Obtain a relevant bachelor’s degree
Although it is not necessary, pursuing an undergrad degree in psychology, Philosophy or any relevant field will help. Most counselling degrees will start at a higher level – usually masters - so regardless of the career path, you can still enrol in a counselling program. Therefore making the right choices in the early phases of your academics will expedite the process.
Gain practical knowledge
During the final years of your bachelor degree, it is necessary that you study all-round courses that widen your horizon. This will serve you well when you decide which kind of counselling doctorate you want. In some scenarios, the universities will combine your master’s program with your doctorate degree.
Search the web for graduate schools that offer doctorate in counselling. Apply in at least three schools, keeping in mind your circumstances, ranging from income and family to location and any financial assistance you may require. Counselling is a very delicate service so finding the best will help you gain recognition and be successful once you start practising.
The Application process will be relatively the same as compared to any other field. You will need to fill the necessary application form, and hand out your personal and academic details. This will include your transcript, recommendation letters, and a personal letter, where you will state your career goals and the reasons for choosing the particular school. Make sure to provide the necessary test scores (GRE etc). If you want financial aid, contact the administration and check whether you are eligible for it. Scholarships will also be on offer.
Some of the online sources that will help you find the relevant program include Apa.org, Edref.com, Breyerstate.com and Elearner.com. Most of them will provide online courses which allow you to balance study and work. That is immensely helpful for those who do not want to quit their jobs. The programs on offer are different, ranging from social work and Human services to Professional counselling.
Enrol and complete your coursework. The time span for every course will vary, but make sure to follow the procedures. You may be required to do an internship or gain relevant experience.