Psychological counseling is a relatively new field of activity. It is based on the practical use of psychology and psychotherapy approaches. This professional specialization began to form only in the second half of the 20th century. It was established in the USA in the 1950s, Canada, Australia and New Zealand in the 1980s, and in the UK in the 1990s. Previously, the main form of psychological assistance was psychotherapy, which was provided mainly to people with mental disorders. Clinical psychology, however, expanded the scope of its services, gradually went beyond the clinic.
Psychotherapeutic services were provided to people without pathological abnormalities, but experiencing psychological problems within the normal range. The boundaries between norm and pathology have become less clear. Therefore, counseling psychologists have become a kind of alternative to traditional clinical psychology, their competence encompassed assistance on a wide range of issues of personal and career growth, family relations, adaptation and crisis assistance, youth council ni. The services of counseling psychologists were more accessible.
In the 1940s. , interest in American counseling and psychotherapy increased, especially thanks to Carl Rogers and his landmark book.
Dissatisfaction with psychoanalytic and psychopathological interpretations of behavior prompted psychologists to pay attention to social psychology, personality psychology and individual differences, which had a significant impact on the formation of counseling psychology. Rogers emphasized the importance of a non-directive approach to counseling. The idea was widely accepted, although it was heavily criticized.
Rogers believed that the client should be given more responsibility for his own development, and believed that the psychologist should not evaluate the client, but accept him as he is. The 1950s were of great importance for the establishment of the professional specialization “consultant psychologist” in American psychology. Associations of counseling psychologists working in school and professional practice were created, the American Psychological Association in 1952 created a department of counseling psychology, which summoned psychologists interested in working with the category of “normal” people, in contrast to those with whom clinical psychologists worked. In 1954, the journal of consulting psychology began to be published.
An important reason for the formation of counseling psychology was the need to distinguish counseling from clinical psychology focused on psychotherapy and the treatment of psychopathology. Rejection of the concept of illness, greater attention to the client’s life situation and his personal resources, a shift in emphasis on the strategy of interaction between the counselor and the client, as opposed to the strategy of the psychotherapist’s influence on the patient. The main thing that characterized the new professional specialization – psychological counseling. The role and functions of the consultant psychologist were specified.
There was an active debate about which type of counseling (directive or non-directive) is more effective. Almost all counselors recognized that certain aspects of psychoanalysis were valid. At the same time, in the 1950s. new theories began to appear. Among applied behaviorist theories, the systematic desensitization of Joseph Wolpe has gained popularity. Cognitive theories were manifested in the development of rational-emotive therapy by Albert Ellis, transactional analysis by Eric Berne, and cognitive therapy by Aaron Beck.
The formation of consulting psychology and the creation of associations of consulting psychologists in Canada, Australia, New Zealand took place somewhat later. The Counseling Psychology Unit of the Canadian Psychological Association was established in 1986 and has ensured the recognition of the field as a distinct professional industry. A similar branch within the New Zealand National Professional Association appeared in 1985. Nnorthern Ireland association for mental health was also opened not long ago.
The British Counseling Association was founded in the 1970s, but only changed its name to the British Counseling and Psychotherapy Association in 2000. Thus, psychological counseling was separated from counseling. However, back in 1994, the British Psychological Society formed the Counseling Psychology Unit, which marked the establishment of psychological counseling as a profession.