What is Counseling?
A counselor is a professional who works with individuals and groups to help them improve their lives. The word most often invokes images of mental health therapists in quiet, dimly lit offices were patients lie on sofas and work out their personal problems. This is the sort of professional that this page is mostly concerned with, but readers should know that the term applies to a broad spectrum of helpful individuals.
All counselors can be said to take clients who are facing some sort of problem. That might be a drug or alcohol addiction, school problems, behavioral issues, or diagnosed mental health disorders - such as bipolar disorder or depression. Counselors can also help students achieve their scholastic goals with an eye to a career or they may work with couples to determine whether their offspring is likely to contract a genetic difficulty. This page discusses the profession in its various permutations, including any academic degrees necessary for Iowa state licensure.