by Kathleen Friery

MS Community Agency Counseling Portfolio - 2007-2008

Philosophy of Counseling



1.) Start with your definition of counseling and goals for counseling as you see them.

  • Why are you interested (or not!) in working with clients?
  • What is the point of counseling and what is the role of the counselor?
  • What do you personally bring to the therapeutic relationship?
  • Will you focus more on insight or action?
  • What are your values?
  • What population do you think you're best suited for?
  • What kind of relationship will you have with your clients?


2).   After the completion of each course please review and revise your philosophy in order 
to incorporate any modifications you feel need to be made to your own philosophy of counseling. 
Modifications should be considered as a result of the attainment of knowledge, skills, and 
dispositions that specifically develop as you complete the counseling program. 

A personal counseling theory is an individual counselor’s unique view of human nature and the process of counseling. It may be based on parts of major counseling theories studied in courses, blended to reflect the outlook of the individual. Or it may be based solely on one major theory’s tenets.  Narrowing focus to no more than two major theories is less confusing.


            The essay should be written using APA style. It should be 3 to 5 pages, not including the reference page. Use course texts, current articles and other pertinent materials for information, research, techniques. The following topics should be included:


            - The individual’s point of view about human nature and the goals of counseling.  This may be brief (one paragraph) and linked to his/her choice of theory/theories and reason for choice(s).


            - Discussion of the key points of the major theoretical concepts:

                        - view of human nature (good, bad, neutral, etc.)

                        - how personality develops/developmental aspects

                        - explanations and indicators of healthiness and pathology


            - Description of the intervention process as related to theory choice(s):

                        - goals of interventions

                        - function/role of the counselor

                        - descriptions of interventions and techniques

                        - descriptions of the progressive stages and/or steps