Psychology has long labored as the step-child of psychiatry and medicine. Without medical training, psychologists found themselves proscribed from dispensing drug prescriptions and often limited in the areas of employment. However those areas of practice and expertise have been steadily expanding. Huge portions of society have difficulties dealing with drug abuse, grief, disability, academic pressure or work-related stress. In this era of corporate mergers, downsizing and layoffs, career counseling has become vitally important. Emotional issues can drive individuals, couples and families to seek counseling. Racism, religion, relocation, language barriers and gender attitudes are just a few of a litany of cultural factors that may require the intervention of trained counselors. In the past, those seeking an introduction to such issues would have been forced to consult a range of encyclopedias in psychology, mental health, social work, career development and other areas.
"The Encyclopedia of Counseling" is groundbreaking in that it provides an introduction to the disparate branches of counseling in a single source. The intention is to provide an overview of the profession for both the student in training and professional practitioners. The 600-plus expert-written essays are arranged alphabetically in four topically divided volumes. The first volume takes a broad approach, examining the nature and history of counseling as well as professional preparation. Articles feature general approaches to counseling and such issues as bullying, care giving, chronic pain, ethical dilemmas, family counseling, mentoring and supervision. The second volume focuses on personal and emotional counseling, with an emphasis of healthy personality development and mental health. Topics include bipolar disorders, depression, life transitions, crisis counseling and self-esteem. Volume three highlights cross-cultural counseling and explores discrimination, ethnic identity, racism, sexism and social class. The final volume examines career counseling, job loss, pay equity, retirement and work stress. Each volume also explores related disciplines, research methods, professional organizations, publications, therapies, intervention techniques and theorists. Each entry provides suggestions for further research and the subject guide to the entire encyclopedia precedes each volume. The detailed general index provides substantial listings of related topics under most subject headings. In short, this excellent guide will serve students and working professionals and is highly recommended for academic and public libraries.