The purpose of the study was to learn how non-counseling-related professions have navigated the developmental issues the counseling profession has been facing such as (1) strengthening identity, (2) presenting as one profession, (3) improving public perception and advocacy, and (4) creating licensure portability. The researchers provide the narratives of six people from three non-counseling-related professions who have been instrumental in the development of their respective professions. The overarching open-ended research question posed was, “What is the narrative history of your profession?” Follow-up questions were used to explore specific challenges within their respective professions that may have been similar to the developmental issues within the counseling profession. The narrative inquiry study results provided four emergent themes of how the participants navigated their developmental issues: Quality Accredited Education; Professional Identity; A Link between Accreditation, National Certification, a State License; and United Advocacy.


Professional Identity, Licensure Portability, Accreditation, Narrative Inquiry

Author Bio(s)

SunHee J. Eissenstat is with the Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Counseling Professions at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to SunHee J. Eissenstat, Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Counseling Professions, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; 315 1776 Raritan Rd., Scotch Plains, NJ 07076 Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: sj643@shp.rutgers.edu.

Lynn Bohecker is with the Graduate Education Department at Northwest Nazarene University and an adjunct professor with the Graduate Counseling Department at Messiah College.


The authors would like to thank Dr. Tyler Kimbal and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs for their support.

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