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.
Transforming the Managerial Class: Binary and Dialectical Thinking in Counseling
Thomas Harrison, Troyann Gentile, and Terianne Harrison
Many counselor conceptualizations of client issues as well as interventions with clients are replete with binary thinking. The subtle result can be a type of management of clients which serves to both create change on some levels and to thwart change on other levels. Clearly, this is in direct opposition to the fundamental tenets of professional counseling. Dialectical thought is defined as the "developmental movement through forms." Dialectical thought is a type of "both/and" thinking that includes binary thought as a subset of advanced systems theory. In essence, dialectical thought puts motion into the binary thought process. This article will provide information about the concept of the Managerial Class and use the concept to structure a discussion that examines binary and dialectical thinking in counseling. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how binary thinking reinforces status quo and how dialectical thinking can help transform change in both counselor and client. Readers will learn about the concept of the Managerial Class and its presence in the counseling profession; what binary thinking is and how it is infused into the counseling profession through the Managerial Class; how binary thinking potentially serves to alienate counseling clients- especially, racioethnic minorities; and about how dialectical thinking offers new perspectives to embrace diversity.