Residential counselors do not only provide counseling services within a residential facility. They also ensure that residents are given the physical and logistic support that they need to get through the day. As a residential counselor, it is important for you to be patient and understanding, especially if you have been hired in a facility that caters to residents with high emotional needs.
A high school diploma or a GED is usually sufficient to work as a residential counselor, but you may be required to possess a degree in a related field at times. Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills, an upbeat attitude, great communication and leadership qualities, and the ability to handle crises are all important prerequisites of working as a residential counselor. Skills in developing recreational programs, providing therapy to residents, addressing and resolving negative behavior, and ensuring the overall physical health and wellbeing of residents are also important in this work.
Typically, a residential counselor will spend his or her day providing assistance and emotional support to residents of the facility. Resolving issues and providing one on one and group therapy will be all in a day’s work for you. If this is the work that you would like to do (and have the capability of doing), we suggest that you go through the following list of work duties that a residential counselor performs, before creating your resume:
• Create and implement measures to ensure a nurturing environment and close, intensive supervision for members of the facility
• Assess the basic needs of the residents’ and ensure that they are met on a consistent basis
• Teach healthy living skills and ensure that appropriate activities and social programs are implemented to enhance skills acquisition
• Utilize therapeutic crises intervention techniques and model healthy interactions and respectful communications with members
• Communicate behavior choices to members by outlining positive and negative consequences of their choices
• Adjust communication endeavors to meet members’ developmental levels and style of communicating with other
• Document daily shift activities as required by program policies and professional standards
• Supervise and monitor member movement and rule compliance by maintaining auditory and visual line of sight
• Assess and respond appropriately to resident behavior, dispositions and attitudes and provide appropriate feedback
• Resolve conflicts by performing in-time crises intervention and enforcing discipline and behavior metrics
• Facilitate therapeutic individual and group activities including life skills, conflict resolution and program adjustment
• Monitor and supervise members within the facility to ensure that they are following schedules, and observe and record interaction and behavior