School Counseling Theory and Process

A. School Counseling Theory and Process

Because school counselors are involved in a variety of tasks, such as the theory and processes needed to do a lot of work. Thus, school counselors need to have knowledge of various appropriate theories to implement counseling programs as identified in the National Model. This includes knowledge of counseling theory, career development theory, human development theory, and systems theory.

a. Counseling Theory

There are a number of counseling theories, all of which can be used to address student problems. For example, psychodynamic theories can help school counselors understand the origins of problems with children. Humanistic theories are the counseling skills school counselors need to understand children's inner worlds and cognitive and behavioral theories can be used by counselors who want to set specific goals that focus on changing behavior or cognition. 

Although school counselors are trained in all theoretical approaches, due to time constraints on the job, they tend to practice short-term modality or short-term treatment theoretical approaches. Therefore, behavioral, cognitive, and reality therapy approaches are frequently used (Neukrug & Williams, 1993), as well as brief and solution-focused approaches (Erford et al., 2003; Sink, 2005). 

In recent years, Adlerian counseling has become popular because of its focus on understanding the child's position in the family and how that position affects the child's behavior. Although humanistic approaches tend to be unwieldy due to the amount of time they take, empathy, an essential component of the humanistic approach, has become an important tool for building stakeholder relationships.

b. Career Development Theory

A number of career development theories can be successfully applied in schools. Perhaps the most important theory is the developmental theory of the long-term life development approach because it helps school counselors develop career programs that are age-appropriate for children. Once the program is established, a number of other theories can be applied, provided they are age-appropriate. 

For example, the basic developmental theory is to design career programs for elementary school children, because this theory reminds us that young people who are just starting to explore the world of work, traits, and factors, and personality theory can be applied in high school as young children. begin to examine who they are and what they consider good and cognitive career theory and constructivist theory are important to high school students as they begin to examine the realities of work or college and to see how they make sense of the world.

c. Human Development Theory

The theory of normal development, as well as the development of abnormal people, is very important, the task of school counselors is to understand how children develop their long-term program of life. Thus, knowledge of physical development and cognitive development helps school counselors identify gifted students who may be developmentally delayed. Knowledge of moral development helps school counselors understand the sometimes turbulent world of the developing youth. 

A long-term life development approach, such as Erikson's, can help school counselors determine whether a student is walking normally and can help identify appropriate interventions if needed. And personality development theory can help school counselors understand why a student might exhibit some abnormal behavior.

d. System Theory

Systems theory is applied to family counseling, group counseling, and consulting and supervision. Obviously, knowledge of all three systems is an important part of the school counselor's job. Knowing how children "fit" into their families and understanding complex family dynamics is basic for working with children and parents. 

Being able to work effectively with groups of children and having insight into the sometimes complex interactions that can occur, are essential for school counselors to work effectively in groups. And understanding the complexities of the school system and how to use that knowledge to effectively consult is the primary task of the school counselor. Finally, recognizing the importance of supervision by principals, guidance directors, and others, and understanding the importance of supervising others, such as school counselors, is a systemic component to effective school counselors.


Ed Neukrug (2007).The World of The Counselor: An Introduction to the Counseling Profession. United States: Thomson Brooks/Cole. Page 445-474

Samuel T.Glading (2012). Konseling: Profesi yang Menyeluruh. Jakarta: Permata Puri Media. Hal.459-494

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