A behavioural counsellor is the one who uses a variety of different therapies to help their patients change certain behaviours. Usually, they help individuals identify behaviour patterns, substance abuse issues, mental health disorders or any other issue that alters these behaviours. Their main job is to observe patients and record their progress and change their negative behaviour into positive. They also conduct one-on-one therapy sessions, family therapy sessions or various another type of group sessions to help the patient identify their problems and ways to solve it. They can be found working in a multitude of environments, including private practices, rehabilitation centres or hospitals. Their work is often stressful, and most counsellors see several different patients. The main aim of the behavioural counsellor through their job is to bring a positive change in their patient’s life.
To become a behavioural counsellor one requires formal training in the respective field. Aspirants planning to make a career in the same must have a bachelor’s degree in psychology/social work/ counselling. In India B.A. (Hons.) Psychology is the most popular degree to become a behavioural counsellor. After that candidate are required to do a mandatory internship and pursue a Master’s in Clinical Psychology to be prepared for advanced practice. Once the candidates are done with their master’s they have to acquire a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor Certification.
The first step towards becoming a Behavioral Counselor is to get formal education and the get hands-on experience as an intern by working in a hospital or by assisting an established behavioural counsellor. After that, an LPCC license is must start your career as a behavioural counsellor.
Behavioural Counselling is a very wide and varied field. There are many behavioural counsellor job profiles that are very similar in terms of training and job duties. Check out the behavioural counsellor job profiles here:
Psychologist- The job role of the psychologists is very similar to that of the behavioural counsellor as their job is to help the patients change their behaviour into positive. They also work in the field of research to study different behaviour pattern and the determine the causes of particular behaviours.
Mental Health/Health Counsellor- Mental health counsellor focuses on the underlying mental and health disorders, and the reasons that cause such behaviour. They counsel the patients and use different therapeutic techniques to help them and to bring a positive change in their mental health.
Clinical Social Work- Their job role is much similar to that of a behavioural counsellor but they do so in a much larger scope. They work with patients concerning social issues such as employment, relationships, family etc.
Substance Abuse Counsellor- These counsellors are specialist in their field and treat clients who have a drug or any other substance addiction that is leading to a negative outcome in their lives and is causing a behavioural disorder. They usually counsel their clients in one on one, family sessions or group sessions.
School/College Counsellor- Usually, every school or college has their own counsellor who helps the students with behavioural difficulties and fighting mental health problems. They tend to help students learning behavioural, social and emotional skills that will enhance their growth and help in their overall development.
A behavioural counsellor can find employment opportunities in the sectors related to healthcare and mental health. Listed below are some of the employment opportunities for behavioural counsellor:
Most of the behavioural counsellor are recruited by healthcare companies, colleges, universities and some also do private practice. Some of the popular companies that hire behavioural counsellors are listed below:
The average annual salary of a behavioural counsellor depends on various factors such as a counsellor working in an urban setting tends to earn more than the one working in a rural setting. Similarly, counsellors working for the government tend to have higher salary packages as compared to others. Behavioural counsellors who do private practice tend to earn way more. The average annual salary of a behavioural counsellor is approximately between Rs.4,00,000 to Rs. 5,00,000.
However, with time and professional experience the pay packages tend to increase.
Note: The salary range will also depend on one's job profile, company, location & work experience.
Behavioural Counselor undergoes a lot of formal education before starting their career as a behaviour counsellor. Apart from this, they appear in loads of exams to get the medical license. Apart from the regular textbooks, they are required to study many theories and research study material to update their knowledge. To crack these exams we have come up with a list of books and study material that will help you enhance your knowledge and crack these exams:
The satisfaction of helping someone conquer his/her negative behaviour patterns and return to mainstream life is the biggest positive of becoming a behaviour counsellor.
On average, a behaviour counsellor has to work for around 40 to 45 hours every week, i.e approximately 8 to 9 hours regularly.
Behaviour counsellors are in high demand at institutions like Artemis Hospital, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences Bangalore, Max Hospital etc.
No, you are good to start as a child behaviour counsellor with a master’s degree in clinical psychology followed by an internship. However, it will be beneficial if you focus more on child and adolescent development during your master’s degree study to become a child behaviour counsellor.
Yes, behaviour counselling is an emotionally sapping job.
Yes, usually a master’s degree is sufficient to become a professional behaviour counsellor but to become a successful behaviour counsellor, it is wise to get a doctoral degree.
Behaviour counsellors earn around INR 30K per month in India on average.
Yes, the aspiring behaviour counsellors should have interned with a reputed established behaviour counsellor or a hospital after completing their master’s degree studies to become a professional behaviour counsellor.
Usually, to become a professional behaviour counsellor, a master’s degree in clinical psychology is required after a bachelor’s degree which means at least 5 years.
Behaviour counsellors work with those individuals who have negative or detrimental behaviour patterns and then help them to change those behaviours.