Wondering if I Can Become a Counselor if I Have Anxiety

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I am currently in college. I recently graduated with my B.A. in psychology and I am pursuing my M.A. in teaching. I would like to then go to grad school for counseling and then work with children. I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and separation anxiety. I am not medicated for it, however, I do go to counseling every other week through the academic year while I am away at school. I have been going to counseling for three years. Last year I really made progress with my anxiety in terms of understanding it and managing it. Since I have such a better grasp on it, I am only planning on going to counseling once a month through the next school year. I just want to be able to check in every so often and discuss anything that does come up in my life. After next year I plan on being done with counseling because I feel that I’ll have the skills and knowledge that I’ll need to get past any problems with anxiety in my future. What I’m wondering is, can I still become a counselor even if I have anxiety?

A: I believe the best counselors of those who do their homework. The fact that you have invested your own emotional growth and want to help others is an excellent way to enter the field. What may be helpful is to broaden the types of therapy you are experiencing. You may want to try short-term therapies like CBT, and you may want to add some sessions of yoga therapy or meditation. These alternatives can broaden your approach to your own anxiety and add to the toolbox of knowing how to work with others.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 11 Jun 2014

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2014). Wondering if I Can Become a Counselor if I Have Anxiety. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/06/11/wondering-if-i-can-become-a-counselor-if-i-have-anxiety/