Counseling is a specialty within professional psychology that maintains a focus on facilitating personal and interpersonal functioning across the life span. The specialty pays particular attention to emotional, social, vocational, educational, health-related, developmental, and organizational concerns.
The practice of Counseling encompasses a broad range of culturally-sensitive practices that help people improve their well-being, alleviate distress and maladjustment, resolve crises, and increase their ability to function better in their lives. With its attention to both to normal developmental issues and problems associated with physical, emotional, and mental disorders, the specialization holds a unique perspective in the broader practice-based areas of psychology.
Counseling Psychologists serve persons of all ages and cultural backgrounds in both individual and group settings. They also consult regularly with organizations seeking to enhance their effectiveness or the well-being of their members.
Interventions used by Counseling Psychologists may be either brief or long-term; they are often problem-specific and goal-directed. These activities are guided by a philosophy that values individual differences and diversity and a focus on prevention, development, and adjustment across the life-span.