Counseling is an important fundamental professional activity and an established component of the speech-language pathology/audiology scope of practice as documented by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2004a, 2016a). Appropriate incorporation of counseling into practice can optimize service provision, help address comorbid behavioral and emotional reactions to communication disorders, and enhance prognosis. Practitioner insecurity in incorporating counseling into practice has been documented by Phillips and Mendel (2008), as well as Atkins (2007). This tutorial seeks to present general counseling constructs and treatment applications primarily utilizing a humanistic counseling perspective.
This tutorial incorporated relevant publications from communication disorders and counseling psychology literature databases over a 3-year period. The tutorial evolved through interviews with practicing speech-language pathology practitioners and educators and was undertaken to provide transparency and clarity to support the assertions and recommendations offered.
This tutorial organizes and presents general counseling considerations along with specific suggestions, which can help practitioners who are seeking to expand their understanding, skill, and confidence in incorporating counseling into their practice. The tutorial identifies some of the potential and impactful comorbid emotional and behavioral responses to experiencing a communication disorder and/or to the treatment process for the communication disorder issue(s). Theoretically grounded considerations for mitigating such potentially impactful responses are offered.
Continued and enhanced efforts may be necessary to meet American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s mandate for universal incorporation of empirically supported counseling approaches and in advancing universal speech-language pathology/audiology training in this area. It is hoped that this tutorial serves as an initial guide for addressing this need until universal preparation and practice is achieved.
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