How to Become a Counselor Without a Degree

How to Become a Counselor Without a Degree

In life, we all come across situations where we feel utterly hopeless and sad. Nothing seems to lift up our spirits and nothing seems to make us happy. We cannot think about a happy future and life seems to be finished. All our dreams and wishes die. We are left with nothing to take us out of bed. Apart from these extreme situations, there are many people who suffer in silence. They are going through serious issues that either they or people around them do not realize and as a result, they don’t get the attention they deserve. As a result, small problems can turn into big ones and you only realize it when matters have already gotten out of your hand. We all need counseling at some stage of our life. During student life, we need career counseling. After we are done with studies, we face a lot of problems while establishing our career. After sorting that out, we proceed to get married and honestly, wedding is one of the most complex relationships of our life. Your marriage can make or destroy your life. If you are in a happy marriage with a loving partner, you are definitely going to have a satisfying life. The opposite is true if you are in a relationship with a partner who doesn’t understand you and loves you. In short, we all need counseling at some point.

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How to Become a Counselor Without a Degree

There are not many counselors available. This highlights the fact that how the importance of counseling is underestimated. You don’t always have to provide professional services to other people. You can always counsel your family members. Here is how you can be a counselor without having a degree:

Learn about various counseling careers:

There are multiple types of counselors such as marriage counselors, counselors for drug addicts, career counselors, guidance counselor etc. Gain sound knowledge about all the types and determine which type interests you the most. There are no marriage counseling services available near me or most of the people here. So opting for marriage counseling services is a good option. Here is a brief insight into each type of counseling service:
School counselors: They provide academic, career, college and university guide and provide expert advice to children and adolescents. They usually work in school starting from kindergarten till high school.
Marriage counselors/ Family counselors: They help people going through problematic relationships and help them sort it out. They provide advice to spouses or any two family members in a complicated relationship. 
Drug abuse counselors: These help people with a history of drug addiction and drug abuse. They help them discover the root cause that is leading them to harmful habits. They help the victims that are under treatment for drug abuse. It is one of the most challenging counseling jobs. You have to deeply understand the patient and promote his mental health.
Career counselors/ vocational counselors: They help people discover their talents and identify their fields of interest. Many people choose a wrong career path because of no guidance available that results into a total disaster. They can work in universities to help individuals find out what they are actually passionate about and what they can do.

Suggested Reading:
How to Become a Couples Counselor and Family Therapist

Meet with a counselor:

Set up a meeting with a counselor and interview them. You can start from meeting the counselors from all different fields and after you have discovered the field of your choice, you can meet the ones related to that field.  Talk to them, ask them questions. Have an idea about their life and their routine. Ask them what lead them to become a counselor. It will help you a great deal to find out if you are actually suitable for the post and if you can maintain your career in it. Contact schools, universities, offices, rehabilitation centers and organizations having counselors around you and express your passion for becoming a counselor. Not all of them will respond but some might get you into contact with their counselor. You can hold an interview with them and get a chance to learn a great deal.

Prepare the interview questions:

Get ready to interview the counselors beforehand and make a list of all the questions that arise in your mind or the questions that you want to ask from the counselors. They can be general questions about his life as well as specific informative questions about being a counselor. Also, be careful not to disturb the person you are meeting. Be considerate about their work hours and the time they will be free at. Here are sample questions that you may ask:
What have you studied?
What lead you to become a counselor?
How do you like the job?
What do you love about your job?
Are you able to maintain work/life balance?
If you get another chance, will you choose the same career path again?
Do you have any regrets?
After receiving the answers to these questions, you will get a good idea about the job.

Start by becoming a social worker:

You can start bringing positive change by doing small good deeds. You can help a friend in need, you can help an elderly person in trouble or you can even help a family member. It can be done in a number of ways. You can physically help them or you can simply listen to their problems and console them. If you are successfully able to make people around you feel better, you have definitely got the potential to be a successful counselor. Remember, patience and attention are the keys. Pay attention to their problems and come up with best possible solution or advice.

Expand your knowledge:

Though most of the counselors have a bachelor's or master's degree in the specific field, you can become one even without a degree. Just make sure to never give up on learning. Use all the available means to expand your knowledge. Visit the nearby library to expand your knowledge on social work and counseling. Consult good and authentic books. They will help you a great deal understanding human behavior. Also, read books related to psychology to have a better understanding of human behavior and what leads them to have specific behavior. There are always reasons behind normal or abnormal human behaviors. Your goal should be to understand the reasons. You can also read authentic articles online. Devote all your free time to this and if you are dedicated enough, you will gain enough knowledge within few months.

Start practicing:

Start applying your knowledge by counseling friends and family. Help them with difficult situations. You can also offer help to random people online. It will be better because friends and family might be a little reluctant while opening to you. If you are successfully able to do your job, keep going. One day you will have enough experience to be counted as one of the most successful counselors. Learning counseling can be really helpful for people around you. You can help your kids and siblings out of difficult situations. It will bring you an immense sense of satisfaction. It is never too late to follow your dreams!

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