The History and Evolution of Professional Counseling


Hello, I’m Martin and I’m a professional counselor. I didn’t plan on becoming a professional counselor when I went to college. As an undergraduate I planned to go into business. However, I took psychology classes and loved them so much that I changed my major to psychology. In my senior year I met with my advisor who informed me that to become a psychologist I would have to be admitted to a doctoral-level graduate program in clinical psychology or counseling psychology and spend another 4 to 6 years to earn a Ph.D. That wasn’t for me, so I asked about alternatives, and she suggested I speak to someone in the Counselor Education department. Thus was my introduction to my career as a professional counselor. I still had a lot of questions: "Who are professional counselors?” "What do they do?” "How are they different from psychologists or social workers?” "How did counseling become a separate profession?” Although the times have changed somewhat since I entered graduate school, I have found that today many people interested in professional counseling have the same sort of questions. Perhaps you do, too.

Allow me to share with you some of what I learned. In addressing these questions, I hope you become as excited about counseling and the prospect of becoming a professional counselor as I did!

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