According to the 20/20: A Vision for the Future of Counseling Consortium, counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.

There are several professional counseling specialty areas. These areas are narrowly focused and require advanced counseling training.


American Counseling Association.  (2019). 20/20: Consensus Definition of Counseling. Retrieved from

Clinical Mental Health Counselor

A clinical mental health counselor is a highly skilled professional who helps clients achieve emotional wellness. Clinical mental health counselors provide flexible, consumer-oriented therapy. They combine traditional psychotherapy with a practical, problem-solving approach that creates a dynamic and efficient path for change and problem resolution (American Mental Health Counselors Association, 2017). These professionals work with a variety of clients and may specialize in areas such as trauma, addiction, or youth services.

Rehabilitation Counselor

Rehabilitation counselors help people with physical, mental, developmental, or emotional disabilities live independently. They work with clients to overcome or manage the personal, social, or psychological effects of disabilities on employment or independent living.

Addictions Counselor

Addiction Counselors advise people who suffer from alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, mental health issues, or other mental or behavioral problems. They provide treatment and support to help clients recover from addiction or modify problem behaviors.

School Counselor

School counselors help students develop the academic and social /emotional skills that lead to success in school. They also help students explore careers and choose the educational program that is best for them.