Looking at the Changing World of Counseling
The American Counseling Association is celebrating Counseling Awareness Month in April, and two former presidents—now faculty members in Walden University’s School of Counseling and Social Service—pause to reflect on their profession and what lies ahead. Dr. David Capuzzi, who served as president from 1986–87, is a core faculty member in the PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision program and Dr. Colleen Logan, who served as president from 2008–09, is the program coordinator for the MS in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling program. Together, they both share a commitment to helping clients, promoting diversity and social justice, and preparing new counselors for a rapidly changing field.
What do you find most satisfying about being a counselor?
Dr. Logan: I can change the world one day at a time, one person at a time, by helping. The idea that I have the experience, skills, and ability to help someone still brings shivers down my spine.
Dr. Capuzzi: I also find that really satisfying. I can help clients identify strength areas that build on their resilience to solve problems in their lives.
How has counseling changed, and what’s ahead for the profession?
Dr. Capuzzi: When I went into the field, there were very few standards. Licensure didn’t exist. The competence level of the profession has really escalated. Also, with the Internet, there are now all kinds of instantaneous ways of communicating, and counselors have to be more conversant with them. Another thing that’s very different is how people work. In 20 years, I don’t think people will be arriving at a workplace for 40 hours a week. Instead, they’ll work from home for different employers simultaneously. Counselors will have to help clients cope with how they’re going to earn a living. We’ll have to help them be more entrepreneurial, deal with ambiguity, and be more assertive in promoting themselves and their skills.
Dr. Logan: Counselors will need to continue to be flexible. We’re going to have more virtual sessions. We could have a counseling Web channel. Fortunately, counselors are uniquely positioned and prepared to help in a world that’s changing every minute. Counselors are very suited to flexibility; we’re trained to respond. I think counselors will be at the forefront of responding to major catastrophes on the level of 9/11 or worse.
What does it mean to you to have a month devoted to recognizing and celebrating the counseling profession?
Dr. Capuzzi: It creates visibility and lets the public know we’re there and available. I’d like to see another month added.
Dr. Logan: I want there to be a counseling millennium. We still have a lot of work to do in terms of being relevant. Automatically, when there’s a crisis or someone in pain, people should think of counseling.
How can counselors prepare for continuing change?
Dr. Capuzzi: I’ve had to re-educate myself over and over again, and I think all practicing counselors need to do that. Finishing a degree is not the end; it’s only the beginning.
Dr. Logan: Reinvent, re-evaluate, be innovative, and make sure you’re relevant. That’s what we have to do for ourselves, and it’s important to do that for our students.
To learn more about Walden's counseling program, visit www.WaldenU.edu/counseling.