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SECTION I The Counseling Profession—An Overview

So you think you want to be a counselor? Let us give you a taste of the counseling profession. In this first section, we introduce you to the idea of becoming a counselor. We give you an overview of the book and how to navigate through the contents, as well as discuss the importance of making a decision about studying to be a counselor, the kind of graduate school curriculum you can expect, and the history of and current trends in the counseling profession. Begin with chapter 1 to identify the questions you have about graduate programs in counseling, and use the rest of the pages to help you begin to answer these questions.


Congratulations! As a prospective counseling student, looking through the first pages ofthis guide is part of an important process for exploring careers in professional counseling and gathering information that will ultimately help you make an informed decision about whether or not to pursue a graduate degree in counseling. We realize that this is a big step in your professional development, whether you are just now considering options in the helping professions or have an application to a graduate counseling program already completed and ready to send. You will need to consider many questions as you move from contemplation to application: What does a counselor do? Where do I want to work as a counselor? Will I be able to get a job when I finish graduate school? What should I consider in a graduate program? Can I really afford the time and money to attend graduate school? What will graduate study be like compared to my undergraduate degree? Who will help me with my application? How will I make the transition to learning to be a counselor?

These questions and more will be addressed in the chapters that follow. We hope that you will find this guide useful as you contemplate, explore, and ultimately apply to a graduate program that helps you fulfill your goals of becoming a professional counselor. We begin with a few nuts and bolts in this introductory chapter to familiarize you with this book and help you get started on your journey.

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