How to Choose a Counseling Specialty

2014-07-16_11-48-36-300x202If you have decided to pursue a career in counseling, congratulations! Many find counseling to be a wonderful, rewarding field. Counseling is just one branch of psychology, but there are many branches that fall underneath counseling, and choosing a subspecialty can be a difficult process. Here are some other steps that may help you find your path.

Consider education requirements. As with law and many other fields, the regulations for counseling practice vary from state to state.The rules for practicing marriage counseling in Washington DC may differ from those that govern medical family therapy in Bethesda, MD. However, as the fields of psychology and counseling continue to expand, credentials become more and more important. Remember to consider these factors before choosing to specialize.

Consider your target clientele. Do you prefer working with children or adults? Do you think you would prefer individual, family, or group sessions? Is there a personal reason that drew you to counseling in the first place? All of these factors can help you decide where your work will be most resonant.

Talk to a professional. Talking to a professional is always a good way to learn about the career path you are considering. If you are interested in couples therapy, for instance, speaking to a professional like Bethesda MD marital counselor, Dr. Lindsey Hoskins might be useful. You may even choose to specialize further with a post-degree certificate program in medical family therapy. Whatever you decide, first hand knowledge is useful and can help you make a decision.

And, most simply…

Know your options. There are several kinds of counseling, and it would behoove you to read about them all if you’re unsure, keeping the aforementioned questions in mind. Popular branches of counseling include:

  • Vocational counseling
  • School counseling
  • Rehabilitation counseling
  • Mental health counseling
  • Marriage and family therapy
  • Grief counseling
  • Art and Music therapy

Psychology is a broad and popular field, even if you study psychology and branch off into counseling, there are still several possibilities. Remember it’s okay to feel overwhelmed. The best thing you can do for yourself is to learn as much as possible about potential decisions.