People seeking an introduction to the breadth and vibrancy of the field of counseling need look no further than the 2nd edition of Orientation to Professional Counseling: Past, Present, and Future Trends, edited by Sylvia C. Nassar, professor of counselor education at North Carolina State University, and Spencer G. Niles, dean of the William & Mary School of Education. The American Counseling Association published the 2018 edition.
Niles recalled the genesis of the book as being grounded in the goal of providing graduate students with an opportunity to be exposed to thought leaders in the counseling field. The book’s chapters elaborate on the areas of counseling identified by CACREP as core areas of focus and training, including chapters on ethics; research and assessment; addictions counseling; career counseling; clinical mental health counseling; rehabilitation counseling; college counseling; marriage, couples, and family counseling; school counseling; and more.
“We wanted to honor the history of counseling while also celebrating the successes experienced within the profession and, at the same time, pointing toward future trends” Niles explained. “We hope it’s a resource that graduate students and new professionals find helpful.”
Niles recalled that he and Nassar were challenged to address the breadth of the field “in a way that has substance and authority.”
“As society is getting more complicated, so is our profession, in response to that complexity,” he pointed out.
“We are really a community of practice and a community of scholars,” said Niles. “What’s exciting to me is that the book exposes students who are new to the field to some of the people who have helped to shape the course of the counseling profession.”
Niles is also currently working on updating both the counseling textbook Career Development Interventions for its 6th edition (published by Pearson) and Career Flow – A Hope-Centered Approach to Career Development (published by Cognella Press). He is also working on a book for the lay reader about the ways in which individuals can make career choices that honor their authentic selves rather than defaulting to external standards of success. The latter book will be published by Oxford Press.