Psychology, Counseling Psychology, and Professional Counseling: Shared Roots, Challenges, and Opportunities

Peggy Brady-Amoon, Kathleen Keefe-Cooperman

Abstract


Psychology, counseling psychology, and professional counseling are at a crossroad. The growing movement to establish professional counseling as a distinct profession, based on an increasingly narrow definition of professional identity, is particularly relevant to counseling psychologists and professional counselors and has implications for the broader field of psychology. A brief systematic historical analysis of these professional specialties in the U.S. provides the context to examine current challenges, including proposed restriction of master’s level training, licensure or other authorization to practice, and employment to graduates of programs accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). These restrictions reduce services to the public and threaten the viability of counseling psychology and professional counseling in the U.S. These challenges also have significant implications for counseling psychologists in Europe and internationally given similar efforts. Going beyond a call to action, the article concludes with recommendations for counseling psychologists and allied professionals to address shared challenges, maximize shared opportunities, and foster enhanced intra- and inter-professional collaboration and cooperation.

Keywords


counseling psychology; professional counseling; history; training; accreditation; license; employment