School counselling in Hong Kong: A profession in need of an identity

Mark Gregory HARRISON

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1 Citation (Scopus)


A strong professional identity is associated with the provision of more effective counselling services. In Hong Kong, however, the role of school counsellors is poorly defined, not well differentiated from those of other educational and mental health professions, and not supported by licensing and minimum qualification requirements. Consequently, school counsellors perform marginalised roles in schools which do not draw effectively on their competencies. Professional bodies that support the development of school counselling do exist but are not well established. If counsellors are to be effective, they need to establish an identity that recognises their unique contribution and locates them clearly in relation to other professions in a culturally appropriate way. They should also occupy positions in schools, which are characterised by collaboration with stakeholders and the ability to influence policy. Professional bodies are well placed to advocate for these changes in the context of the local sociocultural environment and should take a lead in advocating for a more robust professional identity. Copyright © 2022 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-154
JournalInternational Journal for the Advancement of Counselling
Early online date12 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


Harrison, M. G. (2023). School counselling in Hong Kong: A profession in need of an identity. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 45, 138-154. doi: 10.1007/s10447-022-09498-6


  • School counselling
  • School counsellors
  • Guidance
  • Professional identity
  • Hong Kong


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