As anyone involved in the field can tell you, counseling continuing education is vital to grow a base of knowledge that can help patients and move you beyond the basics. Having a thriving and successful practice in any endeavor means learning on a continual basis. The entire industry grows as a result of having professionals who have moved beyond what they learned in their original schooling and have taken the opportunity to intensify their education with classes, workshops, and networking. Those states and private organizations that make no requirements of their counselors as it pertains to furthering their knowledge do not only their professionals a disservice, but their patients as well.In most states, counseling continuing education is more than a suggestion; it is a requirement. This is not true in all states, however. Even in some states where there are no requirements, private employers will place those requirements on their employees, knowing that it will help raise the standard of therapy provided at the institution. Of course, an unfortunate side effect can occur within those states and organizations that have credit requirements. Rather than use those minimum standards as just that, professionals simply get what they need to stay employed and nothing more. The best professionals in the field see those requirements for what they are-minimums-and move beyond them each and every year.Every therapy center depends on the knowledge and ability of their staff in order to build a reputation. And a reputation is all any such organization really has. Whether it is a government agency or a private institution, the goal should always be the provide the best care possible. This is an impossible goal to achieve if the staff is not immersing themselves in academics, learning the latest techniques and trends that are being developed around the country and throughout the world. Without this continual learning, the field grows stagnant and patients are no longer likely to make the kind of progress they should be making.The soft sciences are living fields of study. They cannot exist in a vacuum, only to be read about in stuffy textbooks. What you learned in college ten years ago may be largely obsolete in today’s practice. However, if you never take the time to further your studies, you’ll never know this. There are a number of ways to accomplish counseling classes. Ask your employer or seek out ways to do so, even if it means going well beyond the minimum standards.