Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Counsellor?

Being a counsellor is both a challenging and rewarding role. Like any job, it is tiring, involves a lot of paperwork and can feel impossible at times. Unlike other jobs, though, being a counsellor is highly emotionally taxing and requires you to be as impartial, calm and professional as humanly possible. The emotional labour required when working as a counsellor is highly intense and can take its toll on any individual, even if you have worked as a counsellor for a long time.

The Logistics

Firstly, there is the training aspect of becoming a counsellor. In order to offer your services to individuals seeking guidance, you will need to complete a counseling undergraduate degree that will equip you with the skills and on-paper qualification to work as a counsellor. In addition to your degree, you may have to complete a placement that further fortifies your ability to work independently as a counsellor.
What type of personality should you have as a counsellor?

There is no one personality type that makes you a good counsellor, but there are some traits that serve the role well. Here are some of the traits that work well with being a counsellor.


The number one personality trait that serves you as a counsellor is empathy. Your clients will be people who are experiencing some kind of difficulty in their lives and are looking for guidance that will help them figure out how to move on. This could be a death of a loved one, depression, anxiety, abuse or something else - but whatever it is, talking about it will likely be stressful for any individual. This means that no matter how tired, stressed or distracted you are, your job is to respond to their vulnerability with empathy and kindness. If you are a natural empath, a career as a counsellor will suit you very well.

Calmness in the face of challenges.

Speaking about difficult or traumatic situations can make your clients feel very uneasy and even panicked. This could result in potential outbursts of rage, sadness or anxiety, including panic attacks. Being a counsellor requires you to be a calm person who can rationalise and respond calmly to any situation that may come your way. You will be trained for this, of course, but having an innately calm personality will help you adjust to this training more quickly.

A solutions-based person.

Part of being a counsellor is helping others to see a way out of the way they are feeling, or the situation they are in. As their leader, your job is to help a person see how their situation can and will improve in the future. Being a solutions-based person allows you to help draw an individual out of a negative mindset and aid them in focusing on solutions, not problems. If you are a naturally resourceful person, you might find this helps you immensely in your career as a counsellor. 

Final Thoughts

If your personality matches the examples in this guide and you want to become a counsellor, research training courses in your area to get started!

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