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Youth Counselor

Guide teenagers through the challenges they face.

What does a Youth Counselor do?

A youth counselor works with youths, usually considered to be teens 13 through 18, who are going through rough times due to mental illness, emotional problems, or outside factors like drugs or alcohol. The kids you work with can be facing a variety of problems, and because of this, a youth counselor can work in a variety of places. You might find employment at a community center, jail, group home, mental hospital, religious center, or high school.

In each of these places, it’s your job to connect with the kids in your care and encourage them to open up and deal with their issues. You employ different techniques, ranging from one-on-one talking therapy to group therapy or art classes. The purpose of your work is to give the kids the reassurance that there’s a person they can consider as a trusted friend, who can help them understand their problems.

To help the kids in your care, the first thing you need to know is what they’re dealing with. You not only talk with them, but you also work with teachers, family members, and, in some cases, social workers or parole officers. You collect as much background information as you can in order to create a treatment plan that will best help them.

This treatment plan might have you suggesting anger management classes, social services, or even medicine to help with their problems. Throughout your work with your clients, you meet regularly to work towards improvements on their issues and keep detailed records of your sessions.