PROFESSIONAL INVOLVEMENT PYRAMID
I will address each way of becoming professionally involved individually, with the underlying assumption being that, as a counselor, one is engaged in some form ofcounseling activities outside ofjust working with clients. As you mature, you become more professionally involved. For instance, the first five years after earning my master’s degree in counseling, I worked in a mental health center providing counseling services and then decided, after gaining experience, I would go back to school and get my doctorate. After that, I became involved in my state counseling association, first as a conference attendee and then as a presenter. Since that time, I have written and submitted manuscripts to counseling journals, been a member of an editorial board, been a journal editor, been active as a faculty member in counseling programs, and ran for/held offices in various counseling associations on a number of levels. I still do some work counseling, and I have claimed my primary professional identity as that of a counselor. This identification and the degree to which I have become involved have allowed me to see the field of counseling broadly and to realize more fully the breadth and depth of the field. Such a process is similar to people who identify with other professions. The difference, though, is in degrees (literally and figuratively) in regard to focus, content, and methods.