Psychology is a branch of science that deals with the study of mental and behavioral occurrences. Psychologists are concerned about the well being of a society and they do this by establishing general principles which help them to analyze the society.
With regard to the objective of helping the society, psychologists have always conducted research on behavior in societies. Such research activities have resulted in significant contributions in the science of psychology.
This paper seeks to discuss major contributors to the field of psychology with respect to the branch of clinical counseling. The paper will look into some of the personalities whose contributions to the field of psychology have been significantly recognized. The paper will also analyze significance of the contributions to the modern clinical counseling.
Clinical counseling involves the application of “clinical mental health counseling values, principles and methods”(Aegis, n.d., p. 1) in order to help people develop insights into factors that can promote developments in a society (Aegis, n.d.). Such factors include aspects like “self growth, personal effectiveness, interpersonal relations, life adjustments, spiritual growth and mental health” among others(Aegis, n.d., p.1).
The core objective of clinical counseling, following its evolution, lies in the control of traits and symptoms that are socially identified to be negative and promoting healthy attitudes that enhances intra and interpersonal relationships.
In its establishment, clinical counseling thus creates an environment in which services that pertains to general education as well as the well being of mental health are fostered (Aegis, n.d.).
Historical figures in psychology- Alfred Alder
Following the development of the study of psychology, a lot of contributions have been made on the subject from a number of researchers and scholars. One of the figures that have been recognized in the field of psychology for contributions made to the subject is Alfred Adler. Alfred was born in the year 1870 to Jewish parents who lived in Vienna.
Following physical complications in his early life, Alfred made up his mind to be a physician. He grew up in an academic atmosphere and studiedmedicine graduating in the year 1895 from the University of Vienna. He later shifted to psychiatry in the early twentieth century.
One of the major contributions of Alfred is the concept of motivation. He established the idea that all forms of behavior as witnessed in human beings together with what a person undergoes in life are driven by some sort of force. Alfred later attributed this force to be existing in individual persons and he identified the force as the “striving for perfection” (Boerre, 2006, p.1).
The concept of striving for perfection was explained as a self driven urge that a person has for the fulfillment of objectives in one’s life. Alfred’s idea of strife as used in his theory was in reference to reactions that a person yields following other factors in lives such as needs to fulfill necessities in life.
In his theory or idea of strife, Alfred established the concept of a person’s desire to always conquer challenges and overcome situation in a concept that he described as compensation.
The concept of compensation, according to Alfred can be used to gauge a person’s personality through the things that a person can undertake to do and those things that a person cannot do in reaction to a problem of a challenge. Also significant in Alfred’s contribution to psychology was an approach to the society’s general conceptions about gender.
Although he concurred with the observations that were made over masculinity and feminism, Alfred held the idea that the superiority of boys as compared to girls was due to the society’s culture that encouraged the boy child and yet discouraged the girl child (Boerre, 2006).
The ideas of Alfred Adler as expressed by George have been used as some of the basis to clinical counseling psychology. Clinical counseling, with specification to mental counseling is, for example, based on rules that can be traced to the ideas that were laid down by Alfred.
Concepts such as fostering equity when dealing with patients under clinical counseling for example bears its roots from Adler’s ideas of discrimination with respect to gender.
According to Alfred, the society has been biased towards male in which the social set up encouraged boys to express their abilities and potentials while girls were exposed to a set up in which a passive nature was instilled on them.
In the current day’s clinical counseling, the concept of equal treatment is being established by counselors in line with Alfred’s critical idea that men were not actually more superior to women.
It has thus been established that as clinical counselors attend to their patients, attention be paid to factors such as “cultural bias in the implementation and interpretation of assessment protocols”(CMHC, n.d., p. 1) in the process of counseling.
The element of evaluation of a patient’s possibility of posing danger to him or herself can also be related to Alfred’s concept of a person’s ability to react to issues.
As part of professional skills, aclinical counselor examines a client to establish the extent and nature of reaction to issues. Thus in line with Alfred’s concept of response to circumstances, clinical counselors employee screening techniques to try, identify, and if possible threats are considered in a patient, necessary measures be taken in the process of counseling the patient.
Owing to the fact that some of his ideas are beingconsidered in the current application of clinical counseling, Alfred can be considered as a significant contributor to the field of clinical counseling (CMHC, n.d.).
Another personality that has been identified for his contribution to thefield of psychology is Abraham Maslow. Abraham was born in the year 1908 in the United States and undertook his studies in psychology attaining a PhD honor in the year 1930 (Boerre, 2006). Abraham made a number of recorded contributions to the field psychology.
One of his contributions to psychology was the theory of “self-actualization” (Weitenet al., 2008).Abraham suggested that in human beings, motives are organized in a sequential manner in which a level of preference can be identified.
The human needs that act as drivers to these motives were identified to include “needs for knowledge, understanding, order, and aesthetic beauty” (Weiten et al., 2008, p. 1). These needs were crowned under Abraham’sidea of motivation in which he postulated that “what a man can be, he must be”(Weiten et al., 2008, p. 1).
The motivational theory that was established by Abraham as based on his idea of “self actualization” expressed the idea of making decisions from among choices that are available for a person’s motive. He explained that an individual must not be indifferent in pursuit for objectives. He also investigated and established concepts about “healthy personality” (Weiten et al., 2008). In his research, Abraham established that healthy minds were characterized with orientation to a level of growth in an individual.
The results of Abraham’s research into healthy minds led him to a number of conclusions about the people he considered to fall under his category of healthy minded individuals.
One of his identified characteristics of a healthy mind was a person’s ability to understand nature and peacefully cope with it. He characterized factors such as having a mission that is not self centered, established relations with other people, having democratic personality among others as characteristics of healthy minded people (Weiten et al., 2008).
Also significant among the contributions made by Maslow was his deviation from other psychologists’school of thought that dwelt on how people were subject to stress.
Abraham established ideas of how people can overcome stress and develop healthy minds. His development of ideas about “affection and strong bonding”(Seaward, 2006, p. 1) together with “belongingness and love needs”(Seaward, 2006, p. 1) was instituted in his concept of self-actualization(Seaward, 2006).
The application of clinical counseling to establish developments in personality together with relationships between people as well as that within an individual can be identified to be based on these ideas that were developed by Abraham. His postulates still stand to be recognized in the field of clinical counseling to help patients in developing their attitudes towards a better society (Seaward, 2006).
Clinical counseling is a developed branch of the general psychology. The application of clinical counseling for this reason depends on the concepts and theories that were established by psychologists such as Abraham Maslow and Alfred Alder among other figures that contributed to the field of psychology.
Aegis, K. (n.d.). Seeing a clinical counselor. Retrieved on May 1, 2011 from:
Boerre, G. (2006). Personality theory-Alfred Adler. Retrievedon May 1, 2011 from:
CMHC. (n.d.). Clinical mental health counseling. Retrievedon May 1, 2011 from: https://www.southernct.edu/counseling_schoolpsychology/uploads/textWidget/wysiwyg/documents/CMHC_learning_outcomes.pdf
Seaward, Brian. (2006). Managing stress: principles and strategies for health and wellbeing. London, UK: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Weitenet al. (2008). Psychology Applied to Modern Life: Adjustment in the 21st Century. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.