What is counseling anyway?

Part of being a doctoral student includes building your professional identity. I am often asked “how is professional counseling different than psychology or social work?” So to begin I looked up the American Counseling Association’s definition of counseling. ACA describes counseling as the following:

Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.

I never intended to become a Licensed Professional Counselor. I completed a master’s program in Rehabilitation Counseling where one pursues a different credential than the LPC. But in time I grew into the role. I especially liked the strengths based, non pathological, foundation in counseling principals. It seemed to mesh well with what I intuitively knew about people, even after working with persons with severe and chronic mental illness, and about myself as a person. It definitely couples well with the “survivor brain” idea I often talk about.

If you are interested in more information about the American Counseling Association please visit http://www.counseling.org/

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