Introduction to the Counseling Profession
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Introduction to the Counseling Profession

David Capuzzi, Douglas R. Gross, David Capuzzi, Douglas R. Gross

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eBook - ePub

Introduction to the Counseling Profession

David Capuzzi, Douglas R. Gross, David Capuzzi, Douglas R. Gross

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Designed for students who are taking a preliminary course in the counseling field, Introduction to the Counseling Profession, 7 th Edition, provides a comprehensive overview of the history and foundational concepts of counseling, offering the most current and relevant breadth of coverage available from experts in their respective fields. This edition includes topics rarely discussed in introductory texts, such as self-care and self-growth and the use of technology in counseling, as well as a new chapter on crisis counseling. Chapters also reflect updates to the 2016 Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) standards, and a chapter on each CACREP specialization is included.

Students will gain insight into the myriad issues that surround not only the process of counseling and its many populations but also the personal dynamics that have an impact on this process. Furthermore, a collection of supplemental resources is available online to benefit both instructors and students. Instructors will find PowerPoint slides and test banks to aid in conducting their courses, and students can access chapter summaries, exercises, and other tools to supplement their review of the material in the text.

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Part I
Counseling Foundations

The Counseling Profession

Historical Perspectives and Current Issues and Trends
Harriet L. Glosoff, Jill E. Schwarz, and Stephanie A. DiZenzo-Priestley1

Historical and Formative Factors

If one assumes that counseling is advising, counselors have existed since people appeared on Earth. Mothers, fathers, friends, lovers, clergy, and social leaders all provide such counsel—whether sought after or not. The idea of professional counseling, defined by the American Counseling Association (ACA, n.d.), as “a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals” is relatively new. The counseling profession evolved in response to the demands made by the industrialization and urbanization of the United States. At the turn of the twentieth century, America faced a confluence of social and economic problems, such as the proper distribution of a growing workforce, an increasingly educated population, the needs of immigrants, and the preservation of social values as family connections were weakened (Herr, 1985).
A representative democracy demands an educated citizenry that takes responsibility for the government itself. As the new democracy developed, so did the ideal of education for all citizens. Toward the end of the nineteenth century, the curriculum of schools began to change, and choices among school subjects became available. Help with such choices was necessary. Jesse Davis, one of the pioneers in counseling, declared in his autobiography that he had graduated from school “fairly well prepared to live in the Middle Ages” (Davis, 1956, p. 57). His experiences led directly to the establishment of guidance and counseling services in schools. There were other societal factors that contributed to the evolution of requiring professional training for those in positions to help people. For example, the industrial revolution and its attendant job specialization and technological advances added pressure to understand how to best help people make career choices. There was also an increase in democracy after the Civil War ended in 1865. If the United States had continued to exist as a slave society or a closed class society, there probably would have been little need for the development of counseling services.
The population of the country was on the increase, and the census of 1890 revealed that the frontier was essentially closed. Larger cities were growing increasingly more crowded, and immigrants to the United States and other citizens could no longer move westward without regard for others. “Free” land was all but gone. It became neces sary to remain near the cities to work, to live, and to get along with one’s neighbors. People needed assistance in making decisions about what was involved in being able to live in the large industrially based cities.
During the twentieth century, the development of professional counseling in the United States was influenced by a variety of factors. The newly developed science of psychology began, and continued, studying the differences among individuals. Instruments for appraising people were in their infancy but were known to pioneers in the field, who noted the need for counseling services. As these tools developed more sophistication, they were adapted or adopted by counselors. There were other factors that contributed to the evolution of counseling, such as: the work of leaders of the early settlement house movement and other social reformers; the mental hygiene movement; the extent to which Americans value personal success; the emphasis placed on the awareness and use of one’s talents, interests, and abilities; the ongoing industrialization of the country; the continued growth of career education and career guidance; the development of psychology as a profession; and the rapid changes in all fields due to increased availability of technology (Shertzer & Stone, 1986).
Pressures from various socioeconomic factors also led to the kaleidoscope we know as counseling today. The history of counseling has continued the thread of individual choice in a society that prizes freedom to choose as an ideal. Like a kaleidoscope, the form, emphasis, and brightness of various aspects of counseling have changed as society changes. In this chapter, we examine the following select facets of that kaleidoscope which have shaped the counseling profession:
  • The vocational guidance movement.
  • The mental health counseling movement.
  • The ongoing development of professional identity.
  • The influence of federal legislation.
  • The history of the American Counseling Association.
  • Credentialing and the “professionalization” of counseling.
The chapter concludes with a brief review of current issues and trends in the counseling profession.

Beginnings of the Vocational Guidance Movement

Perhaps the earliest notion of professional counseling in response to societal pressures was that of Lysander S. Richards. In 1881, Richards published a slim volume titled Vocophy. He considered vocophy to be a “new profession, a system enabling a person to name the calling or vocation one is best suited to follow” (Richards, 1881). Although scholars have dismissed his work because there is no documented proof that he established the services he advocated, his ideas foreshadowed what was to come. He called his counselors “vocophers” and urged that they study occupations and the people they counseled. Richards believed that aspirants to particular occupations should consider what successful people had to say about the qualifications for success in that field.
Whether Richards influenced those who followed is speculative. Influence is the quicksilver of history. He was active in the literary societies in the Boston area, as was Frank Parsons. Did they meet? Did they debate? Richards’s Vocophy was in the Harvard Library in the 1890s. In an article published in the later 1890s, Parsons (1894) expressed ideas similar to those of Richards. Brewer (1942) noted that Meyer Bloomfield, a colleague of Parsons at the Breadwinners Institute, mentioned Richards in his Harvard courses, as did Henry C. Metcalf of Tufts and Frank Locke of the YMCA in Boston.

Frank Parsons

Regardless of who influenced whom, the need for counseling about vocational choice seemed to have permeated American society of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. There is no question of the credit given to Frank Parsons for leading the way to vocational guidance. Parsons had a long history of concern for economic and political reforms that would benefit people. He published books and articles on a wide variety of topics, including taxation, women’s suffrage, and education for all people. Of all his endeavors, Parsons was most interested in social reform and especially in assisting people to make sound occupational choices. Other pioneers in the field credited him with being the first counselor (Davis, 1914; Reed, 1944), and have often referred to him as the “father of guidance.” Parsons alone, of those individuals who had some direct connection with the organization and extension of guidance services, had a definite, well-thought-out, and organized social philosophy, which he articulated often and at length (Rockwell, 1958).
Parsons believed it was better to select a vocation scientifically than to drift through a variety of vocations, perhaps never finding one that would be best for the person and, thus, make society better. Meyer Bloomfield, director of the Civic Service House in Boston, asked Parsons to establish such a service within the Civic Service House. Thus, Parsons became director of what was called the Breadwinners Institute from 1905 through 1907 (Brewer, 1942).
Parsons developed a plan for individualized counseling and opened the Vocational Bureau of Boston in January 1908. He served as its director and vocational counselor. The primary goal of the Bureau was to develop the potential of Boston’s growing immigrant population. Although Parsons was but one of many individuals seeking social reforms at that time, he was able to secure the support of the leaders of powerful groups in business, labor, education, and politics. His report to the members of the board controlling the Vocational Bureau was the first recorded instance of the use of the term vocational guidance (Brewer, in 1942, published the report as an appendix to his History). Parsons’ report emphasized that counseling was not designed to make decisions for counselees. “No attempt is made, of course, to decide FOR [sic] the applicant what his calling should be; but the Bureau tries to help him arrive at a wise, well-founded conclusion for himself” (Brewer, 1942, p. 304). According to Williamson (1965), this was consistent with the moral and intellectual atmosphere of that time. He traced the growth of counseling before Parsons’ work to the concept of “vocational freedom of choice” (p. 3). He noted that the climate of the late 1800s stimulated the practical application of vocational choice or individuals’ freedom to pursue choice in personal development.
Parsons also developed a plan for the education of counselors, which he outlined in his book Choosing a Vocation (1909), published posthumously. Parsons’ systematic approach to helping people make vocational choices laid a foundation for the trait-theory of career counseling (Erford, 2014). Also, Parsons’ prescriptions for how counselees should examine themselves and their lives reflected his political and social philosophy (Rockwell, 1958).

Early Ties Between Vocational Guidance and School Counseling

Many see educational settings as the first homes to the profession of counseling, especially regarding vocational guidance. In 1898, at about the same time that Parsons opened the Vocational Bureau, Jesse Davis began advising students about educational and vocational matters (Aubrey, 1982). Jesse B. Davis had been unsure of what he wanted to do with his life throughout his educational career. He was questioned thoroughly by Charles Thurber, one of his professors at Cornell University, and that left a lasting impression on him. He began to use the professor’s methods in his work with students at the Central High School in Detroit and attempted to incorporate guidance into the normal educational experience of students. In 1907, Davis became principal of the Grand Rapids, Michigan, Central School and was able to implement his ideas of self-study, occupational study, and examination of self in relation to the chosen occupation throughout the 7th through 12th grades (Brewer, 1942). This self-examination was done primarily through essays written in English classes. Essay topics varied from self-examination of values and ideals to the selection of a vocation by the 12th grade. Throughout the topics, teachers emphasized social and civic ethics (Davis, 1914). Just 5 years later (1912) Grand Rapids established a citywide guidance department.
Grand Rapids was not the only city in the early 1900s that housed newly developed vocational guidance services. Both Anna Y. Reed in Seattle and Eli Weaver in New York established counseling services based on Social Darwinian concepts (Rockwell, 1958). Similar to Darwin’s biological theory of “survival of the fittest,” Social Darwinism contends that certain groups in a society become powerful because they have adapted best to the evolving requirements of that society. Reed decided that America’s youth needed counseling services through her study of newsboys, penal institutions, and charity schools. She emphasized that business people were the most successful and counseling should be designed to help youth emulate them. She equated morality and business ideals and was much concerned that whatever course of action an individual took on any social question should be based on social research, on the economy, and of how leaders in the business world would accept the action. Reed urged that schools keep children focused on the potential for making money, which she believed every pupil could understand (Reed, 1916).
The guidance services that Reed developed were similar to those of modern placement agencies that focus on an individual’s acceptability to employers. Other programs, she said, “savored too much of a philanthropic or social service proposition and too little of a practical commercial venture” (Reed, 1920, p. 62).
Eli Weaver also believed in working within the framework of the existing society and looked at counseling as a means of keeping the wheels of the machinery well oiled. He was chairman of the Students’ Aid Committee of the High School Teachers’ Association of New York in 1905. In developing the work of his committee, Weaver concluded that the students were in need of advice and counsel before their entrance into the workaday world. He had no funds or active help from school authorities but was able to secure the volunteer services of teachers to work with young people in New York. By 1910, he was able to report teachers actively attempting to help boys and girls to discover what they could do best and how to secure a job in which their abilities could be used to the fullest advantage (Brewer, 1942; Rockwell, 1958).
Counselors in the school systems of Boston and New York during the 1920s were expected to assist students in making educational and vocational choices. It was during the 1920s that the certification of school counselors began in these two cities. It was also during that decade that the Strong Vocational Interest Inventory was first published (1928) and used by counselors, setting the stage for future directions in career counseling (Shertzer & Stone, 1986).

The Creation of the National Vocational Guidance Association

The early pioneers in counseling clearly reflected society’s need fo...

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