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Traits you need to be a counsellor

posted by Hannah on Friday, 5 May 2017

#counsellor #distance-learning #e-learning #online-courses

Do you have an interest in helping other people? If so, you may wish to follow a career as a counsellor. This article looks at how to become a counsellor.

This is a career area that many people are drawn to. Often, people who find themselves helping their friends or advising family feel they may suit this job role. However, there are a number of vital traits and personal qualities that you need to possess to be successful in this field.


One of the most important traits required to be a counsellor is the ability to communicate effectively. This includes being able to implement good listening skills for understanding the needs of clients. You will also need to develop good questioning techniques for building the client-counsellor relationship.

Ability to build trust

The ability to make people feel at ease and to establish a good rapport during the initial stages of counselling is crucial. People who wish to access counselling will usually do so due to having issues or concerns they need to work through. Therefore, as this may be difficult for the individuals, it is very important that they feel they can trust you. One way to build trust is to ensure the clients feel safe and able to freely express themselves.


You will need to have an overall empathetic desire to help others improve their situation. Being empathetic is the ability to understand and relate to the client’s individual needs. You ideally should be someone who reflects on their own life experience to be able to better understand another person’s way of thinking, personality or approach to challenges in dealing with life.


As a counsellor, you will be dealing with people with a wide range of needs. Therefore, it is crucial that you are able to remain patient at all times. You may find certain clients more challenging, either due to non-engagement or an obstructive manner. However, you will need to be able to react to this in a positive and tolerant manner to help the client to move on.

Non-judgmental approach

Working in this field, you will come into contact with people from all walks of life and with a wide range of past experiences. This may include dealing with people who have made decisions or carried out actions that you may not understand or relate to. However, as a counsellor, it is essential to be nonjudgmental and deal with each person in the same way.


Your job role will require you to explore potentially difficult aspects of the client’s past. Therefore, it is important to be as sensitive as possible. This includes being mindful of the questioning techniques you use during the counselling process. You will also need to avoid trying to find a one-size-fits-all approach.

If you feel you possess these traits and are willing to further develop your skills and knowledge through training, a career in counselling is certainly worth considering. You may wish to consider one of the accredited counselling online courses offered through Oxbridge Home Learning.