Definition of counselor in English:


(British counsellor)


  • 1A person trained to give guidance on personal, social, or psychological problems.

    ‘a marriage counselor’
    • ‘Find a counselor or therapist who specializes in social skills to help you develop the abilities you seek.’
    • ‘So, talking to friends or family, or especially to professional counselors who are trained to help people process feelings, can be most beneficial.’
    • ‘They may not know the differences in training between psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors and social workers.’
    • ‘Pain rehabilitation programs often employ a multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, psychologists, counselors and physical therapists.’
    • ‘A counselor or school psychologist can help identify practical solutions that make it easier for the child and family to cope day by day.’
    • ‘Seminarians are now closely vetted and assessed by professional personnel including psychologists and counsellors.’
    • ‘At a time when there were far fewer social workers, guidance counselors, and psychologists, parishioners flocked to their priest in times of trouble.’
    • ‘The interview was administered by substance abuse counselors or study personnel trained in interview techniques by the counselors and a clinical psychologist.’
    • ‘I could be a criminal psychologist, a guidance counsellor, a social worker.’
    • ‘After being treated by doctors for physical injury, the victims are treated by the counsellors for psychological injury.’
    • ‘Although the participants in this study were not therapists or counselors, this report illustrated that humor training can be conducted and evaluated empirically.’
    • ‘Most depressed children and teens should talk to a counselor, therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist about what is making them feel the way they are feeling.’
    • ‘Most burn centres employ social workers, vocational counsellors, and psychologists as part of the multidisciplinary burn team.’
    • ‘The findings of the present study should help psychologists, counsellors and lawyers to give useful advice to parents, highlighting a child-focused perspective.’
    • ‘Dozens of psychiatrists, psychologists and counsellors moved in, and art and play therapy have been used to great effect, trauma experts said.’
    • ‘But in these studies the ‘talking therapy’ is applied by protocol using specially trained counsellors who are often monitored for adherence to the protocol.’
    • ‘This tragedy has provided the impetus to hire more school counselors, psychologists, and social workers.’
    • ‘People such as counsellors, psychologists and behavioural therapists may show you relaxation techniques and other ways to deal with stress.’
    • ‘She has trained as a counsellor and psychotherapist.’
    • ‘So we've actually put in place a helpline, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for people to call, where they'll get professional assistance from people who are trained counsellors.’
    adviser, consultant, guide, mentor, confidant, confidante
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    1. 1.1with modifier A person who gives advice on a specified subject.
      ‘a debt counselor’
      • ‘Ignore all the usual advice about careful writing and proofreading given by every job counselor you know.’
      • ‘There is only one sexual assault counsellor for the region.’
      • ‘The 50-year-old dog trainer and behaviour counsellor has gambled her future on the venture.’
      • ‘Guests can look forward to hot food and entertainment - offers of which would be gratefully received - as well as advice on services from experts including drugs and alcohol counsellors and housing advisers.’
      • ‘‘We had our own addiction counsellor in here,’ he laughs.’
      • ‘Last November, a drug and alcohol counsellor came to the centre to run a family program and provide training.’
      • ‘Based on your income and debt, certified credit counselors will contact and negotiate with all your creditors to agree on a consolidated monthly payment amount.’
      • ‘According to one bereavement counsellor, humour is often used by clients as a way of dealing with grief.’
      • ‘As a qualified pet bereavement counsellor I would like to help pet owners compassionately and in confidence.’
      • ‘An abortive attempt at a psychology degree followed, then he jostled with the idea of becoming a drugs and drink counsellor.’
      • ‘I am no bereavement counsellor, but in the last few months, I have learned a lot about ‘coping’ after my mother passed away.’
      • ‘We later had a behavioral health counselor talk to him, but Jeremy said he didn't want help - he could handle things on his own.’
      • ‘Above the seats across from where I was sitting were advertisements for wart removal cream, invisible braces, and a debt counselor.’
      • ‘Mary and the agency counselor meet each week to discuss the progress of his groups.’
      • ‘This is a heartfelt and very practical book, which includes chapters with advice for pregnancy center counselors.’
      • ‘Before leaving, they would be given a friendly lecture by a trained addiction counsellor.’
      • ‘As I said, you classed the support you got from the occupational health welfare counsellor as being brilliant.’
      • ‘A canine behaviour counsellor, he was also brought to the programme by the Blue Cross.’
      • ‘He said: ‘If I was a bit younger I would want to become a drug and alcohol counsellor.’’
      • ‘For example, making an appointment with a debt counselor, applying for a part-time job and asking for a raise are all pathways for getting on top of your finances.’
      counsellor, mentor, guide, consultant, consultee, confidant, confidante, right hand man, right hand woman, aide, helper
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  • 2A senior officer in the diplomatic service.

    • ‘I was ushered into one of the meeting rooms and met by the embassy's press counsellor.’
    • ‘By the end of 1983, he was back in the diplomatic service, as counsellor at the Irish embassy in London.’
    • ‘He is the press counselor at the Chinese embassy in Washington.’
    • ‘Those with interpersonal intelligence are sensitive to others; think of diplomats and counselors as examples.’
  • 3Irish US A trial lawyer.

    • ‘She was brought to the office one day so the counselors and attorneys could work with her.’
    • ‘His involvement as a lead counselor in the lawsuit connects him to his past relationships, and Seattle University.’
    • ‘He is attacking lawyers for advancing needless litigation and thinks offending counselors should be sued.’
    • ‘One can only hope that its alternative message will be heard in the courses and seminars held across the country to educate counselors, law enforcement, and judges about domestic violence.’
    • ‘They treat their lawyers less like trusted counselors and more like technicians-for-hire whose advice a company feels free to disregard if it isn't what the company wants to hear.’
    • ‘We are attorneys and counselors at law, and one of the responsibilities we have, as any representative, is to counsel our client, let them know what their options are, and try to do the best we can for them.’
    • ‘In fact in the recent case before the High Court, the counsellor failed to come up with a clear finding.’
    • ‘The counselors on the other end of the line didn't take her seriously.’
    • ‘Most coaches, attorneys, and counselors will tell you that dating while going through a divorce is never a good thing to do from a psychological perspective and a legal perspective.’
    • ‘Now she was working as a receptionist and sometime counselor, but she was planning to become a paralegal and, after that, an attorney.’
    • ‘In the old ideal, lawyers were independent counselors to whom clients turned for sage advice and highly specialized talents.’
    barrister, lawyer, counsellor, legal practitioner
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  • 4North American A person who supervises children at a camp.

    • ‘But when an adult supervisor and other counselors organized a tug-of-war, Allan's instincts told him to refuse to join in.’
    • ‘Many, many years ago I worked as a camp counselor at an Easter Seal camp.’
    • ‘There is one counselor for every three or four kids.’
    • ‘You are the campers' counselor and friend, not their contemporary or peer.’
    • ‘Hey, not to bust up the fun, but we have an hour to get back to camp to relieve our poor junior counselors.’
    • ‘One thing is certain, if campers were being teased or being picked on, this boy is one counselor who would do something about it.’
    • ‘He had lined up a dream camp counselor job last June, but honors pre-calculus homework turned his summer into a headache.’
    • ‘And counselors teach sportsmanship as well as sports.’
    • ‘Many of my past campers serve as counselors at my Summer Camp.’
    • ‘We had an excellent arts and crafts counselor who knew a great deal about pattern making and sewing.’
    • ‘I would like you to meet some of the junior counselors.’
    • ‘The first email I received was from my own camp counselor.’
    • ‘Redirecting our focus to encompass both the camper and counselor enhances the camp experience for all involved.’
    • ‘After so many other thrills, another counselor says she will take the kids for a walk in the forest.’
    • ‘Camps should gather specific information about each child and use that in meetings with counselors and supervisors.’
    • ‘You can give your kids a fun holiday with all kind of games, talent shows parties, movies, crafts, arts, and a world of fun under the supervision of camp carnival counselors.’
    • ‘Working as a counselor at a summer camp in northern Wisconsin, he was invited to a friend's family's lake cottage.’
    • ‘As a camp counselor working with inner-city children, I tried to imagine the life these campers live.’
    educator, tutor, instructor, pedagogue, schoolteacher, schoolmaster, schoolmistress, master, mistress, governess, educationalist, educationist
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A counselor is someone who gives advice or counsel, especially an attorney. A councilor is a member of a council, such as a town or city council. Confusion arises because many counselors sit on councils, and councilors are often called on to give counsel


Middle English (in the general sense ‘adviser’): from Old French conseiller, from Latin consiliarius, and Old French conseillour, from Latin consiliator, both from consilium ‘consultation or advice’.