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We hope that you will use this book as a reference guide. We have provided many resources and links to websites that you will find useful in your journey from contemplation to application to graduation and officially becoming a professional counselor. Please use these resources to learn more about what you need wherever you are in the process. Most importantly, talk to people who can help you make sense of what you are reading. You might reach out to your professors, who can offer their perspectives and maybe help you connect with professors who teach in the counseling programs to which you are applying. You can also talk to counselors directly, people working in the field who have a real sense of what it’s like to be a member of this profession. We even know many counselors who allow prospective counselors to shadow them for a day or a few hours. If you are still in college or are connected through your alumni association, career services staff are outstanding resources regarding graduate school as well as transitioning from an undergraduate career to becoming a professional. Remember, this is a big commitment, and we want you to be fully prepared for what you will enter.


So now that you have your orientation to this guide, and hopefully a taste of what the counseling profession has to offer, it’s time for you to take control and get moving to the next steps. Turn the pages and begin to explore who you are and who you will be as a graduate student in counseling. We are at the start of the journey with you, will cheer you on through the race, and will meet you at the finish line for what’s next. Ready, set, go!


Kaplan, D. M., Tarvydas, V M., & Gladding, S. T. (2014). 20/20: A vision for the future of counseling: The new consensus definition of counseling. Journal of Counseling and Development, 92, 366-372. doi: 10.1002/j. 1556-6676.2014.00164.x

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