FUNCTION OF PROFESSIONAL COUNSELING
This research paper presents professional counseling and its function. Areas of function past, present, and future are discussed.
Counseling is viewed as an essential function in a complex society; it is a function rather than a role. Counseling is viewed as that which makes society run smoothly. The counselor is the representative and advocate of those who make up the social system. The counselor must be aware of the many complex systems; he helps the individual adjust to these systems. The counseling profession struggles with identity and role. Different situations demand different roles; for example a counsellor may look like a social worker or a teacher. Regardless of role shifts, the counselor maintains a sincere desire to help people use their individual resources within their social and cultural environment to make a better life. A counselor may have different credentials, including those with Ph.D.'s or M.A.'s; others have experience rather than credentials. The counseling skill and success depends more on personal characteristics and experience than length of graduate training (Tyler, 1972, p. 6-7, 11).
Hahn (1955) describes counseling psychology as a functionally unique pattern of practices. He states that counseling psychologists resemble industrial psychologists more than psychotherapists, have a greater interest in processes and things than persons and personalities (such as with clinical psychologists), have greater managerial and administrative interests, and take more readily to statistics and statistical research. Counseling psychologists focus more on problems of value systems and judgments that are interfering and changing attitudes, rather than reorganizing the basic personality structure (pp. 279-281).
Differences between clinical and counseling psychologists are also reflected in their assessment techniques. Both may use the same psychometric devices...