Program Background

The professional training of counselors at Villanova University reflects the faculty's view of the ultimate goal of counseling in a pluralistic society: enhancing the cognitive, affective and social/interpersonal development of individuals and groups, fostering independence in decision-making and developing effective problem-solving strategies. The realization of these goals is achieved directly through counseling and consulting and indirectly through the coordination of ancillary services.

Villanova University's counseling program emphasizes counselor skill development and personal growth which are considered prerequisites to helping others. The program reflects humanistic orientation, with an emphasis on developing counseling relationships which are open, accepting and nonjudgmental yet reality-based. We assume that clients are helped most by counselors who display candor and openness in their interpersonal relationships. Consequently, the counseling program provides experiences and training that engender such behaviors.

Through its varied and interdisciplinary courses, counselor-trainees become familiar with issues related to human development, individual differences, human behavior and diversity. They learn to appraise and select counseling materials, to use appropriate evaluation procedures, to make expedient referrals, to provide consultative services, and to counsel both individuals, families and groups regardless of age, sex, religion, ethnic or socio-economic background or physical ability/disability. Research and knowledge of current literature are stressed throughout the program. Finally, students are required to apply their acquired knowledge of counseling situations in institutional and professional settings.

Program Philosophy

In concert with the Department of Education and Counseling’s goal of supporting and advancing the Catholic identity and Augustinian Mission of Villanova University, the Counseling Program (CHR) invites its members, both faculty and students, to the common pursuit of truth. To that end the Counseling community is committed to the principle that service to the community must begin with the journey within. Through research, teaching, and reflective practice, each member of the Counseling community is prepared to provide effective counseling services to both schools and community agencies with the shared goal of enhancing the dignity of those who are served. Since its beginning nearly forty years ago, Villanova’s Counseling Program continues to prepare its students to respond effectively to the individual, family, and systemic concerns which characterize our pluralistic society.