The Counseling profession has had major influences on its profession beginning in the 1900s well into the present. These major influences established effective helping relationships with people that are unable to fully help themselves and cope with society realities.
Jesse B. Davis was the first to have a major influence on this profession in 1907. During this time Davis, a school superintendent, “introduced the first guidance course as part of the school curriculum (Erford, 2010).” With this introduction Davis promoted social change with the development of cross-system collaborations to school and community progression.
Mental Health problems were not a major societal issue until World War II prompting a major influence into the counseling profession. This was due to the fact that “million[s] of men were rejected for military service for psychiatric reasons (Erford, 2010).” With this acknowledgement came the promotion of human development, wellness, and mental health through outreach, prevention, and early intervention.
Another influence that shaped the counseling profession was the connection between theory and practice. Sigmund Freud began linking the two together in the late 1800s through “free association,” Wilhelm Wundt was credited for opening the first experimental psychology laboratory, and William James intertwined Freud’s and Wundt’s connection. James used Freud’s and Wundt’s progression in bringing it into practice. He wanted to view the subject wholeheartedly in a “laboratory-style setting to gain insight into the reasons for human behavior (Erford, 2010).”
Today the counseling profession is aimed at assisting individuals, groups, and families from diverse backgrounds facing challenges in their life journey.
Erford, B. (2010). Orientation to the counseling profession: Advocacy, ethics, and essential professional foundations. Boston, MA: Prentice Hall.