counseling
Savia Community Counseling Services (SCCS) provides in-community supportive and psychotherapeutic services. Don’t let your problems drive you to depression. Contact us today.