A Call for Greater Collaboration between the Counseling Psychology and School Counseling Professions

By Moore, James L.,, III | Journal of Counseling and Development : JCD, Fall 2005 | Go to article overview

A Call for Greater Collaboration between the Counseling Psychology and School Counseling Professions

Moore, James L.,, III, Journal of Counseling and Development : JCD

As a profession in the 21st century, counseling psychology, like many other helping professions (e.g., school counseling), is confronted with several harsh realities that undermine its professional well-being. In many of these cases, the profession is forced to redefine itself and renew its focus. With the rapid changes in health care, it is clear that counseling psychology has endured many challenges (Heppner, Cases, Carter, & Stone, 2000). For example, since 1994, the number of counseling psychology graduates who begin their first job in private practice has declined dramatically (Neimeyer, Bowman, & Stewart, 2001). These decreases have often been attributed to health care cutbacks and changes with third-party insurance payments (Romano & Kachgal, 2004).

Another significant change is the number of counseling psychology programs housed in colleges of education (Hoffman & Carter, 2004; Romano & Kachgal, 2004). Although the number of counseling psychology programs almost tripled from 1970 to 1995 (Heppner et al., 2000), nearly half of them were housed in psychology departments (Hoffman & Carter, 2004). Today, counseling psychology programs are increasingly found in colleges of education (Hoffman & Carter, 2004; Pope, 2004). According to the American Psychological Association (APA; 2002), less than 20% of these programs are still located in or affiliated with psychology departments. Hoffman and Carter reported that, at least in the last 20 years, 3 out of the 40 counseling psychology programs that received APA accreditation were located in psychology departments. Furthermore, these authors insinuated that the "majority" of the newly accredited counseling psychology programs are located in colleges of education.

Because counseling psychology has a long-standing history of distancing itself from educational issues (Lichtenberg & Goodyear, 2004; Sprinthall, 1990; Whiteley, 1984; Worthington & Juntunen, 1997), the change from psychology to education often puts it at a disadvantage when competing for resources in colleges of education. In regard to counseling psychology graduate programs, the students and faculty in these programs are often seen as outsiders in colleges of education because their programs lack connection with school-related activities (Pope, 2004). Moreover, they are often perceived as liabilities by other programs' faculty because counseling psychology programs require substantial resources to operate (Galassi & Akos, 2004; Pope, 2004). It is also important to note that these programs primarily involve doctoral students. After conducting basic cost--benefit analyses, deans and other program faculty often raise questions about the relevance of counseling psychology programs in colleges of education (Pope, 2004; Romano & Kachgal, 2004). Such questions not only affect counseling psychology programs but also present difficulty for other graduate programs (e.g., exercise physiology and rehabilitation counseling) that are costly to maintain and/or struggle to connect with the larger mission of colleges of education.

* At a Crossroad: Prospects for Change

As Hoffman and Carter (2004) discussed in their editorial for a special issue of The Counseling Psychologist, "Counseling Psychology and School Counseling," counseling psychology is at a major crossroads. Even with the aforementioned issues, there are still numerous opportunities for counseling psychology to positively influence society at-large (e.g., schools, communities, and workplaces; Carter, 2001; Fouad, 2002). As a way to explore these possibilities, Hoffman and Carter (2004) assembled a cadre of counseling leaders to participate in a "candid" dialogue on ways in which counseling psychology can establish collaborations outside of its traditional scope of practice. Using the Romano and Kachgal (2004) article as the focal point, Hoffman and Carter (2004) invited these counseling leaders (i.e., Coleman, 2004; Forest, 2004; Galassi & Akos, 2004; Gysbers, 2004; Lichtenberg & Goodyear, 2004; Pope, 2004; Sabella, 2004; Whiston, 2004; Yeh, 2004) to respond and share their viewpoints on the information presented.

* An Overview of Romano and Kachgal (2004)

In this focal article, Romano and Kachgal (2004) indicated that

   The influence of the two specialties [counseling psychology
   and school counseling] will be eminently stronger if they can
   form a strong partnership based on their overlapping philosophical
   foundations, scientific investigations, and psychological
   practices. Such a partnership not only offers benefits
   to the broader society, but to the two professions. (p. 184)

The authors further suggested that a counseling psychology-school counseling partnership could present extraordinary opportunities for the two specialties to combine their expertise to address pressing educational concerns. For example, Romano and Kachgal suggested that together the two could use their expertise to improve the educational enterprise and serve as a strong force for advocating for students.

As a way of accomplishing this major undertaking, Romano and Kachgal (2004) presented a model for facilitating collaboration between counseling psychology and school counseling that comprised four broad areas: (a) curriculum, (b) research, (c) service, and (d) professional organizations. Although the authors highlighted some of the many difficulties of collaboration, they focused most of their efforts on illustrating the overlaps and opportunities for meaningful collaboration. More specifically, the authors used the four broad areas because they cut across preservice and in-service training for both specialties.


There is extensive research literature about what makes some graduate programs better than others. The heart of any graduate program, regardless of whether the program is counseling psychology, mathematics, electrical engineering, or social work, is its curriculum. Romano and Kachgal (2004) asserted that the curriculum is one of the areas in which collaboration between counseling psychology and school counseling can be achieved. Because the graduate training for both is somewhat similar, at least at the beginning stages, the authors recommended that the two professions explore opportunities for collaboration related to theoretical orientation, career development, multiculturalism, prevention, supervision, group work, and psychopathology. Many of Romano and Kachgal's points of collaboration were aligned with the training foci and strengths of both counseling psychology and school counseling.

According to Romano and Kachgal (2004), the two professions share common theoretical and conceptual training orientations even though their educational objectives differ. More specifically, the authors suggested that both specialties emphasize developmental psychology, focus on strengths rather than deficits, and stress multiculturalism and diversity in counseling. Counseling psychology offers school counseling numerous collaborative possibilities. Because counseling psychologists are constantly exposed to learning theory, cognitive development, sociological issues, and measurement in their graduate training, Romano and Kachgal have strongly believed that counseling psychology is in a good position to assist school counselors with improving student achievement. Another area of collaboration is aligned with school-to-work initiatives. The role of school counselors is strongly connected with career development and vocational guidance. In fact, such activities are used to increase students' academic achievement as well as their career awareness and preparation. The authors also asserted that school counseling could use counseling psychology to strengthen its focus on career development because counseling psychology has a rich foundation in both vocational psychology and research.

Another possibility of collaboration could be generated by both specialties' strong emphasis on multiculturalism. Counseling psychology has a rich history centered on social equity and social justice issues, and the school counseling profession has begun to emphasize the importance of targeting services to disadvantaged student populations. Although Romano and Kachgal pinpointed other possibilities of collaboration (e.g., prevention, supervision, and group work), the one that stood out the most dealt with the topic of psychopathology. The authors asserted that abnormal psychology and using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed., text revision; American Psychiatric Association, 2000) were major components of counseling psychologists' graduate training. As a result, they suggested that counseling psychology is equipped to provide needed consultation to school counselors on mental health issues experienced by students. The authors further suggested that school counselors need such expertise in public schools. In their school counseling training, school counselors tend to have limited exposure to abnormal psychology, psychopathology, and mental health symptoms associated with mental disorders.


In the area of research, Romano and Kachgal (2004) suggested that counseling psychology has a strong foundation in scientific inquiry and discovery. The curriculum typically includes course work in research, statistics, and program evaluation. The two authors proposed that the counseling psychology curriculum, when compared with school counseling programs, is much more advanced in the area of research. Perhaps this is true, given that many counseling psychology programs emphasize doctoral training rather than working toward a master's degree.

Citing the strong emphasis on data use by the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) and The Education Trust's Transforming School Counseling Initiative, Romano and Kachgal also asserted that counseling psychologists are well positioned to assist school counseling professionals with matters centered on data collection and analysis. Because school counseling has not been focused on research, statistics, and program evaluations, school counselors are frequently not well prepared to deal with needs assessments, program evaluations, and other activities requiring the use of data.


Service is an essential part of higher education as well as helping professions such as counseling psychology and school counseling. As with any helping profession, there are multiple opportunities and ways to provide service. In terms of volunteerism, Romano and Kachgal (2004) envisioned school counselors, counseling psychology doctoral students, and counseling psychologists providing service to each other. For example, they asserted:

   School counselors can support the training mission of counseling
   psychology programs by serving as on-site practicum
   supervisors of graduate students and as guest lectures in
   courses. Counseling psychologists can provide consultation
   to school counselors in areas such as counselor supervision,
   psychopathology, and program evaluation. (p. 203)

For all parties involved, there are many benefits to be gained from these kinds of partnerships. The authors posited that school counselors would be the beneficiaries of the latest research on important school topics, such as career development, multiculturalism, and resiliency. Another example was that community-based, counseling psychologists can be available to see student referrals or serve as consultants on mental health issues. The authors also indicated that these kinds of collaborations are "win-wins" for school counselors, counseling psychology doctoral students, and counseling psychology faculty, but they neglected to illustrate the benefits for counselor education faculty and doctoral-level counselor education students.

Professional Organizations

In their article, Romano and Kachgal (2004) also suggested that professional organizations (e.g., the American Counseling Association [ACA], ASCA, and APA Division 17) can play key roles in establishing partnerships between school counseling and counseling psychology. These organizations could serve as regulators of the partnership/agreements established by the two specialties. Given the past history of the two, Romano and Kachgal asserted that it would be difficult to establish lasting, meaningful partnerships without the involvement of stakeholders such as ACA, ASCA, and APA because these organizations have access to numerous constituents related to their specialties. Therefore, the authors strongly recommended that professional organizations be invited to the table for such collaborations.

* Synthesized Positions of Contributors

Romano and Kachgal (2004) attempted to present a convincing case for all the possibilities related to collaboration between counseling psychology and school counseling. Nevertheless, contributors like Coleman (2004), Lichtenberg and Goodyear (2004), Pope, (2004), Sabella (2004), and Whiston (2004) were much less confident about these claims. Romano and Kachgal suggested that collaboration would be mutually beneficial for both specialties. However, after carefully reading between the lines, one may be led to believe that counseling psychology will get more out of the collaboration than will school counseling. Pope challenged the notion that both professions would gain from the collaborative relationship. For example, he suggested that counseling psychology stood to gain the most from the collaboration, such as access to a new career path and a forum in which to conduct research. He further implied that counseling psychology was only looking for opportunities to collaborate with school counseling to avoid the public scrutiny of the deans of colleges of education.

What are the advantages of school counseling collaborating with counseling psychology rather than with counselor education? In many instances, school counseling programs are housed in counselor education program areas or departments, and their courses are taught by counselor educators who have school counseling backgrounds. Frequently, these departments have counselor education doctoral programs (Galassi & Akos, 2004). These counselor education doctoral students often serve in just those roles in which Romano and Kachgal (2004) suggested that counseling psychology doctoral students would serve. In response to Romano and Kachgal, Sabella (2004) maintained that counseling psychologists do not have the expertise or training experiences to effectively execute--develop, manage, and implement--comprehensive school counseling programs; therefore, expertise in supervision and school counseling is essential. Whiston (2004) illuminated this point with the following: "I supervise counseling psychology students involved in that precise activity and have found that they often need assistance in understanding the role and function of school counselors and how the therapeutic environment varies from many of the agencies they have worked [with]" (p. 273).

Romano and Kachgal (2004) also presented different services that counseling psychologists might provide to school counselors. However, the two authors overlooked the leadership that counselor educators provide to school counselors as well as to the school counseling profession in general (Hanson & Stone, 2002; Hayes & Paisley, 2002; House & Sears Jones, 2002; Jackson et al., 2002; Sabella, 2004). Such slights, according to Sabella, are likely to impair any possibilities for collaboration. He concluded his article by suggesting that school-oriented professionals (e.g., counselor educators and school psychologists) were more appropriate candidates for establishing collaborative partnerships than were professionals in the field of counseling psychology. Although Whiston (2004) was skeptical about counseling psychology's motivation to collaborate with school counseling, she suggested that counseling psychology could possibly assist school counseling with research and program evaluation. As did Whiston, Gysbers (2004) echoed the need for school counseling to be more data-driven, and he further suggested that counseling psychology could serve an important role in conducting studies to evaluate school counseling outcomes.

* Implications for Counseling Psychology

It is clear that counseling psychology is at a major crossroad. Due to the aforementioned national trends, the counseling psychology specialty is actively trying to create a niche for itself in colleges of education. However, it is unclear whether that niche is with school counseling. Perhaps counseling psychology should change its "sales" pitch somewhat so that intended recipients are clear about its purposes and goals. A more effective objective might be to establish collaborative relationships not only with school counselors but also other with educational professionals (e.g., teachers, principals, school psychologists). This public relations strategy should clearly articulate "genuine" interests and concerns for students in public schools. Therefore, collaborative relationships should be established to assist students and their parents with mental health concerns. In public schools around the country, there are numerous students who are experiencing mental health issues. Many of these students are left untreated for various mental health disorders (e.g., depression and attention deficit disorders) because their parents cannot afford to take them to see a mental health professional. Counseling psychology programs could provide a number of mental health pro bono services to these students under the supervision of counseling psychology faculty.

In addition, these programs can provide preservice and in-service training on mental health issues to professionals in education--teachers, school counselors, and principals. If counseling psychology is really serious about extending its reach, counseling psychologists must do what they do best, but in the context of mental health.

* Conclusion

Establishing meaningful partnerships is often more difficult than imagined. Too often, a layer of complexity confounds the underlying premise of partnerships. These challenges have much to do with socialization processes and procedures that either mesh or conflict with establishing meaningful partnerships. It is quite clear that leadership, decision making, resources, and so forth, must be shared for the partnership. In relation to counseling psychology establishing a partnership with school counseling, it is evident that there are many strikes against real collaboration and that the risk of failure is probable.

The energy and enthusiasm for collaboration that Romano and Kachgal (2004) presented in their article may produce little to nothing in the end unless counseling psychology and school counseling, first, are able to see the need for collaboration, and second, commit themselves to seeing it through. If the effort to achieve collaboration were to fail, it might only breed hopelessness and cynicism between the two specialties. Throughout the United States, many schools are not functioning at optimal levels. In fact, many schools are challenged with student-related problems such as low teacher expectations, pervasive underachievement, chronic absenteeism, poor home-school partnerships, low parental involvement, family violence and abuse, and conflicting values between home and school (Flowers, Milner, & Moore, 2003; Ford & Moore, 2004). Clearly, it is critical that social scientists, helping professionals, professional societies, and professional associations collaborate "on issues of educational policy, practice, and science to maximize their contributions to pre-K12 educational reform" (Romano & Kachgal, 2004, p. 185).

* References

American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., Text. rev.). Washington, DC: Author.

American Psychological Association. (2002). Accredited internship and postdoctoral programs for training in psychology: 2002. American Psychologist, 57, 1074-1095.

Carter, J. (2001). 90 percent perspiration, 10 percent inspiration: Creating change. The Counseling Psychologist, 29, 149-154.

Coleman, H. L. K. (2004). Toward a well-utilized partnership. The Counseling Psychologist, 32, 216-224.

Flowers, L. A., Milner, H. R., & Moore, J. L., III. (2003). Effects of locus of control on African American high school seniors' educational aspirations: Implications for preservice and inservice high school teachers and counselors. The High School Journal, 87, 39-50.

Ford, D. Y., & Moore, J. L., III. (2004). The achievement gap and gifted students of color: Cultural, social, and psychological factors. Understanding Our Gifted, 16, 3-7.

Forest, L. (2004). Moving out of our comfort zones: School counseling/counseling psychology partnerships. The Counseling Psychologist, 32, 225-234.

Fouad, N. A. (2002). Dreams for 2010: Making a difference. The Counseling Psychologist, 30, 158-166.

Galassi, J. P., & Akos, P. (2004). Deja vu and moving the conversation: Reactions to an underutilized partnership. The Counseling Psychologist, 32, 235-244.

Gysbers, N. C. (2004). Counseling psychology and school counseling partnership: Overlooked? Underutilized? But needed! The Counseling Psychologist, 32, 245-252.

Hanson, C., & Stone, C. (2002). Recruiting leaders to transform school counseling. Theory Into Practice, 41, 163-168.

Hayes, R. L., & Paisley, P. O. (2002). Transforming school counselor preparation programs. Theory Into Practice, 41, 169-176.

Heppner, P. P., Casas, M. J., Carter, J., & Stone, G. L. (2000). The maturation of counseling psychology: Multifaceted perspectives, 1978-1998. In S. D. Brown & R. W. Lent (Eds.), Handbook of counseling psychology (3rd ed., pp. 3-49). New York: Wiley.

Hoffman, M. A., & Carter, R. T. (2004). Counseling psychology and school counseling: A call to collaboration. The Counseling Psychologist, 32, 181-183.

House, R. M., & Sears Jones, S. (2002). Preparing school counselors to be leaders and advocates: A critical need in the New Millennium. Theory Into Practice, 41, 154-162.

Jackson, C. M., Snow, B. M., Boes, S. R., Phillips, P. L., Stanard Powell, R., Painter, L. C., et al. (2002). Inducting the transformed school counselor into the profession. Theory Into Practice, 41, 177-185.

Lichtenberg, J. W., & Goodyear, R. K. (2004). Back to school for counseling psychology? A response to Romano and Kachgal. The Counseling Psychologist, 32, 286-291.

Neimeyer, G. J., Bowman, J., & Stewart, A. E. (2001). Internship and initial job placements in counseling psychology: A 26-year retrospective. The Counseling Psychologist, 29, 763-780.

Pope, M. (2004). Counseling psychology and professional school counseling: Barriers to a true collaboration. The Counseling Psychologist, 32, 253-262.

Romano, J. L., & Kachgal, M. M. (2004). Counseling psychology and school counseling. The Counseling Psychologist, 32, 184-215.

Sabella, R. A. (2004). A reaction to counseling psychology and school counseling: An underutilized partnership. The Counseling Psychologist, 32, 263-269.

Sprinthall, N. A. (1990). Counseling psychology from Greyston to Atlanta: On the road to Armageddon? The Counseling Psychologist, 18, 455-463.

Whiston, S. C. (2004). Counseling psychology and school counseling: Can a stronger partnership be forged? The Counseling Psychologist, 32, 270-277.

Whiteley, J. M. (1984). Counseling psychology: A historical perspective. The Counseling Psychologist, 12, 3-109.

Worthington, R. L., & Juntunen, C. L. (1997). The vocational development of non-college-bound youth: Counseling psychology and the school-to-work transition movement. The Counseling Psychologist, 25, 323-363.

Yeh, C. J. (2004). Multicultural and contextual research and practice in school counseling. The Counseling Psychologist, 32, 278-285.

James L. Moore III, School Counseling Program, College of Education, The Ohio State University. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to James L. Moore III, School of Physical Activity and Educational Services, College of Education, The Ohio State University, 1945 N. High Street, 356C Arps Hall, Columbus, OH 43210-1120 (e-mail: moore.1408@osu.edu).

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Call for Greater Collaboration between the Counseling Psychology and School Counseling Professions


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.


    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.