Choose a Catholic Counseling Degree

Working as a counselor can be an extremely rewarding experience. Helping people heal from past wounds and cope with life’s troubles can prove challenging, but it can also give you the satisfaction of knowing you are making a difference in the lives of others. For Christians, the desire to provide faith-based counseling is often especially powerful. If you already have your bachelor’s degree, getting a Christian graduate degree in counseling is the next step in your path toward becoming a counselor. What Services Do Counselors Typically Provide? In general, counselors provide support and assistance to individuals, families, couples and groups of people who are having trouble coping with various problems. Depending on the situation, the type of counseling may vary, but most counselors deal with troubled marriages, emotional issues, problems within families, substance abuse and problems within workplaces or schools. While some counselors treat a variety of different problems, others work exclusively in dealing with certain situations. For example, marriage counselors provide support to married couples and families but typically do not treat substance abuse. Additionally, some counselors specialize in helping students with educational and career choices. If you’re thinking about becoming a counselor, you can choose to specialize in an area that interests you, or you may wish to work with the general population. Where do Counselors Usually Work? Counselors work in a variety of places, including hospitals, clinics, prisons, retirement homes, schools, office buildings and houses of worship. Some counselors work in group practices, and others choose to work from their own homes. In some cases, counselors will even travel to their patients’ homes. What is Faith-Based Counseling? Unlike secular counseling, faith-based counseling uses Christian principles as a form of guidance. In addition to using standard techniques, Catholic counselors teach patients to draw on their faith to cope with their problems. Counselors may also use prayer, Bible study and Catholic teachings to help their patients. Most importantly, Catholic counselors will never give advice that is contrary to their religious beliefs. For many Christians, this plays a critical role in whether or not they seek help. How to Become a Catholic Counselor If you have chosen to become a Catholic counselor, there are many Catholic colleges where you can receive your Christian graduate degree in counseling. Most offer online classes in addition to traditional on-campus courses. Some colleges also offer accelerated degree programs and rolling admissions, so you can start when it is most convenient and receive your degree in a shorter amount of time. In some Catholic colleges, you will be required to take courses in theology in addition to taking psychology and other subjects. After completing the required classes, you will need to complete an internship in the field prior to receiving your degree. If you have the desire to help others and provide a valuable service to the community, becoming a counselor may be the ideal job for you. By attending a Catholic college, you will learn how to apply faith-based counseling methods when working with patients, and you will be able to help them adhere to their religious beliefs while they undergo treatment.