Put_Name_Here E. G. Williamson
(Image from U. of Minnesota Archives)

The emergence of the counseling field as something other than pure vocational guidance made its greatest leap forward when, during the 1930s, E. G. Williamson (1900-1979) developed what is considered to be the first comprehensive theory of counseling (as distinguished from Freud's theory of psychoanalysis). Known as trait and factor theory, or the Minnesota Point of View for the the University of Minnesota where Williamson was on faculty, Williamson's approach initially grew out of the ideas of Frank Parsons. Although originally vocationally oriented, the approach was modified and soon was seen as a generic approach to counseling and psychotherapy. The trait and factor approach involved a series of five steps, which included (1) analysis: examining the problem and obtaining available records and testing on the client, (2) synthesis: summarizing and organizing the information to understand the problem, (3) diagnosis: interpreting the problem, (4) counseling: aiding the individual in finding solutions, and (5) follow-up: assuring propers support after counseling had ended.

Dr. Mike Altekruse, Chair of the Department of Counseling and Human Services presents his tory about E. G. Williamson, entitled: The Person-Centered, Trait and Factor Theorist.
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