Counseling psychologists are concerned with normal human development throughout a broad range of personal, vocational, and interpersonal contexts. They have been described as the generalists of applied psychology. Unlike their colleagues in clinical psychology who frequently describe themselves as concerned with severely disturbed clients, counseling psychologists historically have been concerned with helping individuals develop personal and social resources and adaptive tendencies so that the individual can be assisted in making more effective use of them. Thus, although the counseling psychologist may work with an acutely disturbed person, he or she is primarily interested in helping that person develop the skills needed to prevent such disturbances and to help other, better functioning people reduce unnecessary stress and enjoy life more.

Counseling psychologists serve in many roles. These include:

  • psychological assessment
  • individual and group counseling
  • vocational and career counseling
  • marriage and family counseling
  • sex therapy
  • school counseling
  • health psychology
  • gerontological counseling
  • educational, medical, vocational, and correctional consultation
  • treatment and intervention evaluation