How to Become a Veteran Counselor
Veterans are people who have served in the military and are now returning to the civilian life. For some, this transition is very difficult; especially for those who endured the hardships and trauma of war. Their former military life usually affects all the aspects of their civilian lives. They sometimes find it difficult to establish strong and loving relationships with their family members. In short, a veteran experiences changes in all the aspects if their lives. Some of these changes can be very hard to adjust to.
Learning how to become a veteran counselor entails helping veterans adjust to the current changes in their lives. A veteran counsellor also offers counselling services to members of a veteran’s family who are often also affected by their loved one’s service in the forces. This is as a result of the fact that many families have lost their loved ones at home. This is why half of the homeless American population today are Vietnam veterans. Veteran counsellors help these victims to deal with this kind of rejection. There are even large numbers of veterans today who have not yet recovered from the post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and distress of World War 2.
There are certain qualities that a veteran counsellor should possess. These include a lengthened amount of schooling. The counsellor is required to have a Bachelor’s in psychology and counselling. In addition, they are expected to obtain at least a masters but mainly a doctorate. This is because licensure is more often than not a requirement to become a counselor. Obtaining a license takes more than just a degree however, and can require between 2,000 and 4,000 hours of supervised, post-degree clinical experience. In addition a state-recognized exam must be passed, and continuing education classes kept up with. To get more information about your state’s specific requirements, consult the National Board for Certified Counselors.
Aside from being qualified on paper, those wishing to become a veteran counselor should match a certain personality type. A veteran counsellor is required to be very loving, caring, patient and understanding. They should be able to evaluate the progress of their patients and give them any advice regarding their adjustment to the new environment.
If veterans counseling is something you see in your future, know that all it takes is some hard work, and dedication. If you are they type of person that wants to help others, especially with their mental health, then this career may be just the one for you.
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