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Counsellors assist people to better understand themselves by explaining options, setting goals and helping them to take the appropriate action. They work with clients to find solutions to emotional and mental problems and act as facilitators in group sessions.

Counsellors sometimes work with other professionals such as medical practitioners, psychologists and social workers as part of a health management team. On occasion they act as mediators in conflict resolution.

Counsellors may specialize in a number of fields such as working with people from non-English-speaking backgrounds, and single parents, or in service areas such as health, accommodation, relationships or employment, grief and loss, stress management, child development and abuse issues.

The following practice areas for Registered Counsellors include:
- Career Counselling
- Employee well-being
- Family Counselling
- HIV/AIDS Counselling
- Human Resources
- Pastoral Counselling
- Community Mental Health
- Psychometrics
- School Counselling
- Sport Counselling
- Trauma Counselling

There are no formal entry requirements in some areas of counselling; however, entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications. You may be able to study externally through distance education.

Try to establish details of the range of accredited courses being offered by registered training providers. For example, some churches offer courses for people who wish to become Christian Counsellors.

Satisfying Aspects
- sometimes working irregular hours to meet the needs of people requiring help
- not particularly good remuneration
- frustrations with clients who show no progress

Demanding aspects
- empathetic and caring
- good communication and listening skills
- maturity
- good life-coping skills

- empathetic and caring
- good communication and listening skills
- maturity
- good life-coping skills

School Subjects
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course

Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.

Compulsory Subjects: English
Recommended Subjects: Geography, History, Life Sciences

Degree: BA or BPsych, majoring in Psychology - all universities.

The Professional Board recently approved the implementation of a revised model for education and training in psychology in South Africa:

Registered Counsellors: Registration as a Registered Counsellor is contingent on completion of:

- An accredited 4 year BPsych or equivalent degree in Psychology and an approved minimum six-months’ internship in the designated practice area.

- The six months’ practicum included in the BPsych must be done under supervision of a registered Psychologist in accordance with criteria set by the Professional Board. This practicum may occur from the third year of the degree and must be not less than 2 months in any given setting. The practicum may also occur after completion of the degree.

- government departments, eg. youth
- bereavement centres, e.g. Island Hospice
- stress management centres
- community centres, with counselling for rape, victims of crime, etc.
- such organizations as Life Line, Samaritans, Child Line, etc.

Any of the above potential employers