VISTAS Perspectives on Counseling Today and Tomorrow

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

The Counseling Profession: Reflections and Projections

Howard B. Smith


The purpose of this brief thought piece is simple and straightforward: to share one counselor’s view on where the counseling profession has been and where it is going. This first edition of VISTAS–Perspectives on Counseling 2004 is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the past and to project some of our best thinking into the future. After spending 30 years in the profession and embracing it in a number of different capacities (i.e., lifetime member, Governing Council Representative, Parliamentarian, President of a Division, and Chair of two ACA Committees) and from a number of different perspectives (i.e., private practice, counselor educator, ACA staff person), I have watched it morph its way along its own developmental journey. There have been high points and low points along that journey, not unlike for most of us in our personal developmental journey. It is my hope that by sharing my reflections, some of those professional counselors with whom I have had the pleasure to serve as a contemporary will take pause to do some reflecting on their own. For it is in looking back that we can gain a valuable vision for the future and best prepare to avoid some of the pitfalls and quagmires we have passed through and capitalize on some of the victories that have served us well

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