There are many rewarding jobs that you can choose from. They include being a teacher, a nurse, or a social worker, for example. However, many people like the idea of becoming a mental health counselor, especially now that the need for such a profession is growing, thanks to the fact that we are becoming a lot more open and accepting of mental health issues.
This is one reason why people are opting to study hard and gain qualifications to be a mental health counselor, but there are many more. Knowing what they are might help you make a decision when it comes to your own career and the next steps you might take, so read on to discover what the most rewarding reasons to become a mental health counselor really are.
It’s What You’ve Always Wanted
For some people – and perhaps you are one of those people – working in mental health and helping as many people as possible with their battles with depression, stress, anxiety, trauma, PTSD, and so much more is something that they have always wanted to do. This is a great reason to become a mental health counselor, as not only will it mean you are dedicated to your work, but it will also mean that you are personally happy, and that makes a big difference in your life and how you are able to treat your patients.
This reason to become a mental health counselor, whether it’s something you start working towards as soon as you leave high school or it’s something that has taken you a long time to achieve, and you’ve been working in a different career and now want to switch, does come with some caveats, however. Simply wanting to do something is not necessarily the same as enjoying it, and you must do plenty of research into the profession yourself to ensure that you are going to be able to do as well as you hope and help your clients as much as possible. It would be a shame to simply assume that you would enjoy being a counselor and work to get your degree only to find that, in reality, the job wasn’t what you expected.
Being A Positive Force
Many people – perhaps more people than most of us realize – are suffering due to negative forces in their lives. These might be current issues, or they might be linked to something that happened in the past, but that is still affecting them now. No matter which of these it is, these negative forces can cause many different mental health problems and can hold people back from being their true, happy, healthy selves. It might be anything from grief, trauma, abuse, and more.
A wonderful reason to become a mental health counselor is to be a positive force in someone’s life. When you are a positive force, you can help the client overcome the negative force or forces by giving them the right advice and tools to ensure they can move forward.
Seeing People Flourish
It is so rewarding to see someone you are treating for a mental health issue flourish the more you work with them. They will come to you in a low state, potentially feeling as bad as they have ever felt, and with your expertise, experience, and in-depth knowledge of mental health counseling, you can help them to find the positives in their lives and change everything for the better. With your abilities to help people, you really can change lives.
So if you want to be able to see people go from feeling bad and being unwell to improving, even if it is a slow process, and if you want to be the catalyst behind that improvement, then working hard to become a mental health counselor is the right call to make.
Starting People On Their Personal Journeys
People decide to visit mental health counselors for all kinds of reasons. Some will find that they are lost, and they don’t know where to turn or what to do next. They don’t know how to improve their lives and change things.
It’s important to know that your clients will need to find their own way; you can’t decide on a path for them to take. However, what you can do is to help them find the right path by themselves. You can give them the tools to decide what they need to do and learn how to do it. When you do this, you are giving your patient the chance to start off on their personal life journeys, heading towards their goals, aspirations, and happiness. You won’t have – and can’t – make any decisions for your clients, but you can help them make their own choices and boost their confidence and self-esteem so they can get to wherever it is they want to go in life.
Your Own Life Will Improve
If you decide to become a mental health counselor, you’ll probably think only of helping other people. As we’ve said, this is one of the things that makes it such a rewarding career, and it’s the main reason for doing anything as a counselor. However, a huge benefit of taking on this role and another reason why it’s so rewarding is that you can help yourself as well. This may not be the sole or even first reason why you have chosen to become a mental health counselor, but it is undeniably a positive thing that comes with the role.
One way your life will improve when you choose to become a counselor is that you will be working in a rewarding career, as evidenced by everything in this article. Those who work in rewarding jobs – jobs in which they can see they are making a difference and are needed – have greater job satisfaction, and that makes them generally more positive in all aspects of their life. This makes sense; if you have a job you dislike, this will affect everything you do. It will make you irritable, angry, perhaps even depressed and stressed, and your relationships and other areas of your life will suffer. If you have a career that you enjoy (although there will still be bad days, as this is inevitable), this will also affect the rest of your life in an entirely opposite way to if you dislike what you do.
Not only that, but when you are a mental health counselor, you’ll be much better placed to understand how mental illness works and what people can do to help themselves. If you suffer from any kind of mental health issues, you can immediately put this knowledge to use in your own life, ensuring you stay as healthy as possible. Plus, if you know you need additional help, you’ll have people in mind you can turn to right away.
A Job For Life
A job for life isn’t something that many people can find anymore. Everything is changing so quickly that jobs we have today might not be around in a few years’ time, and jobs that will be around in the future don’t yet exist. Add to this the fact that we have so much more choice when it comes to education and applying for jobs and that we’re told we need to find work that makes us happy (this is true), and it’s obvious that the majority of people will either have to or want to switch careers at least once in their lives, and perhaps more.
This is something that is hugely appealing to some people. They love the idea of trying different things and knowing that if they don’t enjoy one profession, they can move on to another. For others, it’s a worry; they would rather have a job they could stick with for life, only changing because they wanted to, not because they were forced to due to outside influences.
If you decide to become a mental health counselor, you can have one of these elusive jobs for life. This is not an area that will be taken over by technology, and it’s not a career that will get smaller – more and more people are in need of mental health counseling, and therefore, if anything, there is going to be more need for well-trained counselors in the coming years. Therefore, unless you choose to leave the profession, this is something you can do until you retire.
You’ll Be Challenged
It might be the easy route to go through life without having to overcome obstacles or get around challenges, and if that is the kind of life you want, then there are plenty of careers that will offer you that – as far as possible, anyway. However, if you are the kind of person who thrives on challenges and who feels they are the best way to become better not just at your job but in other areas of your life too, then you would find mental health counseling to be highly rewarding.
It all starts with your studies. There is a lot to learn if you want to become a successful mental health counselor who is able to do their utmost to help others and see that help make a difference in their clients’ lives. Therefore, the work to become a mental health counselor will take a lot of studies. There will be challenges to face during these studies. However, this doesn’t stop when you have graduated and can begin working. In fact, the best counselors are those who continue their education and keep learning more and more about their chosen profession. Again, there will be challenges associated with this, but it is worth it to be confident and successful.
You’ll also come across challenges in your day-to-day working life. Because no two patients will be the same, you’ll need to listen carefully and determine what course of action is best. This is a challenge in itself and one that you’ll need to focus on to get right.
You’ll Have Freedom
Assuming you want to set up your own practice and not work for someone else, you can have a good deal of freedom as a mental health counselor, which is yet another rewarding reason to choose this career.
You could choose to work part-time, for example, or to work online rather than face to face. You can schedule your appointments to ensure you can have a good work-life balance, meaning that you can spend time with your family, take part in hobbies, and not get overwhelmed. Because mental health counseling can be highly paid (again, this will depend on your experience and what kind of practice you are working in), working part-time could be a viable option. However, even if it’s not and full-time work would be better, you can still arrange appointments that suit both you and the client, ensuring your work-life balance is unaffected wherever possible.
When you have freedom in life, it truly makes a difference to your health and happiness – and this includes your own mental health. Many more people are realizing just how important it is, but not all careers allow for it. Counseling can if you arrange things the right way.
Being There For Breakthroughs
It’s so rewarding to help people, no matter how you do it. Seeing the difference you have made in their lives really has no parallel. This is why mental health counseling is such an important job and why it is so rewarding. No matter what you do, even if it seems to be just a small thing, it can have a major impact on your clients and could be the catalyst for the breakthrough they truly need.
Being there for that breakthrough is something that very few people get to experience, but as a mental health counselor, you can do it more often than you might realize. What’s wonderful about these breakthroughs is that you can be proud of yourself for having made it happen – along with your client, of course, because they need to be behind every change and decision made.