Why choose a career in counselling?

Published: October 14, 2014 / 31 Comments

Choose a Career in Counselling

Do you have a strong desire to help others work though the challenges and difficulties of life? Do you long to empower diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish their own mental health, wellness, education, and career goals? Do you seek a career in a field that feels enriching? If you answered ‘yes’ to the above, then you should consider a career in counselling.

One of the most common reasons people decide to enter the field of counselling is because they have a powerful urge to help others, says Dr Ashley Smyth, Academic Dean and Educator at the South African College of Applied Psychology. ‘Registered counsellors are professional practitioners who make primary psychological services available in diverse community contexts, thereby enhancing psychological wellbeing of the public at large,’ he explains, adding that ‘they work with individuals or in groups, focusing on prevention and primary intervention for psychological difficulties rather than psychotherapeutic interventions, which is more the realm of the psychologist.’

Dr Smyth summarises the scope of the counsellor’s work as follows:

  1. Being the first line of community-based psychological support;
  2. Providing preventative and developmental counselling services;
  3. Performing supportive psychological interventions to enhance wellbeing;
  4. Performing basic psychological screening for the purpose of mental health (in other words, as a preliminary screening tool in order to refer appropriately);
  5. Designing, implementing and monitoring preventative and developmental programmes;
  6. Provide counselling in conjunction with interdisciplinary support teams;
  7. Report writing and providing feedback to clients on interventions.

He adds that, sadly, our context in this country is often one of ‘brokenness and fragmentation, crisis and trauma,’ which makes the need for qualified counsellors who have both robust theoretical training as well as plenty of practical experience all the more pressing. ‘At SACAP, we never lose sight of that context and, as a result, we give a lot of practical applications in our training. We embed into both our Advanced Certificate and Diploma counselling courses 200 hours of practical fieldwork training which really gives you a chance to go out into the field and apply theory with practice.’

In his book The Essential Counselor: Process, Skills and Techniques, David Hutchinson points out that counsellors are also often people who want to experience a sense of purpose and fulfillment in their careers. ‘Some people simply feel that they were “called” to the field. They may have a desire to be a part of something larger than themselves,’ he says.

Dr Smyth agrees: ‘In addition to the acquiring the skills and training one needs to effectively counsel others, there is also a deeply personal aspect to the therapeutic field. One of the ways SACAP differs from other training facilities is that the college places a strong emphasis on personal growth, including being coached around your own personal and professional development in relation to the concepts you are learning about. In this sense, the individual drives his or her own process of transformation through continuously reflecting and enquiring into his or her own behaviour and belief systems.’

Counselling is a diverse field that allows you to work in areas that interest you. School counsellors work with children or teens, other counsellors work with people in the community or private practice. Some counsellors prefer working with individuals, while others enjoy working with couples or groups. Whatever your preference, the counselling relationship is rewarding and growth promoting for both patient and counsellor alike.

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Your Comments on “Why choose a career in counselling?”

  1. KESHINI PILLAY

    Good morning. My name is Keshini Pillay and I completed my psychology honors degree in 2008. I recently decided to register as a counselor but was advised the my degree was do e too long ago and that I should check with your facility if my modules will be credited. I sincerely hope that you would be able to assist in this matter

    Reply
    • Marketing Team

      Hi Keshini,

      It would be best to chat to our Admissions team directly. Can you please provide us with your contact details by clicking on the link provided: http://bit.ly/1rE7KKi and the Admissions team will get back to you via email

      Reply
  2. Sonia

    Mujhe ye Janna h ki counselling course kon kon se field me h

    Reply
  3. Michael

    How much can this course cost with unisa?

    Reply
  4. Homba

    I am interested in studying counselling, how do I go about.

    Reply
  5. Pranita pawde

    Can I become a professional councellor with biology stream

    Reply
    • Marketing Team

      Hello Pramita, It would be best to chat to our Admissions team directly. Can you please complete our online enquiry form so that one of our admissions team can contact you: http://bit.ly/1rE7KKi Alternatively, you’re welcome to request a call from our Admissions team here: http://bit.ly/21RL6uo

      Reply
  6. Nikki Emerick

    I am interested in studying a counselling course. Could someone provide me with some further information please? Or is there someone I can get in direct contact with.

    Reply
    • Marketing Team

      Hello Nikki,
      Thank you for interest in SACAP. Please fill out our online form so that one of our admissions staff can contact you. Click here to fill out our form: http://bit.ly/1rE7KKi

      Reply
  7. My Rankin

    Am currently a lay counsellor and would like to pursue a career in counselling. I have an IMM Marketing diploma NQF LEVEL 6 equivalent. Please advise on credits costs and recommendations on which course to take. I currently have approx 100hrs of counselling experience.

    Reply
    • Marketing Team

      Hello My,
      Please fill out our online form so that one of our admissions staff can contact you regarding the course query. Click here to fill out our form: http://bit.ly/1rE7KKi

      Reply
  8. kgomotso

    I have Bachelor Degree in Psychology and will like to become a registered counselor please provide me with information

    Reply
    • Marketing Team

      Hello Kgomotso,
      Thank your for your interest in SACAP. It’s best to ask the admissions team directly, Our minimum requirements are a National Senior Certificate with 45% in English. This, however, differs from programme to programme. Please fill out our online form so that one of our admissions staff can contact you. Click here to fill out our form: http://bit.ly/1rE7KKi

      Reply
  9. Bulelwa

    I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology I graduated in 2003. I’m currently working as an enrolled nurse, I am very interested in working as a counselor… I need advice please!

    Reply
    • Marketing Team

      Hello Bulelwa,
      Please fill out our online form so that one of our admissions staff can contact you. Click here to fill out our form: http://bit.ly/1rE7KKi

      Reply
  10. Thandi Sidloyi

    Hi
    I need more information regarding your courses, registration fees and what are the requirements.

    Thank you!

    Reply
  11. Dimpho

    I would like to know the qualifications/levels that one needs to have in order to become a psychologist.. I matriculated last year and i’m interested in becoming a psychologist

    Reply
    • Marketing Team

      Hi Dimpho,

      Our minimum requirements are a National Senior Certificate with 45% in English. This, however, differs from programme to programme. We’d love to send you some information via email. Can you please provide us with your contact details here: http://bit.ly/1rE7KKi Alternatively, you’re welcome to request a call from our Admissions team here: http://bit.ly/21RL6uo

      Reply
  12. Refilwe

    How much is the counselling course ,im interested

    Reply
    • Marketing Team

      Hi Refilwe,

      It would be best to chat to our Admissions team directly. Can you please provide us with your contact details by clicking on the link provided: http://bit.ly/1rE7KKi Alternatively, you’re welcome to request a call from our Admissions team here: http://bit.ly/21RL6uo

      Reply
  13. Candice

    How soon can I apply to become a registered counsellor? I already have an honours degree in psychology.

    Reply
    • Adele Bezuidenhout

      Hi Candice,

      It would be best to chat with the institution at which you studied. We wish you all the best!

      Reply
  14. Lebo Magwaza

    Good day

    I have a BA degree majoring in Psychology and Criminology. Is it possible for me to be a counsellor with my degree?

    Reply
  15. Cindy

    Hi, I hold a BA Degree in Psychological Counselling obtained from UNISA. Is it possible to register as a counsellor with the HPCSA? If not, please advice what the criteria is to complete this process or if there is any further studies that I need to undertake as I would like to work in this field. Thanks for your assistance .

    Reply
    • Adele Bezuidenhout

      Hi Cindy,

      It would be best to chat to our Admissions team directly. We have passed your details along to them. They will be in contact shortly.

      Reply
  16. kamohelo siko

    Hi my name is Kamohelo 19 currently living in northwest,i passed my matric last year so due to financial instability i couldnt pursue my dream of doin psychology.So i need more info about you like the tuition fee the admission requirements and so on am interested.

    Reply
    • SACAP

      Kamohelo,

      Thank you for your interest in studying at SACAP. Please contact us in order to discuss with you directly fees and payment options as well as the course we have available.
      Email to info@www.sacap.edu.za or call us on 0860 77 11 11

      Reply
  17. mondli

    greetings im currently doing a undergraduate degree in psychology at the university of kwazulu Natal i want to knw if u provide training for undergraduate students if you do how much for clinical psychology please enlist other domains. And what happans after the training do u arrange internships?

    Reply
    • SACAP

      Mondli,

      We only accommodate students registered with us for fieldwork and other practical work while they study. We unfortunately do not provide for students registered at other learning institutions.

      Reply