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Is working as a therapist or counselor rewarding? What are some of the downsides?

I'm wondering because this is a potential career for me.

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Alex’s Answer

Is the work rewarding... I guess that would depend on your definition of rewarding. While the pay for a therapist and counselor is decent, majority of the reward is seeing people leave as a better person or transition to a better position in their lives.

I currently sit with homeless and work with them to get them to the next level in their life. Sometimes a person with take that next step and continue walking and other people will get to a certain point and turn back.

Counseling can be mentally taxing but on the hand when you see a person blossom, there is no words to describe the feeling.
Thank you comment icon Thanks! This really helped. Bella
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Jen’s Answer

As a school counselor who considered becoming a therapist, I find counseling to be a very rewarding, but draining job. You can make a lasting impact on people’s lives, but not every story is a success.
Please keep in mind that you will need a bachelors degree (in psychology is the most common) and then you will need to go through a masters program and quite a lengthy internship/supervision period.
I chose to go into school counseling because the job has more duties and tasks which allows me to not only sit at a desk, but go into classrooms, do field trips and work with students both individually and in groups of infinite sizes. I find it can likely be more positive because you’re helping students plan something they are excited for, their future!
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Samantha’s Answer

Alex is absolutely correct. The reward in any form of counselling is helping people change their current mindset to a healthier and ultimately happier one. If that is the reward you seek - then do it! What a wonderful, blessed and satisfying life you will have. Don't worry about the money side - do what you love doing. If you feel that the career is not bringing in the amount of money you want, venture out within the same field. Offer group talks, start a blog on helpful tips that others could try, write a book. Never base a career choice on the money you think you can make. Base it on what you love to do, figure out the money later.

As far as downsides to counseling - I really only know of 2 things you should take into consideration. 1. As a natural part of the job you will very likely be given a cute accounts of terrible circumstances individuals have had to endure. This can be mentally draining and heavy. Make sure you practice ways of clearing out those pictures of horror on a regular basis. 2. Sometimes counsellors get caught up in the money and forget the purpose. You will have people in pain coming to you for help - give them help to the very best of your ability even when it means they make enough changes they no longer need you.

Just remember - you MUST do whatever it is that brings you the most joy to your life.
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