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Addressing Issues and Challenges in Counseling

Addressing Issues and Challenges in Counseling

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Addressing Issues and Challenges in Counseling

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Courseroom Discussions

Read the Discussion Participation Scoring Guide in the resources to learn how your instructor evaluates your discussion participation throughout this course. While discussions in the courseroom are often less formal than assignments, your instructor still expects to see solid thinking, clear writing, and appropriate credit given to the source of particular ideas that you use.

Addressing Issues and Challenges in Counseling Essay Assignment

While you have only just begun your program, the readings in this unit have already provided you with perspectives about counseling as a field of study and practice. For your initial post in this discussion, consider what you have learned about counseling from the unit readings, especially the Kaplan and Gladding’s 2011 article, “A Vision for the Future of Counseling: The 20/20 Principles for Unifying and Strengthening the Profession,” and respond to the following questions:

  • What issues do you imagine will be most challenging for you as a counselor-in-training? Why?
  • How might online resources play a role in helping you address the challenges? Respond to this after reflecting on the work you did in this unit related to Internet resources.
  • How did you decide on the specialization that you chose? What others did you consider, and why? Respond to this after considering the different specializations addressed both in the Counseling Masters Research Guide and in the variety of professional associations in the counseling field.
  • How would you articulate at least two differences you have come to understand between counseling and social work and psychology, based on your review of Mellin, Hunt, and Nichols’s 2011 article, “Counselor Professional Identity: Findings and Implications for Counseling and Interprofessional Collaboration?” Why is it important to know the distinction?

Resources:

Historical Antecedents

There have been two historical antecedents to 20/20: A Vision for the Future ofCounseling. The first occurred in 1988. Three distinguished counselor educators ? Garry WaIz, George Gazda, and Bruce Shertzer ? were asked to speak about the future of counseling at the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) conference held in St. Louis, Missouri. These remarks were subsequently published in a monograph titled Counseling Futures by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Counseling and Personnel Services (Walz, Gazda, & Shertzer, 1991).

Counseling Futures (Walz et al., 1991) reviewed the evolution of counseling and examined data regarding trends in counseling from 1980 through 1991. The monograph identified six major factors that were shaping counseling in the early 1990s: lack of funding for counseling research and program development; marketing forces; demographics; the acquisition and use of new knowledge; the proliferation of self-help resources available to the public; and computers and technology. WaIz et al. hypothesized that these six forces would have specific effects on the future of counseling. They postulated 12 mega trends for the 1990s:

1. Due to aging of the population, counselors would need to develop skills in counseling older adults.

2. Due to both insurance companies and clients wanting evidence that they are getting value for their money, the need for outcome research would intensify.

3. Due to the centrality of family in a client’s life, counselors would need to incorporate family counseling into their skill set.

4. Due to the increasing diversity of the United States, counselor education programs would need to recruit and attract a more multicultural student population.

5. Due to the increasing diversity of the United States, counselors would need to become committed to multiculturalism.

6. Due to strong evidence of effectiveness, peer counseling and client networking would increase.

7. Due to the fact that too few people know about the services counselors provide, a comprehensive and systematic national marketing campaign would be developed to impact the visibility of our profession.

8. Due to the possibilities offered by technology, counselors would make a major commitment to investigating the utilization of computers and technology in counseling.

9. Due to the rapid expansion of knowledge, counselors would be challenged to keep up with new skills and information.

10. Due to increased public scrutiny, counselors would face increasing pressure to act ethically and within legal boundaries.

11. Due to clients’ increasing desire for information and resources, counselors would need to focus on self-help techniques.

12. Due to the rise of special interest groups pursuing important social issues, counselors would need to develop advocacy skills.

The second antecedent to 20/20: A Vision for the Future of Counseling occurred 10 years after the Counseling Futures (WaIz et al., 1991) conference. At the impetus of Chi Sigma Iota (CSI), the honor society for the profession of counseling, representatives from ACA, the American College Counseling Association, the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development, the American Mental Health Counselors Association, the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association, the American School Counselor Association, the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, CSI, ERICCASS, the National Board for Certified Counselors, and the North Carolina Counseling Association met for 3 days from May 27 to 29, 1998 (with a 2-day follow-up meeting on December 1 1 and 12, 1998, in Greensboro, North Carolina) to “share, discuss, and compare perceptions on a common vision for the advocacy of counselors and the services that they provide to others” (Chi Sigma Iota, n.d., p. 1). These Counselor Advocacy Leadership Conferences identified six critical themes for advancing advocacy for both clients and the counseling profession:

1. Counselor education graduate students should develop a clear identity as a professional counselor and take pride in this identity.

2. Associations representing professional counseling should work closely together to promote a common advocacy agenda.

3. Professional counselors should receive adequate compensation and be unrestricted in their ability to provide services within areas of competency.

4. Professional counseling should partner with sister professions on matters of mutual interest.

5. Professional counseling should promote rigorous research in the areas of client outcomes, counselor preparation, counselor employment, and public awareness; seek out research grants and contracts; and promote the use of research by clients, professionals, and legislators.

6. Professional counseling should advocate for optimal human development by promoting prevention and wellness.

The efforts of these two initiatives were taken into consideration as 20/20 began. In fact, the 20/20 project built on the foundation of the ACES and CSI conferences with the idea that it would take a longer sustained effort to move the profession of counseling forward.

Process

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Oversight Committee

The seven individuals who met in Atlanta became the Oversight Committee and began to plan the process for 20/20: A Vision for the Future of Counseling. It was decided that all major organizational stakeholders in the counseling profession would be identified and invited to send a delegate. The word delegate was used deliberately as the 20/20 initiative was seen as analogous to the United Nations, where delegates from the systemwide community come together with the goal of promoting unity and the common good. The Oversight Committee also decided that its role would be limited to a focus on process and that the representatives from the counseling organizations would have full responsibility for content. In other words, this would be an organic process in which the delegates determined priorities, topics, and tasks and the Oversight Committee would then determine a method that would allow the delegates to accomplish their goals.

One of the earliest process decisions made by the Oversight Committee was that 20/20: A Vision for the Future of Counseling would utilize a consensus model. Consensus was defined as a minimum of 90% of delegates giving their approval to a concept. Any concept that did reach consensus would then be sent to the 30 participating organizations for their review and ? it was hoped ? organizational endorsement. The Oversight Committee made it clear to the participating entities that each organization had full autonomy to decide the manner in which they would review for endorsement any concept that emerged from the 20/20 delegates.

Throughout the life of 20/20: A Vision for the Future of Counseling, the core of die Oversight Committee has continued to consist of the presidential teams of AASCB and ACA, the two cosponsoring organizations. To date, the following 13 individuals have served as members of the Oversight Committee: Patricia Arredondo, Marcheta Evans, Sam Gladding, Charles Gagnon, Chris Greene, Lisa Jackson-Cherry, David Kaplan, Lynn Linde, Colleen Logan, Barry Mascari, Vilia Tarvydas, Marie Wakefield, and Jim Wilson.

AuthorAffiliation

David M. Kaplan, Department of Professional Affairs, American Counseling Association, Alexandria, Virginia; and Samuel T. Gladding, Department of Counseling, Wake Forest University. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to David M. Kaplan, Department of Professional Affairs, American Counseling Association, 5999 Stevenson Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304 (e-mail: dkaplan@counseling.org).


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