Key Figures in Counseling Frank Parsons Frank Parsons made his contribution to the field of counseling in 1909. He is known as the “father of guidance”. Parsons is credited with creating a counseling specialty known as vocational guidance. He also founded a vocational bureau, Boston’s Vocational Bureau. Parsons also wrote a book called Choosing a Vocation. Vocational guidance allows for individuals to get information about careers. His work has helped students decide which careers to explore. This gave the opportunity for students to receive vocational help while in school. When choosing a vocation, you focus on three main areas: knowledge of yourself, knowledge of work and a combination of the two known as true reasoning. These areas are still important today; one cannot choose a potential career without first knowing themselves and what it takes for them to be successful in that chosen career. In the past, counseling was referred to as guidance. So, I would like to think that Parsons was the father of counseling as well. Without Frank Parsons, I do not think counseling would have all the recognition that it does today. He is different because he saw a need and became the pioneer to fulfill this need. There was no one like him during that time period. Clifford Beers In 1908, Clifford Beers wrote a book called A Mind that Found Itself. In this book, he discussed how the mentally ill should be treated as human beings and given equal rights. He had a first-hand account of the mental health system because of his own personal struggles. Beers was diagnosed with depression. This was the first time someone shed light in a personal way on mental health. This book sparked a need for mental health reform. Which led to the mental health movement. His work and experiences also led to the creation of various mental health organizations including the National Mental Health Association and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. These organizations helped create laws that made sure the mentally ill is treated fairly. Without Beers and his contributions, it may have taken years before mental health was taken seriously and recognized. He is distinctive from the other two figures because he had a more personal connection to the area of mental health. He took the time to become an advocate for his community. Many times, groups have an advocate that cannot walk in their shoes. For Beers mental health issues was his reality. His personal journey paved the way for mental health as we know it.Garry WalzGarry Walz was known for creating a portion of the database ERIC. ERIC is known as the Education Resources Information Center. This system is used by many students to research information in many fields. Think of ERIC as an online encyclopedia, and Walz helped write a volume of it. The portion that Walz is responsible for is called ERIC Clearinghouse on Counseling and Personnel Services. Also known as (CAPS). CAPS is popular in the field of counseling and other social sciences. CAPS was created in 1966 at the University of Michigan. I bet Garry Walz had no idea how impactful CAPS would be years later. It would help students conduct research and write papers for decades to come. I am personally impacted by this technology because it has helped me find research on many topics during my undergraduate career. There is nothing like having a bunch of articles at your fingertips instead of spending hours searching through books. This system can be personalized and helps you find exactly what you need. Unlike the other two figures, Walz created something that was timeless. He helped project the area of counseling research into the future way before computers were mainstream. The next time you do research think about how hard it would be to complete without CAPS. And in that moment, thank Garry Walz for his contribution.