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Counseling For Professional Service Delivery

The scope of this page encompasses informational and personal adjustment counseling in the fields of audiology and speech-language pathology.

Counseling is a broad term that refers to assistance provided in an interactive manner to individuals (i.e., clients, patients, and/or students) and their families/caregivers dealing with challenging emotions and life situations in an effort to facilitate realistic and clearly understood goals and improve quality of life (Flasher & Fogle, 2012; Tellis & Barone, 2018).

Counseling can fall into varied categories, two of which are informational and personal adjustment counseling, both of which fall within the purview of audiologists and speech-language pathologists (Flasher & Fogle, 2012). Informational counseling, also referred to as client and family/caregiver education, involves discussing with individuals and their families/caregivers the nature of a disorder or situation, intervention considerations and techniques, prognosis, and material and community resources. Personal adjustment counseling addresses feelings, emotions, thoughts, and beliefs expressed by individuals and their families/caregivers (e.g., realization of the pervasive impact of a communication disorder on day-to-day life).

Counseling is an important clinical skill that helps individuals and families/caregivers adjust to and cope with feelings about a disorder or situation (Flasher & Fogle, 2012). Counseling can empower individuals and families, encouraging them to self-advocate in their efforts to adjust, strive, and grow.

Counseling is an integral part of clinical work, and counseling skills are used intentionally or spontaneously in every clinical encounter (Luterman, 2008). Counseling services provided by audiologists and speech-language pathologists should occur in the context of comprehensive service delivery. It is important for audiologists and speech-language pathologists to recognize when referral to a related professional is warranted to best meet any additional counseling needs.

Content Disclaimer: The Practice Portal, ASHA policy documents, and guidelines contain information for use in all settings; however, members must consider all applicable local, state and federal requirements when applying the information in their specific work setting.