Career in Child Counseling
Child counseling is a branch of counseling which deals with children who are undergoing psychological problems. One might just associate the word “problem” with mature adults but children may also go through various disorders and may not be able to communicate those problems as explicitly as adults. This is where the task of a child counselor comes in to play. Because of the huge difference between the way a child and an adult deal with a problem, the methodology adopted by child counselors is also quite different from adult counselors.
Educational qualification to become a child counselor
Although to become a child counselor child psychology is taken up at the graduate level, many schools now have psychology as a subject at the high school level as well. Students with science background are preferred but it is open to students from other streams as well. To become a child counselor, one must also possess a master’s degree.
Skills required in a child counselor
As it is known, children are more sensitive to their surrounding and react radically differently from adults. Therefore, a child counselor, in addition to a valid degree from a good college, must also possess the following qualities
• Sensitivity- To deal with children, the counselor must be sensitive enough to approach the child in a manner where he/she is comfortable in the counselor’s presence.
• Ability to look at things with an unbiased attitude-Very significantly, the child counselor should be, constantly, unbiased and should counsel the child with a neutral and fair attitude
• Excellent communication ability- the child counselor should be able to speak to the child so as to make him/her comfortable enough for them to open up about their problems.
• Decision making skills- all along with high-quality diagnostic skills, to figure out the problem and decide on the root cause, the counselor must also be good at making decisions based on the study of the child.
Cost of child counseling courses in India
The courses are offered by many government and private institutions alike. Cost of pursuing a bachelor’s degree in a private college might incur an expense of 2 to 3 lakh rupees whereas the course can be pursued for a substantially lower amount in a government run college.
The salary at the beginning of the career in child counseling is not very high and may be somewhere between 1.5- 2lakh p.a. But with continued practice, child counselors can earn very high amounts.
Pros and Cons of becoming a child counselor
• The need of child counselors has seen an increase in the last few years owing to growing his pressure on children and with busier lifestyles of parents and guardians.
• Immense job satisfaction:- Helping a child come out of his/her problems, can give the counselor personal satisfaction.
• It takes time to establish a career in child counseling and therefore the counselor does not get very high salaries initially.
• Child counseling is still not prevalent in smaller schools and smaller cities.