Foundations Online Midterm Exam

1. Roots of the evolution of the wellness perspective

The concept of wellness can be traced from the ancient civilizations through the ethical codes and foundational tenets of modern counseling and associated mental health and related disciplines. Professional counselors, in particular, have for long adopted a holistic, wellness-based approach, contrasting the traditional illness/medical models, and many of the widely embraced theoretical approaches have embraced health-promoting and prevention-based ideals (Svalastog et al., 2017).  Hence, counselors aid as agents of wellness promotion. They can also be viewed as wellness models because they integrate and practice wellness-oriented practices and philosophies in their professional and personal lives.

The root and the foundation of professional counseling are grounded in the substratum of developmental perspective. Some of the earlier motivations of the profession concerned working with children. Hence some of the earlier definitions of the profession are developmental in nature. For over a quarter-century, professional counselors proved that developmental interventions could treat pathology more effectively than medical models. As clients begin to solve problem issues and facilitate long-term behavior change, they shifted towards a more optimal approach or “well” functioning model that has a long-lasting impact on their lifespan, leading to the development of a wellness philosophy.

The shift towards wellness models of counseling from a development perspective is promoted by depicting wellness as a holistic paradigm, incorporating occupational, physical, social, emotional, environmental, intellectual, and spiritual components. Contemporary counselors consider wellness a positive state of an individual’s body, spirit, and mind, which results from making correct life choices (Silk, 2020). The desire to develop wellness is the basis for counseling theory today and is considered a holistic therapeutic process, focusing on improving the whole person.

free essay typer



2. Establishment of the ACA in 1993

The American Counseling Association’s (ACA) mission was to enhance the quality of life within society by advancing highly competent professional counselors. The goal was to advance counseling as a profession and use the counseling profession and practice to promote respect for diversity and human dignity. There are twenty divisions within the ACA, organized around practice areas and specific interests, supporting professional identity (ACA, n.d.). Scheel et al., (2018) esplains that the divisions enhance professional strength, satisfying the diverse needs of the professional counselors.

The journey towards establishing ACA was driven by providing a more extensive and stronger professional voice. The independent associations dealing with guidance and wellness convened first in 1952 in Los Angeles, establishing the “American Personnel and Guidance Association (APGA).” This later changed to “American Association of Counseling and Development,” and finally the American Counseling Association (ACA), reflecting the shared connection among association members and strengthening their unity of purpose. Since its establishment, the ACA has contributed immensely in promoting trust and public confidence in counseling as a profession, making it easier for professionals in the different areas within the counseling umbrella to assist clients and students facing various challenges that life presents.

The ACA offers services to professional counselors in the United States and fifty other countries such as Latin America, Europe, Virgin Island, and the Philippines. Besides, ACA operates a comprehensive network of 20 divisions and fifty-six branches and collaborates with many other corporates and several related organizations to strengthen member services, which explains why the establishment of ACA is a significant milestone in the evolution of counseling.

3. Non-Hierarchical Collaborative Relationship between Counselor and Client

Collaborative therapy is a treatment approach focusing on developing an egalitarian and cooperative relationship between the therapist and the client to promote better health outcoems and wellness. The non-hierarchical collaborative therapy session is where the therapist and the client develop a partnership to talk with each other and not to each other. The clients can tell their stories while the therapists actively listen and seek to conceptualize their perspectives. The therapist facilitates dialogue by asking questions, commenting, and accurately understanding critical issues about the clients heath and wellness. By establishing a cooperative relationship, the therapist and the patients collaborate to create a new understanding of the client’s experiences, facilitating transformation (Ribeiro et al., 2012).

A crucial part of a non-hierarchical collaborative therapy relationship is that the therapist recognizes that the client is at the cebter of their life, hence wellness. The therapist does not assume the authority role or act as more knowledgeable or understanding than the client. Therapists can provide their opinion, perspective, and suggestions during the session but should avoid forcing their ideas on the client in the therapy. The client feels free to talk about many other concerns and issues, making a positive transformation. There is no specific diagnosis or issue a collaborative therapy is meant to treat as it is more of a therapeutic stance and not a model. However, the relationship has proven effective in helping individuals and their families making a positive transformation and address several issues and concerns. The therapist can focus and solve almost any need presented by the patient.

4. Culture as Difference versus Culture as Ideology


Culture as difference, or cultural difference, entails integrating and maintaining socially acquired beliefs, values, and rules of conduct, impacting a range of accepted behaviors and values distinguishable among social groups. Cultural differences affect individual’s relationships and interaction with their external environment. Individuals grow up in a controlled environment, including their family, natural environment, country, or a particular city. The fact that people react to their specific natural environments implies that they develop stereotypes, daily habits, and methods of satisfying their needs, making them different from other social groups (Kaihlanen et al., 2019). Personality differences and identifiable behaviors can characterize the outcomes of the social groupings. Collectively regarded as social competencies, cultural differences may incorporate the variation, self-disclosure levels, willingness to corporate, assertiveness, and shared interpersonal values. For instance, the culture dictating that individuals dominate their external environment is different from promoting coexisting harmony. An individual’s worldview may also reflect cultural differences.

Culture, as an ideology, on the one hand, defines cultural beliefs justifying particular social arrangements such as patterns of inequality within the society. The dominant groups in many social settings adopt such sets of cultural practices and beliefs to justify systemic inequality that sustains the group’s social power over other less dominant groups within the same environment. Cultural ideology impacts the way people view the world, act, and even think. For instance, today’s many societies and social groups focus on environmental protection and associated activism. As a result, there has been the development of environmentalism as an ideology in some cultures. Individualism as an ideology emphasizes the intrinsic worth of a person, freedom, acceptance, and self-accuracy. Equality of opportunities is an ideology focusing on a level playing ground where options are not limited by discrimination or prejudice. Such doctrines integrate into our culture and form parts of our beliefs and value systems.

5. The Relationship between Spirituality and Organized Religion

I believe that both spiritually and organized religion are all entrenched in comprehending the meaning of life, and the relationship with a higher power influences such meaning in some cases. While spirituality and organized religion have the same foundation, the two concepts are very different in practice. Organized religion is a community-based system of beliefs. On the one hand, spirituality resides within a person and their beliefs. Spirituality is wholly a personal practice, and entails primarily things to do with an individual’s sense of purpose and peace (Villani et al., 2019). In many cases, it relates to establishing beliefs concerning the meaning of life and connection with other people. The idea of spirituality and organized religion resembles the relationship between a rectangle and a square—for instance, there is spirituality within an organized religion. However, having spirituality does not necessarily imply that one has religion. Both spirituality and organized religion can generate a positive impact on mental health and psychological wellbeing. They provide a similar effect in one way or the other.

For instance, both spirituality and religion can help a person tolerate high-stress levels by producing peace, forgiveness, and purpose in life both spirituality and religion can help a person tolerate high-stress levels by producing peace, forgiveness, and purpose in life. However, the benefits might vary because of the variation in their nature. Many people consider spirituality as a practical approach to seeking peace and solace in life. Spirituality can be practiced alongside other practices such as yoga, ultimately focusing on the release of emotion and stress. Spirituality also fits into gaining perspective, acknowledging that our existence and life roles have a more excellent value than just what we practice every day. Others also view spirituality as managing uncertainty or changes in the life course, establishing greater life purpose.