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Encyclopedia > Counseling

The word counseling or counselling comes from the Middle English counseil, from Old French conseil, from Latin cōnsilium; akin to cōnsulere, to take counsel, consult.

There are probably as many definitions of counseling as there are practitioners to describe it. The term was originally used by Frank Parsons in 1908. It was adopted by Carl Rogers in response to widespread prejudice in the USA against lay therapists and also because he was not then permitted by the psychiatry profession to call himself a psychotherapist. The difference between definitions of counseling and psychotherapy is less significant that the practitioners' perceptions of their Raison d'être. Frank Parsons (1854-1908) is known as the Father of Vocational Guidance. ... Carl Ransom Rogers (January 8, 1902 – February 4, 1987) was an influential American psychologist, who, along with Abraham Maslow, was the founder of the humanist approach to psychology. ... Psychotherapy is an interpersonal, relational intervention used by trained psychotherapists to aid clients in problems of living. ... Look up raison dêtre in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Difference between coaching, counseling and psychotherapy

Coaching tends to be future orientated, goal focused and asks the client to be accountable to themselves. Counseling tends to be oriented in equal measure to the past, present and future as well as problem and solution focused but less on psychopathology than psychotherapy.[citation needed] Psychotherapy tends to deal more with seriously disturbed individuals such as those with depression, anxiety or personality disorder. This distinction is not hard and fast however, as in both common and professional usage counseling and psychotherapy are interchangeable, whilst coaching is perceived as different and limited to sports coaching, yet includes therapeutic coaching in its realm. This leads to confusion for both customers and practitioners in a complex service industry that now includes marriage mentoring, for example. The differences are usually to do with the type of training, accreditation and special interests of each type of coach, counselor or psychotherapist. A coach is a person who supports people (clients) to achieve their goals, with goal setting, encouragement and questions. ... Psychopathology is a term which refers to either the study of mental illness or mental distress, or the manifestation of behaviors and experiences which may be indicative of mental illness or psychological impairment. ... Psychotherapy is an interpersonal, relational intervention used by trained psychotherapists to aid clients in problems of living. ... Look up depression in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Personality disorders form a class of mental disorders that are characterized by long-lasting rigid patterns of thought and actions. ... Mentoring refers to a developmental relationship between a more experienced mentor and a less experienced partner referred to as a mentoree (sometimes vernacularized into mentee) or protégé. // Historical The roots of the practice are lost in antiquity. ...

Coaching arose from management consultancy and leadership training, and has grown into traditional counseling and psychotherapy fields such as conflict coaching and systemic coaching. Coaching and counseling tend to arise from a humanistic and client-centered approach. Counselors attend to both normal social, cultural and developmental issues as well as the problems associated with physical, emotional, and mental disorders. These are nonpathologizing views of the person in context. A vital ingredient is their view that coaching and counseling are a meeting between practitioner and client, which invites the creative possibilities of dialogue in contrast to treatment of a disorder and in mentoring, a partnership of colleagues of greater and lesser experience. Many personal coaches and counselors use movement, psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral approaches in their work, usually integrating these aspects into the process when appropriate and beneficial to their client. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Humanism is a system of thought that defines a socio-political doctrine (-ism) whose bounds exceed those of locally developed cultures, to include all of humanity and all issues common to human beings. ... It has been suggested that Client-Centered Therapy be merged into this article or section. ... A dialogue (sometimes spelt dialog[1]) is a reciprocal conversation between two or more entities. ... Mentoring refers to a developmental relationship between a more experienced mentor and a less experienced partner referred to as a mentoree (sometimes vernacularized into mentee) or protégé. // Historical The roots of the practice are lost in antiquity. ...

Coaching, psychotherapy and counseling all encourage self help as a resource for change, but to different degrees. For example, will a person believed to be suffering a mental disorder think about self-help in a disordered way - using aluminum foil wrapping of the skull to prevent their thoughts being broadcast to a television set, for example. This could be considered disordered self-help. By contrast, in an approach that does not pathologize the person, the practitioner is unlikely to pathologize the client's self help strategy and some may even research the science of experience to find information about the effectiveness of a skullcap. The term self-help can refer to any case or practice whereby an individual or a group attempts self-guided improvement[1]—economically, intellectually or emotionally. ...

Coaching, psychotherapy and counseling, taken together and used together represent an ecletic approach and serve as perhaps the best approach when taken together, since clients come from various backgrounds and circumstances and represent different needs and issues.


For context to the history of counseling see Timeline of psychology and Timeline of psychotherapy. Each of the articles in See Also below contain histories which relate to that of counseling. For a brief history see the external sites below. This is a timeline of psychology. ... This is a timeline of psychotherapy. ...

What a counselor usually does

  • Listen effectively to what you are saying
  • Interrupt you when it is useful and appropriate
  • Facilitate your untangling of thoughts, feelings and worries about a situation
  • Offer you their insights into how you act, think and feel
  • Teach, show and help you express your emotions in your own way
  • Teach, show and help you work out your own solutions to problems
  • Teach, show and help you accept what cannot be changed
  • Teach, show, help and support you and your relationship while you do all this
  • Use a variety of different techniques to help you explore what is important to you.

See also

  Results from FactBites:
Psychotherapy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2361 words)
According to behaviorism, counseling should only focus on behaviors that are observable and measurable, rather than cognitions.
Behavioral counseling is the most scientifically validated approach because of its emphasis measurable and observable results.
Increasingly, counselors and researchers are incorporating behavior modification techniques with other approaches (eclectic or multimodal approaches), and develop behavioral definitions to measure psychological constructs such as depression, anxiety or anger (Thompson, Rudolph, and Henderson, 2004).
  More results at FactBites »



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