By Vanja Orlans; Susan Van Scoyoc
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Additional info for A short introduction to counselling psychology
The philosophical challenge for the profession of counselling psychology In thinking about the issues set out above, it is clear that the formation of a ‘core philosophy’ in counselling psychology is no easy matter. To be too radical is to depart from the home base of institutionalized mainstream psychology, symbolized by the BPS. To be too conservative is to risk minimizing just those values that counselling psychology as a profession was set up to support. These are the values of humanism and subjectivity.
Maslow’s emphasis on human striving and self-actualization was heralded, along with others who emphasized the importance of advancing a more holistic vision of psychology, as the third force in psychology, after behaviourism and psychoanalysis. The Journal of Humanistic Psychology was launched in 1961 and the Association of Humanistic Psychology was formed in 1963. In 1971 humanistic psychology was recognized by the American Psychological Association and granted its own division (Division 32). Since that time the interest in humanistic ideas has continued, reflected both in the development of the profession of counselling psychology, and currently in the ‘relational’ focus that is informing a number of different areas of the psychological therapies and serving to bring different approaches much closer together.
This association recognizes that most European countries do not have a formally recognized specialty in counselling psychology, but that there are many counselling psychologists in different European countries who have trained abroad and returned with that professional identity. The aim of the association is therefore to support the development and application of counselling psychology in Europe, and is likely to provide a forum for professional exchange as well as networking opportunities. We understand that further developments might include the establishment of a professional journal which could bring together ideas and experiences from colleagues across the European scene.