Editorial Perspective

Article excerpt

Theory is the creative architectural product of reason and experience.

Despite thousands of years of inquiry within various disciplines, humans continue to theoretically, experientially and experimentally explore the mysteries of their own existence. The field of counseling is no different.

Beginning with Wundt's establishment of the first psychology lab in Germany in 1879, and followed by such events as Hall's 1883 establishment of the first psychology lab in the United States, James' Principles of Psychology in 1890, Freud's development of psychoanalysis in the early 1900s, and Watson's science of behavior in 1913, the pursuit for the golden comprehensive theory of human behavior has continued. During the on-going development of counseling theory, different time periods have been characterized by various trends of thought-evolutionary, biological, experimental, psychoanalytical, behavioral, humanistic & existential, cognitive, social cultural, genetic. Recently the motivational assumption regarding the pursuit for truth has been countered by more relativistic, constructivist-type epistemological assumptions which hold there are no self evident truths, but which nonetheless, espouse theoretical all-inclusiveness. Perhaps the most prominent tendency of recent theorists and researchers in professional counseling has been in the direction of meta-analytical theoretical convergence.


Say, "counseling or psychology," anywhere in the world, and free association responses will surely include, "Sigmund Freud."Although Freud's theory has undergone severe criticism, the general principles and language of psychoanalysis have become embedded generally in many cultures and in theoretical and experimental disciplines of human behavior. An article in the Winter 2000 issue of the Journal of Counseling & Development, in which the author compares and contrasts psychoanalytic and humanistic perspectives, is indicative of the continuing presence and influence of psychoanalysis. …


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