a counsellor talking to a client

Top 6 Most Popular Counseling Majors To Choose From

Are you looking for inspiration in your college major selection? The world of counseling is one that continues to evolve and offers a variety of potential career paths. Whether you want to become a social worker, marriage and family counselor, educational counselor, or work with individuals dealing with addiction issues – the possibilities are endless!

This post will discuss the top six most popular counseling majors out there, so jump in and get ready to explore all the choices available to you.

Addiction Counseling:

This counseling method focuses on treating and supporting individuals experiencing substance use and drug addiction problems. Substance abuse counselors can work in various settings, such as outpatient clinics, residential treatment centers, and other substance abuse treatment facilities to help individuals overcome their addiction and recover.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders. 

The helpline provides resources and support for those seeking help for substance abuse and can help connect individuals with substance abuse counselors and treatment facilities in their area.

Since growing addiction is a major public health issue, the demand for trained counselors in this field is expected to continue to grow. These professionals are typically required to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in counseling, psychology, or a related field, as well as certification or licensure in their state. 

Individuals looking to start a career in counseling or are seeking to further their education in the mental health field can also enroll in an alcohol and substance abuse counseling associate degree. The two-year program offers the skills and knowledge needed to become certified counselors in this field.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling:

Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a profession where trained professionals provide services to clients who seek help dealing with issues affecting their lives. This distinct profession has national education, training, and clinical practice standards. 

Clinical Mental Health Counselors are highly skilled professionals who offer flexible, consumer-oriented therapy to their clients. They combine traditional psychotherapy with a practical, problem-solving approach that creates a collaborative relationship between the client and counselor.

Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselors (CCMHC) have earned their national certification and offer the highest standards of practice in clinical mental health counseling because they have met stringent education, examination, supervision, experience, and ethical requirements. 

Therefore, if you are interested in becoming a Clinical Mental Health Counselor, you will need to meet these requirements to become certified as a CCMHC.

Marriage and Family Counseling:

Families and couples that deal with behavioral, emotional, and cognitive challenges within their relationships can benefit from this type of counseling. It helps develop stronger relationships and healthier communication patterns that positively impact their well-being. 

This form of counseling is done through the use of family system theories and therapeutic techniques that address the behaviors of all family members and how these behaviors affect the entire family unit.

Students interested in pursuing a marriage and family counseling career can enroll in a dual master’s and specialist program that prepares them to work with diverse families through counseling agencies, provide couples counseling for people desiring a higher functioning relationship, or serve children in need of advocacy and support.

School Counseling:

School Counseling is a profession that focuses on helping students attain self-awareness and adjust emotionally, socially, and psychologically. School counselors are essential in helping students and parents navigate academic, social, and emotional challenges with the goal of improving student outcomes.

There are four sets of school counseling standards that define the school counseling profession, including ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors, ASCA Professional Standards, Competencies, and the National Model for School Counseling Programs. 

These standards help school counselors develop, implement, and assess their school counseling program to ensure it meets their students’ needs.

School counselors also play an important role in addressing students’ and families’ mental and emotional well-being, particularly during times of crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic. 

They can help safeguard students’ and parents’ mental and emotional well-being, and their dedication to helping families and children in need have secured their spot as one of the unsung heroes during this pandemic.

Career Counseling:

Career Counseling can be beneficial for individuals who are unsure of their career goals or those who want to change careers. A career counselor can help individuals navigate the job market, understand their strengths and weaknesses, and develop an effective career plan that aligns with their goals and aspirations. 

Career counselors who work as career coaches or job coaches provide guidance to professionals from varying fields, backgrounds, and experience levels to help them begin, change, or advance their careers.

During a career counseling session, the counselor will help the individual explore their skills and strengths, consider education levels, give advice about continuing education, and determine their interests. 

These professionals may also provide assessments, activities, and projects designed to help individuals make the most of their strengths and find the best career path for their unique situation.

Forensic Counseling:

Forensic Counsellors work with civil and criminal offenders. They are trained mental health professionals who guide and support incarcerated individuals, helping them address their mental health needs and reduce the likelihood of reoffending.

The National Association of Forensic Counselors (NAFC) is a certification board that has developed standards and established the specialty professions of Forensic counselors and Criminal Justice specialists. NAFC is the first certification board to develop standards and establish certification for Human Trafficking.

In the field of clinical mental health counseling, Forensic Counseling is becoming increasingly important. 

The legal and criminal justice systems seek the expert advice and skills of forensic counselors to determine the proper resolution of cases and the most effective treatment for offenders. Specialized programs, such as MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Forensic Counseling specialization, are available for individuals interested in pursuing this career path.


Choosing the right counseling major is crucial for anyone pursuing a career in counseling. These popular counseling majors offer a wide range of specialties and career opportunities for students who are passionate about helping others. 

Whether you’re interested in clinical mental health counseling or marriage and family counseling, there is a counseling major that can help you achieve your career goals. Remember to research your options thoroughly and seek guidance from academic advisors or career counselors to find the best fit for you.

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