Fundamentals of Counseling


Fundamentals of Counseling:

DANTES Final Exam Outline 

Each topic will be covered in class. 


Historical Development (4% - 6%)


  • Significant Influences and Historical Elements: With the rise of science, the power of the church declined, and it was not always able to give the help that was needed.

  • People of Significance: Frank Parsons was known as “The father of the guidance movement,” and credited with being the first true counselor.


Counselor Roles and Functions (19% - 21%)


  • The Profession of Counseling: Professional counselors have a minimum of a master's degree (M.Ed.) in counseling.

  • Role expectations of counseling in various settings: Comfort, security/privacy, noise/stimuli control, and a supportive environment are crucial to counseling.

  • Professional Associations: Examples include the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) among others.

  • Consultation: The process whereby an expert enables a consultee to deliver services more effectively to the client.

  • Group approaches: This involves facilitating interaction among a group of members to help them learn from one another.

  • Family counseling: Treatment to help families overcome mental or emotional problems that may result within the home.

  • Individual counseling: The traditional, one-on-one setting most commonly associated with the profession.

  • Advocacy: Speaking and acting on behalf of the client.


The Counseling Relationship (14% - 16%)


  • Communication: Involves both Verbal and non-verbal behavior of the client.

  • Counselor Characteristics and Skills: Ability to listen and convey understanding without judgment.

  • Ethical and legal issues: Adherence to ethical codes and standards relevant to the profession of career counseling (e.g. NBCC, NCDA, and ACA).


Theoretical Approaches (19% - 21%)


  • Psychodynamic: Focuses on the unconscious process as they manifest in a person in real time.

  • Humanistic and Experiential: The focus is on helping the individual recognize strengths and creativity and be in the “here and now”.

  • Cognitive – Behavioral: By changing one's negative behavior (bad habits), one's behavior and effect will also change.

  • Behavioral: Like Cognitive Therapy, it seeks to change one's behavior.

  • Systems: Behavior patterns and the human experience are explored by using complex systems.

  • Postmodern approaches: Narrative, Solution-Focused, and Collaborative Language Systems are three of the most common types.


Social and Cultural Foundations (14% - 16%)


  • Multicultural issues (e.g., religion race, ability, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, socioeconomics, spiritual, non-traditional approaches, etc.): A multicultural approach to counseling challenges the assumption that one style of interviewing is transferable to all clients.

  • Discrimination issues (e.g., gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, AIDS, managed care, etc.): Try to understand what causes them and how they can be removed.

  • Societal concerns (e.g., substance abuse, physical and sexual abuse, stress, violence): Counselors must be able to articulate and implement counseling intervention strategies perceived as appropriate by both the counselor and the client.


Career Development (6% - 8%)


  • Theories: There are two types of career development theories: structural and developmental.

  • Decision-making models: Some decision-making theories hypothesize that there are critical points in our lives when choices are made that greatly influence our career development.

  • Career Information Resources: The Occupational Outlook Handbook provides detailed descriptions of hundreds of occupations, including salary expectations and growth outlook.


Human Growth and Development (7% - 9%)


  • Child development: Children’s basic survival depends on forming meaningful, effective relationships with other people.

  • Adolescent development: An adolescent is discovering their true identity amid confusion created by playing many different roles for different people in their social surroundings.

  • Adulthood: An essential stage in early adulthood allows a person to have the capacity for closeness and commitment to another.


Assessment and Appraisal Techniques (9% - 11%)


  • Testing and measurement: To obtain reliable evidence that generate valid results, researchers follow the scientific method.

  • Models of Assessment: Scientific theories undergo rigorous testing, and independent investigators must replicate the results before the theories are recognized as proven.

  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, 4th Ed. (DSM-IV): DSM-IV is the current diagnostic and statistical manual of the American Psychiatric Association that classifies, defines, and describes over 200 mental disorders.