The current state of the profession
The counseling profession offers a wide range of services. It ranges from counseling students on various issues regarding their academic work to families in a crisis situation. However, the acceptance and prominence of counseling as a profession varies according to regions.
For instance in Europe and other western states, the current professional trends demonstrate that therapy is being accepted now more than ever. According to Dixon and Hansen (2010), in this day and age, it has become a part of people’s lives to seek counseling services such as psychotherapy, which has led to more exposure of the counselors who now have greater space within the public (p.40).
It is also important to note that the numbers of practicing counselors has been rising over the years. As Dixon and Hansen (2003) mention, in Denmark alone, there are approximately eight thousand counselors either training or practicing. This can be attributed to the governments in most European nations subsidizing the cost of studying counseling as a profession. More so, there are governments that have channeled funds into subsidizing professional counseling services such that the services are more affordable to the locals (P.45).
The context within which professional counseling takes place has been changing over the years. In the 21st century, it takes place in a variety of settings most especially in a school setting. This happens mostly in the United States and a few nations in Europe.
This is so because the service is very much needed in an academic system and where children grow and develop into adults. There instances where some children require special education probably because they are slow learners, or have mental or even physical disabilities (Dixon and Hansen,2010, p.40).
The most common approach used to day by various professional counselors is the cognitive therapeutic methods. A good majority of the public institutions as well as the private ones use this particular framework. This method has become so common that most researchers are giving it enough attention and also teach it in the Universities.
Professional counseling just like any other profession faces a few threats. There are particular aspects under professional counseling that have for a very long time ignored. As put forward by Savickas (2003), one identified weakness by a good number of analysts is that there is minimal training for students who would really wish to take a specialty in career counseling. Given that professional counseling began as a vocational guidance career, the supposed training that is currently available is rather inconvenient.
This is mostly because there is very little if any attention in this particular activity that really engendered it. The situation has further been worsened by the ever-increasing number of internet entrepreneurs as well as career trainers. Therefore, weakness that comes with lack of training in this particular area becomes “deprofessionalized” to say the least (p.2).
There has been a general assumption that counseling will continue to grow as it expands its acceptance base. However, there are various regions in the world that may face the more challenges than others and hence may pose as threats to the entire profession. An example the presentation of what counseling profession is to the wider society with the inclusion of its services and the outcomes expected on the various clients.
Most people especially in the developing part of the world have a stereotype that the mentally or physically ill are bad omen to the family. They therefore prefer locking them up somewhere, as tradition requires. In other parts of the world however, some people consider the whole service provision as an expensive venture.
Unless the governments steps in terms of subsidizing the service they want nothing to do with it since they can visit online sources which are even more affordable regardless of the quality of service being offered (Ng and Mey, 2010, p.6).
It would be better if the professional counseling services were extended to other settings. For a very long time, it has been concentrated on the educational institutions yet there are very many people outside such a setting who need the service. For instance those in correctional facilities, rehabilitation and mental health institutions as well. This will in the long run firmly establish and endorse its identity as a professional service just like any other (savickas, 2003, p.11)
In addition to this, it is important that the number of Universities offering professional counseling as a course be accredited by the Council of Higher Education. This is because some universities and colleges have ended up offering poor quality education in this particular program.
Therefore, the Universities that offer the course illegally should be brought to book otherwise the graduates from such Universities will end up undermining the whole profession due to poor services. More so, a highly qualified faculty should develop and fine-tune the curriculum such that the course texts are the best hence the outcome should be of that of highly qualified professional counselors.
Dixon, A. & Hansen, N. (2010). Professional Counseling in Denmark: Journal of Counseling and Development. Web.
Ng, K. K & Mey, C. (2010). Counseling in Malaysia: History, current status an future trends. Journal of Psychology and development. Web.
Savickas, M. (2003). Advancing the Career Counseling profession: Objectives and Strategies for the Next Decade; The Career Development Quarterly. Web.