Across all stages of development (i.e., childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and older age), counseling psychologists focus on:
- Healthy aspects and strengths of clients (whether being seen as individuals, couples, families, groups, or organizations.
- Environmental/situational influences (how cultural, gender and lifestyle issues shape people’s experiences and concerns).
- Issues of diversity and social justice (e.g., advocacy).
- The role of career and work in peoples’ lives.
The problems addressed by counseling psychology are addressed from developmental (lifespan), environmental and cultural perspectives. They include, but are not limited to:
- School and career/work adjustment concerns.
- Making decisions about career and work and dealing with school‐work‐retirement transitions.
- Relationship difficulties‐including marital and family difficulties.
- Learning and skill deficits.
- Stress management and coping with negative life events.
- Organizational problems.
- Dealing with and adjusting to physical disabilities, disease, or injury.
- Personal/social adjustment.
- The development of one’s identity.
- Persistent difficulties with relating to other people in general.
- Mental disorders.
Skills & Procedures Utilized
The procedures and techniques used within counseling psychology include, but are not limited to:
- Individual, family and group counseling and psychotherapy.
- Crisis intervention, disaster, and trauma management.
- Assessment techniques for the diagnosis of psychological disorders.
- Programs/workshops that educate and inform the public about mental health, school, family, relationship, and workplace issues so that problems can be prevented before they start or reduced before they get worse.
- Consulting with organizations.
- Program evaluation and treatment outcome (e.g., client progress).
- Clinical supervision.
- Test construction and validation.
- Research methodologies for scientific investigations.
Clients served by counseling psychologists include individuals, groups (including couples and families) and organizations. Counseling psychologists work with individual clients of all ages, such as children who have behavioral problems; late adolescents with educational and career concerns or substance abuse problems; adults facing marital or family difficulties, career changes, or overcoming disabilities; and older adults facing retirement. They work with groups to assist them in finding solutions to many of these same problems, as well as to improve the personal and interpersonal functioning of group members. Counseling psychologists also consult with organizations (e.g., businesses) and work groups to help provide a work environment in which people can succeed, and to enhance the ability of organizations to increase productivity and effectiveness.