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Counseling Psychology


Learn how to keep the next generation in tip-top mental shape.


A wise person once said that wisdom is the thing you get after you could have used it. What if there were a way to get it in advance, though? Spoiler alert: there totally is a way. Problem is, it involves talking to an older person.


That's right: people who have lived longer than you might—just might—have something valuable to share with you. It's part of our mission at Shmoop. You're welcome…probably. Or possibly, we're sorry. We're not sure which article you read just before this one.

Student counseling is a bit of a catch-all major that includes elements of career-planning, psychology, thorough knowledge of school policies, academic strategies, and costumed crime-fighting. Okay, we made that last one up. Just wanted to see if you were paying attention.

The nice part about student counseling is you can see it in action right now. Well, not right now…if you're reading this at home and at night. If you're at school, though, head down to the guidance counselor's office. Ask them what it's all about. At the very least, they'll experience a chilling moment as they counsel a student on counseling students. It's a recursive loop, people. You can't break out.

Chances are that if you're reading this, you're a student. Did our powers of prediction freak you out? Don't worry about it. Soon, you'll meet a handsome or beautiful stranger…who will hit you with a herring.

Anyway, as a student, you probably have a pretty good idea of the various problems students face. Funny how that works.

Student counselors are trained to address those exact problems. That's pretty handy. While going to the counselor will never be the most popular plan, it always exists as an option.

Look at it practically. You probably want to go to college. Otherwise, reading this is kinda weird. You've never been to college before. You only know what the movies and your parents have told you, and they're saying diametrically opposite things. You have an eventual career, or at least a career field in mind (maybe even several), but don't know what to do next.

That's where the counselor comes in, putting on an academic hat. Or, possibly your school has a dedicated college counselor. In any case, it's the same degree. This person knows where you should go, what classes you should take to get in, and how best to write that essay to impress.

Maybe you're having trouble at home and don't know who to talk to. The counselor can handle that, too. While they're not specialists, they can talk to the right people on your behalf, and get you the help you need. Maybe there's a little bit of costumed crime fighter in there after all.

Famous People who majored in Counseling Psychology

  • Irvin Faust, author and guidance counselor
  • Fernando Cabrera, bilingual substance abuse counselor from New York
  • Lillian Ortiz-Self, politician and school counselor from Washington
  • Albus Dumbledore. Well, before book six.
  • Professor Charles Xavier, with a minor in genetics

Percentage of US students who major in Counseling Psychology:


Stats obtained from this source.