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Questionnaire: Are You Counsellor Material?

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 22 May 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Counsellor Client Skills Empathy Rapport

There are many different approaches to counselling, and also many specialist areas of counselling – relationship and family, abuse and addiction, stress and anger management, grief and loss etc. A good counsellor therefore will be one who shares common attributes and is able to offer empathetic support and understanding, in a caring, comforting manner.

Careful Considerations

There is more to counselling than simply listening to a client talk about emotional issues, and a counsellor must be able to demonstrate a wide variety of skills. These include empathy, compassion, understanding, challenging skills, motivational ability, creative thinking and loads more besides. A counsellor must also be able to listen to a client’s problems and concerns and translate these into goals that the client can work towards, in order to reach resolution.

Anyone who is contemplating undergoing training to become a counsellor should firstly pause to consider whether they possess the necessary interpersonal skills, can acquire them through training or simply isn’t emotionally equipped to successfully work in the field of counselling.

Quick Questionnaire

Do You Have What it Takes?

Are You:
  • Sensitive
  • caring
  • compassionate
  • sensible
  • responsible
  • adaptable
  • flexible
  • empathetic

Or Do You Prefer to:

  • take charge of the situation
  • empower others
  • are logical and practical and like to solve problems

Answering yes to either, or both, of the above questions would make you a suitable candidate for counsellor training. Being able to focus on practical issues whilst empowering individuals to work towards personal goals is every bit as important as being able to offer a client a sympathetic ear.

Understanding that the counsellor’s role is varied and adaptable will enable you to view counselling as a worthwhile qualification to consider. If you already work in a person-centred role – perhaps in teaching, nursing or care-giving or other supportive field – counselling could provide you with a beneficial, additional qualification and skill.

Is Counselling For You?

Do You:
  • enjoy dealing with people on a one-to-one basis
  • find it easy to build rapport with others
  • empathise with people and understand the importance of confidentiality
  • are you able to encourage, coax and help others to empower and improve their lives
If you answered yes to 3 or more of these questions then counselling would be a good career option to consider. Most individuals opt to train as counsellors as a second career, and will therefore bring a host of other key skills, from previous employment, into the counselling environment. These may include dealing with problems, motivational ability, person-centred skills, administrative knowledge and record keeping.

Counsellors must possess emotional awareness and be emotionally stable and mature enough to handle other people’s problems, concerns, issues and worries. They must have a strong interest in other people and in helping them achieve positive changes. If you are able to demonstrate sensitivity, can inspire trust, confidence and respect in others you are most definitely counsellor material.

The Next Step

If you decide you like the sound of helping others and want to consider training to become a counsellor the next step to take is to check out available courses in your area. There is also a wealth of information, regarding relevant counselling skills courses, available online.

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I am a student studing this area of interest
emmanie - 22-May-17 @ 6:15 PM
@Clare - You are never too old to retrain and many counsellors are older as they have the wisdom of experience to add to the mix. However, despite the policies of no age discrimination, finding a job when you're older is more difficult in general in a market that sees new graduates as the future. Hopefully counselling is one area where age is not seen as a barrier.
MattYB - 9-Jun-16 @ 11:22 AM
Hi I wish to change my career to become a counsellor but I am 41. I know there is a lot of training involved in this and will be about 44/45 by the time I finish my courses.Am I too old to retrain will I find it harder being older to get a job when qualified. Thanks Clare
Clare - 8-Jun-16 @ 2:31 PM
@Annie - there can be a crossover, for instance you could work in media and also do voluntary work helping others i.e for the charity MIND, or once your media training has completed, this might help you gain work for a charity doing media-based work. It depends really what you feel is uppermost closest to you, i.e writing and/or helping others. However, whatever you decide you can always have a crossover, and that's a nice choice to have.
Jo - 17-Feb-16 @ 11:35 AM
Hi, I'm 16 and I've always loved to help people (at the moment it's been my friends and family), I once got in with the wrong people which led to me having panic attacks and anxiety. I'm over coming it and having a blog has been a big part of my mental recovery. I don't know which route I want to go into. I wanted to go into media and reach people that way so in a September im doing English, ICT and media studies but I want to help people and I also want to work in media. I don't know what I should do. Does anyone have advice? Thank you.
Annie - 16-Feb-16 @ 6:46 PM
I am a 25 year old woman in Zimbabwe.I have experienced emotional and physical abuses and I have no one to talk to,I just keep everything to myself.This has made me wish to help others who are in the same situation as me.I am currently helping and have helped so many people with relationship problems,who lost loved ones and they are doing just fine.That made me realise I could help so many people out there with similar problems.I want to be a counsellor here in Zimbabwe or in south Africa.
Poppy - 14-Jan-16 @ 2:46 PM
Has anyone studied the specialist counceling course, did they find it hard to understand, what was there main concern.
Yvonne Baseley - 10-Jan-16 @ 12:01 AM
Has anyone studied the specialst councelling course with bsy, how did like it and did they find it very hard to understand.
Yvonne Baseley - 9-Jan-16 @ 11:58 PM
Hello, I would love to do the specialist councelling course with bsy and wondered if anyone else has studied this course and what they thought of it.
Bon - 9-Jan-16 @ 11:55 PM
Ava - Your Question:
Hi, I am 33 years old, post grad in management. I would like to study counselling in the uk. I want to get a qualification which will allow me to work as a counsellor. How should I go about this? Also are there any good universities or institutes in North west England where I could study part time? Thank you

Our Response:
You can find all the necessary further information you need to know via the link here. I hope this helps.
TheCounsellorsGuide - 5-Jan-16 @ 12:13 PM
Hi, I am 33 years old, post grad in management. I would like to study counselling in the uk. I want to get a qualification which will allow me to work as a counsellor. How should I go about this? Also are there any good universities or institutes in North west England where I could study part time? Thank you
Ava - 4-Jan-16 @ 9:16 PM
Fishlegs - Your Question:
Hello, I qualified as a medical doctor in the UK in 1996. I worked an a trainee general practioner for a while and then had my first child. From then on I decided to take Career break and be a stay-at-home mum. My kids are now 15 13 and 8 and getting back into general practice is too hard. I have been a parenting consultant for an on line mums group for many years and have been running parenting workshops for the last 5 years. But now I feel I need a career change and after having volunteered as a receptionist is a Christian counseling center wonder if I should become a counsellor. I would have to do an online course. Can you recommend any? I am on a tight budget so I cannot afford to spend a lot. Any advice you give will be much appreciated.

Our Response:
I'm afraid we can't recommend any courses specifically. I have included a link to our partner article, The Cost of Training to be a Counsellor, here. I hope this helps.
TheCounsellorsGuide - 1-Oct-15 @ 11:13 AM
Hello, I qualified as a medical doctor in the UK in 1996. I worked an a trainee general practioner for a while and then had my first child. From then on I decided to take Career break and be a stay-at-home mum. My kids are now 15 13 and 8 and getting back into general practice is too hard. I have been a parenting consultant for an on line mums group for many years and have been running parenting workshops for the last 5 years. But now I feel I need a career change and after having volunteered as a receptionist is a Christian counseling center wonder if I should become a counsellor. I would have to do an online course. Can you recommend any? I am on a tight budget so I cannot afford to spend a lot. Any advice you give will be much appreciated.
Fishlegs - 30-Sep-15 @ 11:00 AM
I'm about to turn 21, and am considering whether I have the right personality and mindset to be a good counselor one day. I've read the comments and responses from other people here; however I would like to be a counselor/psychotherapist based on my personal experiences. I was abused as a child and learned to work through my pain, love and anger through several years of counseling after becoming clinically depressed. Anybody who has been in a similar situation to me knows that you can't "just move on"; rather it's a journey of catharsis and self-awareness as you explore who you are as a person. I'm an introvert - INTJ if you follow Myers-Briggs - and have a few very close friends who I try to be an impartial source of advice that will listen well and remain confidential. I've learned to become skilled in gaining a person's confidence, and sincerely want to help people in an objective and non-judgmental. I enjoy the sense of being able to help people because of my own experiences; it validates me as a person and I find joy in helping others - no matter their situation. I feel personally that I am too young to train as a counselor right now; but it's something that I would like to explore in the next few years. I'm in a place in life currently where I want to travel and explore the world - by working with charities to help others whilst gaining a greater perspective who I am. When I'm ready to return, I'd like to look seriously at training as a counselor. I'm financially conservative and am prepared to devote the time to serious study. Admin, do you feel - or have experience of - younger people can be successful counselors? And if so, what would your advice be to such a person? I'd be interested to hear your perspective. Thank you, Tom (20, Southampton, UK)
Tom - 19-Jul-15 @ 11:05 PM
I'm a 27 male an never really known what to do with my life workwise. I have gone from one dead end job to another and need a change not just for financial gain but i want to help others to. I'm good at listening to people whilst staying emotionally in control. Therefore i have enrolled on a basic counselling skills course which last 10 weeks. If i enjoy the course i aim to complete the 3 year diploma course.
mpg87 - 19-May-15 @ 8:39 PM
@Tinkerbell - my advice is to do exactly what you want. Is there anything you have always wanted to do but have never had the chance or time, or any area of your work that you have wanted to pursue? You could go in at a voluntary level and see whether you enjoy it as much as you thought. However, if you want to retain a certain amount of professionalism, have you thought about sitting on committees or boards also? You could combine the both. I'm sure with your skills you will be snapped up at a voluntary level and it may lead to many new enjoyable experiences. However, if you do decide to take the counselling route, you will need some experience. Something like the Samaritans may help as a start, as they do train you up. Whatever you decide - good luck.
TheCounsellorsGuide - 5-Mar-15 @ 2:19 PM
I am 55 years old and all my working life have worked in people related jobs where I have worked my way up to management level. I like most in my age bracket have a good deal of experience in mixing with people of all ages and status. I have raised two children have been through an horrendous divorce and I re-married. We have 5 children between us and 4 grandchildren. I am looking to retire in the next few years from the NHS and would like to plan a more flexible and useful role in life. Councelling has always appealed to me but I have had other priorties to consider. What is your advice on this
Tinkerbell - 4-Mar-15 @ 2:35 PM
@zush - BACP is the largest professional body representing counselling and psychotherapy in the UK, you can find out what they do and how you can become a member here.
TheCounsellorsGuide - 8-Dec-14 @ 12:41 PM
Hi. I am currently enrolled in doing family nad relatonship counsellin course. As I am so passionalte in helpind and listern to other people's problem. Where can I register to become a professional counsellor? Please help. Thank you
zush - 6-Dec-14 @ 11:11 AM
I started a Counselling & Psychotherapy home study course through UK Distance Learning a month ago.I have wanted to train as a counsellor for years and decided to do it now.I'm thoroughly enjoying it and have almost completed my first assignment.Looking forward to completing the course and becoming qualified.
Ros - 2-May-14 @ 7:22 PM
I have taken home study courses in counselling through BSY and I have now gained a diploma in advanced counselling skills, I'm just not sure where to go yet as everyone is saying you need to be a Bacp registered counsellor.
Melsie - 9-Dec-13 @ 12:42 PM
I have taken home study courses in counselling through BSY and I have now gained a diploma in advanced counselling skills, I'm just not sure where to go yet as everyone is saying you need to be a Bacp registered counsellor.
claire40 - 6-Dec-13 @ 9:13 PM
Ifeel I have the qualities of a counselor and am working towards becoming one
glamo - 27-Oct-13 @ 10:26 AM
Hi, I'm interested in pursuing a career in counselling and would like to know what qualifications I need to achieve this goal. Thank you in advance.
AJJ - 17-Jun-13 @ 6:36 PM
Hi, i am a Y10 student and want to be a counsellor in the future, what courses or what qualifications do i need to become a counsellor?
Alina - 16-Jun-13 @ 4:04 PM
Hi, I recently qualified as a counsellor, but feel, lack of confidence in my ability hinders my personal growth and development.This constant feeling of thinking I am not good enough, constantly challenges most things I do or say.Having said this, I am not afraid to meet these challenges of negative thoughts and feelings, and however hard, I try to face this negativity face on, as I want to be an effective counsellor.Becoming self-aware, an important quality to possess, has helped me to explore why I lack confidence and self-believe, even discussed it in personal therapy, but however, it seems to no avail, sadly.I would love to feel confident in my ability to guide others, but how can I guide others to grow, develop and to have the confidence in the belief that they can achieve anything, as long as they believe in themselves, when I feel my own growth and development, has become stunted.
Bunty - 12-Apr-13 @ 3:51 PM
l did my undergraduate study overseas and trained as a Guidance Counsellor. l love and enjoy listening, helping, encouraging, empathic to people's problems but on getting to this country l have not been able to work as a Counsellor. lt is passion for me and l havenot found fulfilment not working as a Counsellor. How can l get accredited to be able to work as a Counsellor? At the moment l work as a Learning Support Assistant but not fulfilled as l wanted to. What do l do to move forward l do not have the funds to study and l desire to boost my knowledge and experience.
bukky - 27-Nov-12 @ 4:39 PM
I too have found this site invaluable. I feel drawn to people who need someone just to listen to them, without judgement. I feel this has always been in my nature. I have just finished level 2 counselling, then due to start level 3 this week. I would feel very privaleged to be in a position to help other people who may be struggling, and it is that thought that drives me to pursue my hopes for a fulfiling career.
jelly baby - 17-Sep-12 @ 8:40 PM
should a counselor use a clients first name or how should they address a client ? also how should the client address the counselor, first or surname ? this seems a confusing area , as different tutor's gave opposing answers to me ?
del - 8-Jul-12 @ 3:45 AM
Reading this site is like a revelation for me. I seem to possess every quality listed as positive and lack those regarded as unhelpful. As a male it's difficult to find other careers which align so well with my personality (I fall into the INFP/ENFP canp, for a start) and so I'm excited to find something to which I am apparently well-suited. In the past this career path has been suggested to me but I have always discounted it as I didn't believe it could support the lifestyle I would like, but I now see that I was also wrong about that. A sincere thank you to the authors of this site for providing such illuminating information!
Rick - 14-Jun-12 @ 11:29 PM
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