Counseling and Therapy

1 Oct

According to Munley (2004, p. 259) the professional definition of counseling psychology applies to a variety of areas (mental, physical, social, etc), and encompasses the ways that these areas interact and influence each other.  Counseling focuses on personal and interpersonal development.   Therapy is the process by which counseling occurs (utilizing scientific methods or counseling models).  For example, personal beliefs tend toward a Person Centered Approach.  This approach/model encompasses the work of Carl Rogers and involves three key concepts: (1) the need of individuals to self-actualize, (2) unconditional positive regard, (3) and an adaptive approach that involves patients in the therapeutic decision-making process (Corey, 2009, p.9).  Counseling is about encouraging positive change while therapy is a means by which that change is encouraged.

(Excerpt from paper – L. Lavergne, 2010, Capella University)

Recently I noticed a couple of folks reached my site by looking for “steps in the counseling process.”  Depending on the chosen therapeutic theory, steps/approaches change.  However, in the book “Escape from Babel” by Miller, Duncan and Hubble, the idea that one theoretical approach is more effective than another is challenged.  In fact, rather than emphasize the differences between different theories, the authors of “Escape from Babel” encourage a deeper look into the similarities between them.


Corey, G. (2009). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy (8th ed.) [DVD included]. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole. ISBN: 9780495632405.

Munley, P., Duncan, L., Mcdonnell, K., & Sauer, E. (2004). Counseling psychology in the United States of America. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 17(3), 247-271. doi:10.1080/09515070412331317602.

Miller, S.D., Duncan, B., Hubble, M. (1997) Escape from Babel: Toward a unifying language for psychotherapy practice. New York, itd: Norton

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