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A Brief History of Counselling

To understand the history of counselling, we begin with the realisation that

throughout the years, human beings have found comfort in sharing their
problems or telling their story to others. The old saying a problem shared is a
problem halved tells us one universal human truth: that when things get difficult
or we have to make decisions in our life, sometimes we need someone to listen
and hear our story so we can get a better idea of our options.

Counselling history can be traced back to tribal times where people would came
together in a group and share their experiences and sometimes their dreams. As
civilisation developed, religion offered a type of counselling, usually by priests
who would listen and advise parishioners on their problems (they still do).

In the 1890s, German neurologist Sigmund Freud developed a theory later to be

called psychoanalysis, which allowed individuals to tell their problems to a
psychoanalyst, an individual trained in interpreting the subconscious , that part
of our psyche that we are not aware of but influences what we do. Freud played
an important part in the history of counselling, but the actual word counselling
did not come into everyday language until the 1960s.

Counselling really took off after the Second World War, in 1950s America. Most of
the therapies we hear about today can trace their origins back to a handful of
psychologists and psychiatrists (some of whom we will look at in this guide) who
developed techniques and theories, sometimes referred to as schools of

The word school in counselling does not mean a building or campus. Rather it
refers to how psychologists believe human beings develop their view of the world
they live in and how they cope with it. The three schools are Psychoanalytical,
Behaviourist, and Humanistic, which we will look at later in this guide.

There have been many developments in counselling since the 1950s. A lot of
research has taken place and this has given us a better understanding of what
makes human beings think and act in certain ways. However most psychologists
and counsellors would agree that we are a long way from fully understanding
what makes each human being unique.

When we consider the history of counselling, it is worth noting that with the
introduction of new techniques and research, the history of counselling is still
being written today.

Source: http://counsellingtutor.com/introduction-to-counselling/history-of-counselling/