What Counselors Do

professional counselorThere are a lot of misconceptions about what it is that counselors do. Many people still have the mental image of having to lie on a couch while a man in a tweed suit asks them to talk about their father. This is hardly the case. A professional counselor’s purpose is to provide a safe outlet for a person to communicate their troubles to, and to provide a professional, objective opinion on how to move forward. When taken seriously and utilized correctly, they can mean the difference between mental health success and failure. Professional counselors may work in a private practice, a hospital or a residential rehab center. When a person receives professional counseling, they are expected to do so with an open mind and a willingness to be receptive to the guidance they are going to receive. The duties of a professional counselor are to:

  • Listen. Professional counselors are also professional listeners. They take the task of understanding their clients very seriously, and their method of understanding is by listening to what their clients have to say and interpreting their communication.
  • Guide. Counselors are trained to guide the communication that takes place between themselves and their clients to maximize its usefulness. Their training also allows them to map the individual out to understand their psychological profile, which aids them in offering the individual life guidance.
  • Assess. After hearing what the client has to say, the counselor will offer them an assessment of the situation. They will validate the person where their feelings are healthy and normal, as well as point out where their thinking is destructive. They will help the client understand the truth of their own situation much better.
  • Advise. Giving advice as a counselor is tricky business. Anytime a counselor offers real advice about how a person can change their life, they have to feel very certain that no harm will come to their client if they follow their advice. That is why counselors will more frequently guide their client to arriving at their own conclusions and save the concrete advice for when it is absolutely necessary.

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