Just like some civilians, some military personnel need assistance with various problems or concerns, including career decisions, family issues, substance abuse, or emotional problems. Caseworkers and counselors work with military personnel and their families to help them with their particular concerns. They may specialize by the type of counseling that they do, such as career guidance or alcohol and drug abuse prevention. They normally work as part of a team that may include social workers, psychologists, medical officers, chaplains, personnel specialists, and commanders.
What They Do
Caseworkers and counselors in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
- Interview personnel who request help or are referred by their commanders
- Identify problems and determine the need for professional help
- Counsel personnel and their families
- Administer and score psychological tests
- Help personnel evaluate and explore career opportunities
- Teach classes on human relations
- Keep records of counseling sessions
Helpful school subjects include health, biology, psychology, sociology, social science, and speech. Helpful attributes include:
- Interest in working with people
- Patience in dealing with problems that take time and effort to overcome
- Sensitivity to the needs of others
Job training consists of classroom instruction, including practice in counseling. Further training occurs on the job and through advanced courses. Course content typically includes:
- Orientation to counseling and social service programs
- Interviewing and counseling methods
- Treatments for drug and alcohol abuse
- Psychological testing techniques
Caseworkers and counselors usually work in offices or clinics.
Civilian caseworkers and counselors work in rehabilitation centers, hospitals, schools, and public agencies. They are usually required to have a college degree in social work, psychology, or counseling. They may also be called employment counselors, social workers, human services workers, or substance abuse counselors.