Counselling psychology as a psychological speciality facilitates personal and interpersonal functioning across the life span with a focus on emotional, social, vocational, educational, health-related, developmental, and organisational concerns. Through the integration of theory, research, and practice, and with a sensitivity to multicultural issues, this speciality encompasses a broad range of practices that help people improve their well-being, alleviate distress and maladjustment, resolve crises, and increase their ability to live more highly functioning lives. Though closely related to clinical psychology, counselling psychology differs from that field in a several subtle ways. First, counselling psychologists typically focus on less severe psychopathology (e.g., depression and anxiety), while clinical psychologists deal with more seriously disturbed individuals (e.g., those with schizophrenia or personality disorders). Second, counselling psychologists are more likely than clinical psychologists to assume a client-centred or humanistic theoretical approach.
Finally, counselling psychology is unique in its attention both to normal developmental issues as well as the problems associated with physical, emotional, and mental disorders. Despite these differences, counselling and clinical psychology are becoming increasingly indistinguishable, leading some to suggest that these fields be combined. Populations served by counselling psychologists include persons of all ages and cultural backgrounds. Examples of those populations would include late adolescents or adults with career/educational concerns and children or adults facing severe personal difficulties. Counselling psychologists also consult with organisations seeking to enhance their effectiveness or the well-being of their members. This book focuses on new research in the field from around the world.