April is the time to celebrate all counselors. The American Counseling Association (ACA), with more than 50,000 members, takes considerable pride in the accomplishments of counselors and seeks to make the importance of counseling and the role of counselors better known throughout the nation and the world.

During Counseling Awareness Month, counselors in both private and group settings are applauded for their work. Any practice employing counselors should promote their roles during this month and bring awareness to their jobs in assisting people in understanding themselves, their behaviors and their interaction with the world around them.

According to the American Counseling Association, counseling in the United States and the world is delivered via many human service settings and can be found in a variety of institutions. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor indicate that more than 665,000 counselors work in agencies, schools, organizations, private practice, personal and health care delivery systems and other settings. These professionals work with people across the life span, from childhood through the senior years.

There are basically two types of counseling: individual and group. In individual counseling, the counselor works with someone on isolated issues and can focus on one client at a time, thus giving them more concentrated attention. However, through individual counseling, a person is without the group dynamic of being surrounded with others who share similar experiences and won’t receive the feedback and ideas of those who have like issues.

Group counseling promotes belonging and identity with a group of people with whom the shared experience helps to bring about healing. It is often viewed as better than individual counseling in that the group can bring about a decision as to what would make life better and devise a common plan for this. As with any group, the brainstorming of patterns and thoughts and behaviors often helps people to better understand situations in their own lives. A downside, of course, is the need to sit through the reflections of others who may take far too long to tell their stories, as well as the fact that certain members may not participate in the same way and to the same extent as the rest.

Both group and individual counseling helps people improve their lives and is respected to make a difference in our world. However the counselor provides the service, professional liability insurance for counselors has them covered should a client exhibit behaviors and act out in ways that could be dangerous to themselves and others, or, should a client sue on claims of having been provided an inadequate or unprofessional level of service.

Whatever the situations, counselors deserve attention and distinction and, if nothing else, a part of the back for helping people to achieve their best selves in a trying world. Thank you to all of our clients who are counselors. We appreciate your business and all you do to help better our community through your work!

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