DSST Fundamentals of Counseling Practice Questions Answer Key

1. B: Wilhelm Wundt opened the Psychological Institute at the University of Leipzig in 1897. This institute was the first to give the field of psychology a means to systematically explore and test various human psychological traits. While Wundt is not the sole contributor to this field, his contribution radically moved the field of psychology and counseling forward. In fact, the field of counseling psychology dates back to ancient times when tribal chiefs would counsel individuals. Plato and Aristotle are also considered among the first philosophers to employ a systematic approach to examining the human mind.
2. A: Sigmund Freud is the father of psychotherapy. Based in Vienna, Freud made huge contributions to the field of counseling and psychotherapy. Freud believed that the unconscious motivated behavior, and developed the concept of the id, ego, and superego, advancing the theory that everything that people do and think is based on the dynamics between these three elements of the human mind. Freud is very well known throughout the world and concepts in the fields of education, values, and motivation are based on his work. Freud believed all human weaknesses were the result of earlier experiences, and often referred to childhood when counseling individuals.
3. C: Counseling is widely considered to be less intensive than psychotherapy. The main goal in counseling is preventative and is typically accomplished in few sessions. Other goals of counseling include education, problem solving, and support. On the other hand, psychotherapy is typically of longer duration and has the goal of intervention. The settings in which these two types of therapy also vary. Counseling typically occurs in schools and businesses, while psychotherapy is more often conducted in hospitals or mental health centers. While these differences do exist between the two therapies, overlap is becoming more common. In general, the type and intensity of the therapy should be determined by the needs of the client.
4. C: Consultation is one function of today’s counselors. Also called “indirect helping,” consultation is a way to reach populations that might not otherwise seek out services. This is particularly important in schools because teachers consulting with counselors can learn about different techniques or services available to help their students. Other functions of counselors include training, supervision, and organizational development. In terms of training, a counselor may provide individual or group sessions focused on time management, problem solving, or anger management. These issues do not only stem from psychological problems; they can be caused by a lack of knowledge about how to better handle situations requiring these skills. Supervision is important in helping new counselors develop best practices and seeking help with difficult cases. Finally, organizational development is when a counselor enters organizations to offer services on behalf of employees or the organization itself.
5. B: By definition, ethnocentric means feeling that one’s own culture is superior to others. Counselors work with many people from various cultures. It is important to maintain a clear understanding of one’s own culture as well as of other cultures in order to effectively treat clients. Culture plays a very important role in how both therapist and client view the counseling relationship, and their ultimate success in counseling. Counselors who are multiculturally skilled will have deeper understandings of their clients’ home cultures, values, and beliefs, and will be sensitive to differences between cultures and recognize their own biases.
6. D: An individual in the integrity vs. despair phase is, according to Erik Erikson, most likely elderly. There are special considerations in the counseling environment for this population that all counselors must understand and respect. Erikson defines this population as facing either integrity or despair because of the crossroads at which these clients find themselves. The elderly have many experiences and have, over the years, acquired wisdom. However, they may also feel less useful to the community and their families. Those living in nursing homes or dealing with various health issues may not be able to care for themselves and often experience feelings of depression and worthlessness.
7. B: Men and women react differently to different situations. Additionally, men may not fully understand the stressors women face. In this situation, the counselor suggested Susan gets more sleep to stay focused at work. Essentially, he is suggesting that she adapt her lifestyle to her current work situation. Historically, counseling has focused on a male process; male counselors often suggest women clients need to simply adapt or adjust. A. successful counselor, male or female, will understand that there are significant gender differences that must be treated with sensitivity in the counseling environment.
8. C: The role of the counselor is to facilitate healing. This is done through discussion and the use of various therapeutic techniques. However, a good counselor must also have a deep understanding of human nature and be able to practice empathy. A. counselor will help clients explore their lives and problems in ways clients may not have thought of before. Counselors may also teach various skills in problem solving and decision making. The counselor will not make decisions for clients, but rather assist in the process and provide support so clients can learn how to make their own decisions and solve their own problems.
9. A: Psychoanalytic therapy focuses on the unconscious. This therapeutic approach was developed by Sigmund Freud and suggests that it is the unconscious that motivates and dictates behavior, and looks to early childhood where personal development occurs for the origin. The structures of this approach, which lie in the unconscious, include the id, ego, and superego. The id, according to Freud, is the first personality; there is no organization with this structure and the id is motivated by pleasure. The ego is the controlling structure of the personality which is not formed at birth; however, it is later developed to act as a censor between the id and outside world. The superego is responsible for values and morals.
10. C: Cognitive behavior therapy focuses on cognition, or thoughts about actions and behaviors. Cognitive therapy was founded by Albert Ellis, who felt that people can have either straight, rational, thinking patterns or crooked, irrational thinking patterns. Maladaptive behavior patterns are the result of irrational thinking. Cognitive behavioral therapy works to teach clients how to rethink irrational thoughts and apply them to their behaviors. This therapeutic approach typically follows an A-B-C framework. Using this framework, the counselor and clients identify the event that led to irrational thoughts, emotional disturbance or maladaptive behaviors. Once this is identified, the intervention proceeds and the client learns how to alter thinking from the irrational to the rational.


Last Updated: June 18, 2021