The as it goes beyond the individual and delves

The basic understanding of the helping
profession revolves around the idea of benefiting the individual and the
general population. However, between the three main domains of Social work,
Counselling and Psychology, particular ideologies guide how they are carried
out. Under the overarching umbrella of “helping professions”, it is easy enough
to mistake one with the other. However, while they all work towards the same
goal, they are fundamentally different in their practices and purpose.

The general perception of these three
pillars of the helping profession is to serve to help individuals identify
problem areas in their lives and develop skills to overcome those problems. Each
of the three underlines great importance in adhering to ethical boundaries and
supervision. The differences, however, lie in how these aims are achieved.

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According to the Singapore
Association for Counselling, counselling is a generic term used to cover
processes of interviewing, assessment, testing, guiding, and helping
individuals to cope, manage or solve problems and plan for the future
(Kuna, 2015). The purpose of counselling can be said to help one gain greater insight into their lives and
achieve their personal goals. A counsellor’s position would serve to assist a
person or a family with a specific problem, develop positive coping strategies
within themselves and build capabilities to enable them to adapt to their


Psychology, on the other hand, brings to
mind a more “scientific” structure to the helping domain. It serves to study
the relation between the human mind, behaviour and their experiences which help
them in interacting with the environment. According to the American
Psychological Association (American Psychological
Association, n.d.)
Psychologists assess behavioural and mental function and well-being, study how
human beings relate to each other and to machines, and work to improve these
relationships.. Mental health and behaviour are assessed through
psychological testing to describe, explain, predict, and change behaviour.

Social Work

The most “involved” would seem to be Social
work as it goes beyond the individual and delves into the community which the
individual is immersed in. The primary mission of the social work profession is to
enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people,
with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are
vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty (National
Association of Social Workers, n.d.).

Probably the most extraordinary aspect
that differentiates social work from the rest would be the aspect of advocacy,
in the sense of developing and improving social policy. The advocacy role, from a social context, includes the redistribution
of power and recourse to an individual or group, guarding their rights and
preserving their values, conserving their best interests and overcoming the
sense of powerlessness (Pardeck, 1996) (Pardeck, 1996. pg 151).

Where counselling and psychology
serve to empower individuals to problem solve on their own in order to adapt to
their environments, social work, in addition, serves to connect these
individuals or families with resources, services and
opportunities, preparing and adapting the community and environment for the