Inspiring Growth: A Counselling Framework for Industrial Psychology Practitioners

  • Lené I. Jorgensen-GraupnerEmail author
  • Llewellyn Ellardus Van Zyl


Industrial psychologists provide short-term counselling in the workplace and should, therefore, be equipped to manage or deal effectively with the challenges that confront employees. However, practitioners report that they are ill equipped to manage both the practical and emotional demands associated with work-place counselling. Most professional industrial psychology training programmes also fail to provide neither adequate training in counselling, nor practical skills, or “tools” to aid distressed employees. The reason may be that there are no clear training framework for the industrial psychologist as counsellor. Therefore, the purpose of this chapter is to develop a counselling framework for the industrial psychologist as workplace counsellor. Illuminated by a metaphor of a growing sycamore fig tree, this chapter delineates a four-phased framework (Rooting, Growing, Branching and Thriving). The aim is to help tertiary educational institutions train industrial psychologists as workplace counsellors.


Industrial psychologist Counselling Counselling framework 


  1. Adler. (2018). Master of psychology degree. Retrieved from
  2. Aguinis, H., Bradley, K. J., & Brodersen, A. (2014). Industrial-organizational psychologists in business schools: Brain drain or eye opener? Industrial & Organizational Psychology, 7(3), 284–303. Scholar
  3. American Psychological Association (APA). (2018). Recognised specialities and proficiencies in professional psychology. Retrieved from
  4. Arnold, S. J. (2015). Interpersonal relationships and psychological well-being: Insights from therapeutic practice, scholarship and research (Doctoral dissertation). London: City University.Google Scholar
  5. Aulthouse, M., Kolbert, J. B. Bundick, M. J., & Crothers, L. M. (2017). Positive psychology and career development. Journal of School Counseling, 15(15), 38 pp.Google Scholar
  6. Barkhuizen, H., Jorgensen, L. I., & Brink, L. (2014). Exploring the role of the industrial-organisational psychologist as counsellor. Journal of Industrial Psychology, 40(1), Art#1193, 1–11. Retrieved from
  7. Barkhuizen, H., Jorgensen, L. I., & Brink, L. (2015). Training the industrial and organisational psychologist as counsellor: Are we doing enough? Acta Commercii, 15(1), 1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Barnard, G., & Fourie, L. (2007). Exploring the roles and contributions of industrial psychologists in South Africa against a multi-dimensional conceptual framework (part 2). South African Journal of Industrial Psychology, 33(2), 45–53. Scholar
  9. Benjamin, J., & Louw-Potgieter, J. (2008). Professional work and actual work: The case of I/O psychologists in South Africa. South African Journal of Psychology, 38(1), 116–135. Scholar
  10. Bourne, T., De Cock, B., Wynants, L., Peters, M., Van Audenhove, C., Timmerman, D., & Jalmbrant, M. (2017). Doctors’ perception of support and the processes involved in complaints investigations and how these relate to welfare and defensive practice: A cross-sectional survey of the UK physicians. BMJ Open, 7(11). Scholar
  11. Buckingham, M., & Clifton, D. (2001). Now discover your strengths. New York (NY): The Free Press.Google Scholar
  12. Carkhuff, R. R. (2009). The art of helping (8th ed.). Amherst, MA: Human Resource Development Press.Google Scholar
  13. Carless, S., & Taylor, P. (2006). Industrial and organisational psychology training in Australia and New Zealand. Australian Psychologist, 41(2), 120–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Carroll, M. (2006). Key issues in coaching psychology supervision. The Coaching Psychologist, 2(1), 4–8.Google Scholar
  15. Cilliers, F. V. N. (2000). Facilitation skills for trainers. Journal of Industrial Psychology, 26(3), 21–26.Google Scholar
  16. Cilliers, F. V. N., & Wissing, M. P. (1993). Sensitiewe relasievorming as bestuursdimensie: die evaluering van’n ontwikkelingsprogram, [Sensitive relations as management dimension: The evaluation of a training programme]. South African Journal of Industrial Psychology, 19(1), 5–10. Google Scholar
  17. Corey, G., Nicholas, L. J., & Bawa, U. (2017). Theory and practice of counselling and psychotherapy (2nd SA ed.). Cengage Learning.Google Scholar
  18. Cushway, D., & Tyler, P. (1996). Stress in clinical psychologists. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 42(2), 141–149. Scholar
  19. de Jager-van Straaten, A., Jorgensen, L., Hill, C., & Nel, J. A. (2016). Personal growth initiative among industrial psychology students in a higher education institution in South Africa. South African Journal of Industrial Psychology, 42(1), 1–11.Google Scholar
  20. Di Benedetto, M., & Swadling, M. (2014). Burnout in Australian psychologists: Correlations with work-setting, mindfulness and self-care behaviours. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 19(6), 705–715. Scholar
  21. Du Preez, J., & Jorgensen, L. I. (2012). The evaluation of a helping skills training programme for intern-psychometrists. Journal of Psychology in Africa, 22(1).Google Scholar
  22. Earth Touch News. (2014). Top 10: Iconic African trees. Retrieved from
  23. Figley, C. R. (2002). Compassion fatigue: Psychotherapists’ chronic lack of self-care. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 58(11), 1433–1441. Scholar
  24. Fink-Samnick, E. (2019). The 4 L’s to a solid professional identity. The new social worker. The Social Workers Careers Magazine. Retrieved from
  25. Firth-Cozens, J. (2007). Improving the health of psychiatrists. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 13(3), 161–168. Scholar
  26. Frankl, V. E. (1969). Man’s search for meaning. New York (NY): Buccaneer Books Inc.Google Scholar
  27. Gable, S. L., & Haidt, J. (2005). What (and why) is positive psychology? Review of General Psychology, 9(2), 103–110. Scholar
  28. Grant, A. M., & Hartley, M. (2013). Developing the leader as coach: Insights, strategies and tips for embedding coaching skills in the workplace. Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, 6(2), 102–115. Scholar
  29. Habeeb, K. T., & Fatema, M. (2016). Affect of intrapersonal and interpersonal awareness dimensions of emotional intelligence on stress management of adolescents. International Journal of Applied Research, 2, 589–59.Google Scholar
  30. Handelsman, M. M., Knapp, S., & Gottlieb, M. C. (2009). Positive ethics: Themes and variations. Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology, 105–113.Google Scholar
  31. Highhouse, S., & Schmitt, N. W. (2012). A snapshot in time: Industrial-organizational psychology today. In I. B. Weiner, N. W. Schmitt, & S. Highhouse (Eds.), Handbook of psychology, industrial and organizational psychology (2nd ed., pp. 3–13). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
  32. Hoffman, J. S., & Koocher, G. P. (2018). Strategies for ethical practice in medical settings. Practice Innovations, 3(1), 43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ivey, A. E. (1998). Intentional interviewing and counseling: Facilitating client development. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.Google Scholar
  34. James, P. E. (2017). What is counselling psychology? In D. Murphy (Ed.), Counselling psychology. A textbook for study and practise (pp. 15–30). Sussex: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Johnson, A. G. (2014). The gender knot: Unravelling our patriarchal legacy (3rd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Jorgensen, L. I. (2016). Encounter group counsellor training with pre-service industrial psychologists: A pilot study. Journal of Psychology in Africa, 26(3), 300–303. Scholar
  37. Jorgensen, L. I., Van Zyl, L. E., & Stander M. W. (2016). Training emerging psychologists as coaches within a multi-cultural context. In M. W. Stander, L. Van Zyl, & A. Odendaal (Eds.), A coaching psychology: Meta-theoretical perspectives and applications in multicultural contexts. Switzerland: Springer International.Google Scholar
  38. Kaslow, N. J. (2004). Competencies in professional psychology. American Psychologist, 59(8), 774.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kerr, J. (2019). The parts of trees and their functions. Retrieved from
  40. Khatoon, S. (2018). Developing life skills approach in the teaching-learning process based on Johari window model: Dealing with change. Research Journal of Social Sciences, 9(6), 135–144.Google Scholar
  41. Kitchener, K. S. (1984). Intuition, critical evaluation and ethical principles: The foundation for ethical decisions in counseling psychology. Counseling Psychologist, 12(3), 43–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Klynveld, W. P. (2014). The evaluation of a strength-based facilitation skills training programme for post-graduate students in human resource sciences. (Unpublished master’s dissertation). North-West University, Potchefstroom.Google Scholar
  43. Knapp, S. J., & VandeCreek, L. D. (2012). Practical ethics for psychologists: A positive approach. Washington: American Psychological Association (APA).Google Scholar
  44. Lefkowitz, J. (2010). Industrial-organizational psychology’s recurring identity crises: It’s a values issue. Industrial & Organizational Psychology, 3(3), 293–299.,
  45. Lefkowitz, J. (2017). Ethics and values in industrial-organizational psychology. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  46. Levitt, H. M., & Piazza-Bonin, E. (2017). The professionalization and training of psychologists: The place of clinical wisdom. Psychotherapy Research, 27(2), 127–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Lim, N., Kim, E. K., Kim, H., Yang, E., & Lee, S. M. (2010). Individual and work-related factors influencing burnout of mental health professionals: A meta-analysis. Journal of Employment Counselling, 47(2), 86–96. Scholar
  48. Linley, P. A., Harrington, S., Joseph, S., Maltby, J., & Wood, A. M. (2009). Positive psychology applications. In S. J. Lopez (Ed.), Handbook of positive psychology (2nd ed., pp. 35–48). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Ludden, G. D. S., Kelders, S. M., Snippert, B. H. J. (2014). ‘This is your life!’: the design of a positive psychology intervention using metaphor to motivate. Persuasive Technology, 8462, 179–190. Retrieved from Scholar
  50. Luft, J., & Ingham, H. (1961). The Johari window. Human Relations Training News, 5(1), 6–7.Google Scholar
  51. McCann, C. M., Beddoe, E., McCormick, K., Huggard, P., Kedge, S., Adamson, C., et al. (2013). Resilience in the health professions: A review of recent literature. International Journal of Wellbeing, 3(1), 60–81. Scholar
  52. McKergow, M., & Hogan, D. (2017). Introduction to solution focused practice in organisations in Asia. In D. Hogan, J. Tuomola, & A. K. L. Yeo (Eds.), Solution focused practice in Asia (pp. 233–236). New York, NY: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  53. McLeod, J., & McLeod, J. (2011). Counselling skills. A practical guide for counsellors and helping professionals (2nd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill Open University Press.Google Scholar
  54. Mindell, D. P. (2013). The tree of life: Metaphor, model, and heuristic device. Systematic Biology, 62(3), 479–489. Retrieved from Scholar
  55. Moss, J. M., Gibson, D. M., & Dollarhide, C. T. (2014). Professional identity development: A grounded theory of transformational tasks of counselors. Journal of Counseling & Development, 92, 3–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Myers, L. L., & Tucker, M. L. (2005). Increasing awareness of emotional intelligence in a business curriculum. Business Communication Quarterly, 68(1), 44–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Palmer, S., & Whybrow, A. (Eds.). (2018). Handbook of coaching psychology: A guide for practitioners. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  58. Parilla, P. F., & Hesser, G. W. (1998). Internships and the sociological perspective: Applying principles of experiential learning. Teaching Sociology, 310–329.Google Scholar
  59. Rogers, C. R. (1970). The person of tomorrow. Doctoral Society Journal, 3, 11–16.Google Scholar
  60. Rothmann, S. (2006). Expectations of, and satisfaction with, the South African police service in the North West Province. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 29(2), 211–225. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Saxena, P. (2015). Johari Window: An effective model for improving interpersonal communication and managerial effectiveness. SIT Journal of Management, 5(2), 134–146.Google Scholar
  62. Sburlati, E. S., Schniering, C. A., Lyneham, H. J., & Rapee, R. M. (2011). A model of therapist competencies for the empirically supported cognitive behavioural treatment of child and adolescent anxiety and depressive disorder. Clinical Child Family Psychology Review, 14, 89–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Seligman, M. E., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2014). Positive psychology: An introduction. Pennsylvania, PA: Springer.Google Scholar
  64. Sharma, P., Mangal, S., & Mishra, N. (2017). Intra-personal awareness and inter-personal awareness, Stimulateintra-personal management and inter-personal management. Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences, 22(8), 79–89.Google Scholar
  65. Shattel, M. M., Start, S. S., & Thomas, S. P. (2007). ‘Take my hand, help me out’: Mental health service recipients’ experience of the therapeutic relationship. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 16, 274–284. Scholar
  66. Smith, E. J. (2006). The strength-based counseling model. The Counseling Psychologist, 34, 13–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP). (2018). Brief description of the speciality. Retrieved from
  68. Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology. (2016). SIOP mission statement. Retrieved from
  69. South African Department of Health. (2011). Health Professions Act, 1974: Regulations defining the scope of the profession of psychology (Government Gazette, 34581, Notice 10505, 2 September 2011). Pretoria: Government Printer.Google Scholar
  70. Steel, C., Macdonald, J., Schröder, T., & Mellor-Clark, J. (2015). Exhausted but not cynical: Burnout in therapists working within improving access to psychological therapy services. Journal of Mental Health, 24(1), 33–37. Scholar
  71. Strauss, A. L. (2017). Social psychology and human values. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Strümpher, D. J. W. (2007). Lest we forget that industrial and organizational psychology is psychology. South African of Journal of Industrial Psychology, 33(1), 1–7.Google Scholar
  73. Sue, D. W., Arrendondo, P., & McDavis, R. J. (1992). Multicultural counselling competencies and standards: A call to the profession. Journal of counseling & development, 70, March/April.Google Scholar
  74. Tartakovsky, M. (2018). How clinicians practice self-care & 9 tips for readers. Retrieved from
  75. Task Group for Counsellor Regulation in British Columbia. (2006). Competency profile-counselling therapist. Retrieved from
  76. The Psychology Board of Australia. Retrieved from
  77. Trees-SA. (2017). Retrieved from
  78. University of North-West. (2018). Psychosocial health. Retrieved from
  79. University of Pretoria. (2018). Psychology. Retrieved from
  80. Van Vuuren, L. (2010). Industrial psychology: Goodness of fit? Fit for goodness? South African Journal of Industrial Psychology, 36(2), 16 pp.
  81. Van Zyl, L. E., Deacon, E., & Rothmann, S. (2010). Towards happiness: Experiences of work-role fit, meaningfulness and work engagement of industrial/organisational psychologists in South Africa. South African Journal of Industrial Psychology, 36(1), 1–10.
  82. Van Zyl, L. E., Nel, E., Stander, M. W., & Rothmann, S. (2016). Conceptualising the professional identity of industrial or organisational psychologists within the South African context. South African Journal of Industrial Psychology, 42(1), a1326. Retrieved from
  83. Van Zyl, L. E., & Stander, M. W. (2013). A strengths-based approach towards coaching in a multicultural environment. In Interdisciplinary handbook of the person-centered approach (pp. 245–257). New York, NY: Springer.Google Scholar
  84. Veage, S., Ciarrochi, J., Deane, F. P., Andresen, R., Oades, L. G., & Crowe, T. P. (2014). Value congruence, importance and success and in the workplace: Links with wellbeing and burnout amongst mental health practitioners. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 3(4), 258–264. Scholar
  85. Weathington, B. L., Bergman, S. M., & Bergman, J. Z. (2014). Training science-practitioners: Broadening the training of industrial-organizational psychologists. Industrial & Organizational Psychology, 7(1), 35–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Wiles, F. (2017). What is professional identity and how do social workers acquire it? In S. A. Webb (Ed.), Professional identity and social work (pp. 35–50). London: Routledge Academic.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Wise, E. H., Hersh, M. A., & Gibson, C. M. (2012). Ethics, self-care and well-being for psychologists: Re-envisioning the stress-distress continuum. Professional Psychology Research & Practice, 43(5), 487–494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Withington, D. (2016). Lifetree as psychological tool. Retrieved from

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lené I. Jorgensen-Graupner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Llewellyn Ellardus Van Zyl
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Workwell Research UnitNorth-West UniversityPotchefstroomSouth Africa
  2. 2.Optentia Research Focus AreaNorth-West University (VTC) VanderbijlparkSouth Africa
  3. 3.Department of Industrial EngineeringEindhoven University of TechnologyEindhovenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations