Counselling is a profession that plays a crucial role in supporting people facing emotional, mental, and psychological challenges. Thus, a counsellor is required to have a lot of empathy for their clients, which makes this job a very emotionally demanding one. While we often talk about the clients and their well-being, it’s equally important to acknowledge and shed light on the challenges faced by counsellors themselves. In this article, we’’ ‘ll explore the challenges in the lives of counsellors. 

#1 Low pay

Counselors who work in organisations or NGOs are not paid a sufficient salary. Clients are reluctant to pay for sessions as they think that counselling involves only listening and talking.  Many people don’t think about investing in mental health as a priority. 

#2 Being non-judgemental

A counsellor can efficiently empathize with and be non-judgmental towards their clients. At times, depending on the nature of the concern, it may become difficult for them to simultaneously be empathetic or non-judgmental as well as objective since it is all about striking a conscious balance between the two.

However, counsellors still need to always try and do their best to provide objective feedback and make their clients feel heard and understood, which is one of the reasons why the job is considered to be emotionally draining. 

#3 Building patience

A counsellor needs to build patience and tolerance while dealing with their clients. This shows clients that their therapists are ready to listen to them and be there for them, come what may. 

Developing patience and tolerance gives rise to confidence for both clients and counsellors. This is a great skill for counsellors to master, as they are also humans and have added frustrations from their own lives that they need to forget about while dealing with their clients.

#4 Engaging with reluctant clients

Very often, counsellors have to deal with difficult, reluctant or resistant clients. Not all clients are ready to open up about their problems, and they certainly have valid reasons to do so. However, it becomes difficult for counsellors to deal with such resistant clients, as counselling depends on honest communication. If there is no participation from the client’s end, it’s extremely difficult to build on the helpful conversation. 

#5 Therapy

It is a myth that therapists have no problems or that they have it ‘’all figured out”.  However, the truth is that therapists also have their own struggles to work through In fact, listening to the sometimes traumatic and intense experiences of clients, can take a toll on their emotional health as well.

Another common myth is that therapists don’t need anyone to listen to them. However, due to the highly emotional nature of their job, therapists are likely to burn out. Thus, they need support just like their clients. That is why most therapists choose to go for therapy themselves.  

#6 Supervision

Supervision is a process whereby someone from the field with more experience oversees the work of someone with less knowledge and skills. 

Counsellors also need to engage in and spend large amounts of money on the process of supervision as another way of improving professional counselling skills. It is a mandate for counsellors to enhance their abilities and skills. This becomes a challenge for counsellors, as they have to invest money and time in this process.

#7 Continued Education

There is a need for continuing education for all counsellors, especially after graduating from a counselling program. The reason is that new ideas for the treatment and practice of clients are always evolving, and these must be mastered and incorporated if necessary. 

Engaging in such continuous efforts sometimes becomes expensive in terms of time and money but the cost of not keeping up professionally is much higher. This then poses a great challenge for counsellors. 

#8 Expectations Of  Free Sessions

Lastly, many people expect therapists to provide their services without charge since it’s healthcare, and counselling is considered a ‘noble profession’. However,it’s important for us to understand that therapists are regular people who have a family and basic needs that they need to take care of, so they deserve to be compensated fairly for their knowledge, skills and services 


Counseling and therapy can be an emotionally challenging profession. From managing emotional detachment to facing societal misconceptions, counsellors encounter a lot of complex challenges. Apart from that, they often deal with other issues, such as financial constraints, educational challenges and unrealistic expectations of free sessions. Despite that, counsellors always try to help their clients in the best possible ways. Recognizing the challenges of counsellors is key to understanding their role in society and the importance of mental health in general.



Sakshi is a Psychologist with expertise in research and writing, she can make the most complex topic sound simple! She has completed MSC in Counselling Studies from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Also, She loves books and music and forgets the world once earphones are plugged in.