Handbook of School Counseling

Handbook of School Counseling

Handbook of School Counseling

Handbook of School Counseling


The mission of this forty-eight chapter Handbook is to provide a comprehensive reference source that integrates counseling theory, research and practice into one volume. It is designed to meet the needs of entry-level practitioners from their initial placement in schools through their first three to five years of practice. It will also be of interest to experienced school counselors, counselor educators, school researchers, and counseling representatives within state and local governments.


School counselors are members of an expanded profession of practitioners who work in a variety of settings, including mental-health centers, family clinics, military services, hospitals, businesses, schools, and colleges among others (Gladding, 2000; Nugent, 2000; Schmidt, 2008; Vacc & Loesch, 2000). Within this burgeoning field of professional counseling, school counseling is a specialty field that has its roots in the vocational guidance movement of the Industrial Revolution during the late 19th and early 20th centuries (Gysbers & Henderson, 2000; Schmidt; Studer, 2005).

This first chapter of the Handbook of School Counseling provides an overview of the historical development of the school counseling profession, highlights the role that counselors have played in student development, and offers a brief synopsis of professional issues and trends that have had an impact on the practice of counseling in schools. By understanding historical influences and the emerging role of school counselors in American education over the past hundred years, a future school counselor or administrator can attain greater appreciation for the vital role that counselors will have in our 21st century schools.

In previous books and articles, Schmidt (2004, 2008) argued that, although school counselors serve students, parents, and teachers with seemingly dissimilar missions than their colleagues who practice in mental health, family clinics, or other arenas, all counselors are united professionally by criteria of preparation and standards of practice. These criteria and standards include a basic understanding and command of helping skills and techniques; a broad knowledge of psychological, sociological, and human development theories; an appropriate level of training in assessment, diagnosis, and intervention; and an appreciation of common goals and objectives that bring together counselors from a variety of specialty work settings as colleagues in the broader counseling profession. Before exploring the history of school counseling as a professional specialty, it is appropriate that we first take a brief glance at the counseling profession.

The Counseling Profession

The exact beginning of the counseling profession is unknown, but its roots may be found in . . .

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