Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com

Becoming a counselor

Question:

I would like to study at home to be a counselor, but don't have a lot of money. Can you give me some advice? Thank you.

N., Texas, USA

ANSWER:

N:

You ask a big question. There are several things to consider.<br><br> 

1. There are many types of counseling. Some require advanced degrees and some sort of state certification. That means you need to have at least a masters degree in social work, psychology, counseling, and the like to be a counselor.

2. School counseling is one sector, but again you will need a college degree.

3. Christian counseling is another form. This is where you can counsel other Christians through a church. Normally, you will need formal training. 

4. Now for the easy part: some states require no special training. All you have to do is to apply for a licence, and set up shop. You would need to check with the requirements of your particular state.

5. You can study at home through online courses from some very good schools. The problem is they all cost money, but you can stay at home. 

6. Another think you might do is to try to get a good counselor to mentor you while you get the needed training. You can get experience through agencies such as YWCA, Christian abortion counseling services, or other local agencies. 

7. To get training, other than online courses, read every book you can on counseling so that if you don't have formal training, you can at least have the knowledge. Christian counselor authors include people like Jay Adams and Gary Collins. They have written much. 

8. Botton line: you have to get the knowledge, experience, and some sort of acceptable credentials. If you don't, then you may get sued, really mess someone up, or be in trouble with the law. Talk to your pastor. He will know of local seminars or training programs you might get into. Your church might even pay for some of them. 

9. Actually, a good place to start is Bible-teaching-about.com. I am constantly putting up new articles and ebooks that relate to counseling. In fact, there are two up there now: Christian Counseling, and Conflict Management. They will get you started. Faith Evangelical Seminary has a bachelor's degree in religion that includes many counseling courses. The degree is quite affordable, and there may be grant money available.

All the best. Stay in touch, and stay studing in Bible-teaching-about.com.

Dr. Newman

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