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.