Counseling as a profession is making positive moves into the future that will strengthen the profession and increase opportunities for future counselors. Two major topics being discussed include professional unification and identity and increasing federal recognition.

Professional Unification and Identity

Since the beginning, counselors have been grouped with many other helping professions because of the lack of a separate identity. As discussed in chapter 2, counseling as a profession was developed in large part by psychologists who were looking for a different way to help clients overcome

Box 4.7


The NBCC Board of Directors listened over many years as counselors described difficulty obtaining licensure, relocating to other states and obtaining employment through federal programs. These concerns compelled NBCC to consider how we could help position the counseling profession for continued growth and recognition. We strongly believe that we owe it to future counselors to refine the profession so that they have increased opportunities. (NBCC, 2014, p. 4)

the problems of living and wanted to focus on wellness. Counseling is also grounded in the field of education with a focus on career guidance. The counseling profession for some time has been focused on developing a definition of counseling and describing who is a counselor. This process has taken many years and has been controversial because it meant that counseling would ultimately take on its own identity. The consensus definition of counseling presented in earlier chapters is the result of these discussions and a reflection on the work required to continue to solidify our distinct professional identity. Efforts by leading professional counseling organizations such as NBCC, ACA, CACREP, and ACES will hopefully lead to continued unification efforts toward streamlined processes in counselor training, credentialing, and practice.

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