Many career counselors are terrible. Why? Because they fall into two categories (1) psychologists who are often well meaning but have no real business providing career advice and (2) those who have not had successful careers themselves, and then through their own career search immersion think they can help others.
Those psychologists who enter career counseling often do so because so many people enter their offices in a state of misery about their career. The psychologist talks about the psychological issues related to work misery and gets confused that he/she is providing career counseling. Career counseling is not making people feel better about their work but rather suggesting what career path fits a client and providing strategies to help the client make the path a reality.
As for those who have not had a successful career of their own, they usually mean well and can summarize literature effectively. But they are often equally lost and their advice amounts to the blind leading the blind.
Some career counselors are great. They usually are practical people with an understanding of the real world and who also understand psychological issues related to those seeking out a new career.
In those case, career counseling is worth every penny.