What is Counseling?
The terms counselor and therapist are often used interchangeably, but at the core, counselors are often mental health professionals focused on providing pragmatic solutions to your issue. Counseling services run the gamut from general to targeted services like marriage counseling, family therapy, or substance abuse counseling. Counselors typically have a master's degree in counseling, and potentially a Ph.D., with a minimum required number of hours in hands-on training. They're focused on your well-being and provide mental health services in a wide range of settings. Counseling is a big field with an increase in the focus on mental health as a metric for public health. Whether you're looking to go into the field or are looking for services for yourself, learning about the world of counseling can be enlightening.
Learn about Counseling
The American Psychological Association sets terms for practicing counselors and counseling psychologists through their network of standards. One great way to begin your counseling journey is to take courses that provide overviews of the field. EdX.org offers courses designed in partnership with leaders in the counseling field. You can take them from the privacy of your home and use them as a stepping stone to your goals, career or otherwise.
Counseling Courses and Certifications
KU Leuven University offers a fundamental course in counseling that can teach you to measure and increase your own well-being using principles from counseling and clinical psychology. You'll gain an understanding of your emotional life, evaluate interpersonal relationships, and learn to apply positive psychology to your happiness. The University of Queensland offers an X series program, Introduction to Developmental, Clinical, and Social Psychology. This course is a broad overview of our most recent understanding of mental illness, brain anatomy, and the different types of counseling practices. The University of British Columbia also offers AP-level courses on Psychology, including courses on the basics of brain anatomy, the latest research in health and well being, and clinical answers to common issues. It's a good overview of the different types of behavioral therapies and basic anatomy.
Explore a Career in Counseling
Clinical psychologists and counselors provide an essential service to help encourage well-being. From counseling sessions for relationship issues to mental health counseling for things like eating disorders, you could build a rewarding career, helping people cope with life's problems. Understanding the branches of psychology and the inner workings of the brain can help you build your career. Still, even if you're curious about counseling services for yourself, it's a good idea to have foundational understanding. EdX and partners can help lay that foundation and provide a path for your next steps.