What Is Counseling Psychology?

Counseling psychology is a specialization in the field of psychology that focuses on helping people of all ages deal with the emotional, social, work, school and health issues that they may be facing at various stages in their lives. It strives to help those who are dealing with major stresses and severe mental issues maintain healthy personal and interpersonal functioning. The professionals who specialize in this field are called counseling psychologists. By assessing and diagnosing the issues that individuals are struggling with, they help improve their sense of well-being and make them feel better despite their problems. More importantly, they help clients find solutions to the issues that are making life so difficult for them.

The realm of counseling psychology seeks to address problems from a wide variety of perspectives, including from the developmental, cultural and environmental points-of-view. Some of the issues that are addressed in counseling psychology are concerns related to the patient’s academic performance or adjustments that need to be made at work, problems about relationships especially those between spouses and among family members and career decisions and transitions. Counseling psychology also deals with students who are having a difficult time in learning new concepts or skills as well as those who are dealing with unpleasant events in their lives like death or divorce or suffering from physical disabilities brought about by injury. This field also caters to those who might have problems with their identity as well as those suffering from mental disorders.

Counseling psychology equips professional practitioners in the field the opportunity to work with clients of all agents. These include children who have problems with behavior, adolescents facing substance abuse issues at school, adults that are at the transition point in their lives with their careers and seniors who are facing issues that deal with their retirement. Counseling psychologists may even work with companies to help management come up with programs that will allow them to motivate employees to increase productivity.

When counseling psychologists meet with clients, they utilize a variety of procedures to diagnose and treat individuals. They employ assessment techniques to diagnose psychological disorders, provide intervention in times of crisis, help manage trauma and organize programs and workshops that endeavor to teach the public about how various issues like mental health, school and family problems can be prevented before they even have a chance to develop. Regardless of the techniques and methods used, counseling psychologists employ them with an active eye for the multicultural issues that may accompany the problem.

Counseling psychology has similarities with clinical psychology, another specialty area of psychology. Both fields train practitioners to conduct psychotherapy and after meeting strict education and experience requirements authorize them to work independently as licensed psychologists. However, there are also differences between both specializations. Counseling psychologists are more likely to work with individuals who are relatively healthy while clinical psychologists do tend to concentrate on patients who are suffering from severe mental health problems. Both professionals also focus their work in slightly different areas. Counseling psychologists are more likely to be found in counseling offices of schools while clinical psychologists can typically be found in medical settings like hospitals and clinics.

Career Spotlight: Counseling Psychologist

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