Stresses of Being a Counselor

Being a counselor is a rewarding career, but stress is a common complaint among those who choose this field. Even though, as a counselor, you are helping clients deal with the stress in their lives, it is often just as difficult to deal with the stress in your own.

Often during your work, you are dealing with volatile situations. You may be at odds with the feelings of your client, or even out of control in some situations. Trying to keep calm while helping a client deal with their problems can leave you feeling tense and stressed. When you allow yourself to take these problems home with you, it can build and become even more of a problem.

Counseling work stress is not uncommon, or even unexpected. When you deal with human problems all day, and are surrounded with people who are obviously suffering emotional pain from those problems, it is easy for an empathetic counselor to become highly involved. The people who surround you in your workplace are often unhappy, anxious and depressed. It is difficult to keep these attitudes from affecting you. Your job field is also one where you are in a long term situation, as most cases require months, if not years of counseling to resolve. The lack of quick results can take a toll on your own well-being. There will be times when you feel a case is hopeless, or wonder what you are doing, or not doing that is keeping you from seeing positive results.

A therapist, or counselor, usually possesses certain traits. They tend to be calm and accepting, are usually empathetic and sensitive. These qualities make a good counselor, but often leave them open to job stress.

Of course, these same qualities are what make the job field so rewarding! When you are able to help a client make a break through, you celebrate along with him. The emotional reward of helping guide a client to resolve an issue that has plagued them for years is something that will remain with you for a long time. And even though a case may take a long while to resolve, when the breakthrough comes, you will realize a satisfaction that makes it all worthwhile. Knowing that if it had not been for you and your determination to see it through all the hard times, the outcome may not have been good, will give you a satisfaction rarely seen in other careers!


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