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Wellness Concept in Counseling Essay

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Updated: Jul 29th, 2020

Wellness is a concept that encompasses a holistic balance of mental, physical, and spiritual faculties. Wellness has become a pseudo-movement that provides various models on how individuals can make conscious life and health choices. Nevertheless, most scholars agree that a balance of mental, health, and spiritual faculties is the key to achieving wellness. Different individuals can achieve varying levels of wellness in regards to their perceptions and their respective communities. Wellness dates back to about two millenniums ago when the need to treat and heal became a part of human existence.

Eventually, wellness has gained prominence to include individual awareness of a wide range of factors such as internal and existential ones. Counseling in connection to wellness falls under this category of positive existence through awareness. Consequently, it encompasses a wide range of factors including optimum health, development, and positive functioning. This article presents an overview of how wellness is manifested in counseling.

One existing theoretical connection to wellness involves the concept of the wheel of wellness. The wheel of wellness model depicts spirituality as the most prominent element in wellness. On the other hand, spirituality involves a great deal of understanding of an individual’s life and purpose and somehow connecting these factors to religious and spiritual beliefs and practices. The wheel of wellness includes 12 spokes in the life task, and they include “having a sense of worth, self-control, realistic beliefs, intellectual stimulation, sense of humor, problem-solving, emotional management, exercise, nutrition, stress-management, cultural identity, gender identity, and creativity” (Myers & Sweeney, 2007, p. 1).

This model has evolved to become a more practical counseling tool that is known as The Wellness Evaluation of Lifestyle Inventory (WEL). The WEL model is also used to formulate other tools of wellness as well as improving the existing ones.

One application of the WEL was in a study that was based on a database that included individuals who had undertaken a WEL test. This study revealed that there is a non-circumflex connection between the spokes that are contained in the wheel of wellness. Most of the scholars who have delved into the study of WEL interpret the significance of spirituality as a central factor differently. For example, Adler was of the view that all the spheres of wellness are indivisible and united in a peculiar manner (Witmer & Sweeney, 1992). Consequently, wellness forms a base for a holistic movement that dwells on five pillars namely: creative, coping, essential, physical, and social. This model is a simplification of the previous wheel of wellness and WEL models.

In connection to counseling, wellness is utilized in various applications including psychological and demographic components. Furthermore, counselors have applied the concept of wellness to evaluate and conduct pre-post-tests on diverse populations including elementary school children, college-going youths, and independent adults (Myers & Sweeney, 2007). Various studies on the concept of Wheel and WEL have also been carried out by psychology scholars, counselors in training, and professional counselors among other groups. The five concepts of WEL or the 5F-Wel have since become domineering concepts in the world of counseling.

The concept is widely accepted among counselors across America, Europe, and Asia in connection to counseling of school-going children and youth. In the future, the key to integrating wellness and counseling lies in the ability to foster healthy lifestyles and conduct accurate assessments and interventions.


Myers, J. E., & Sweeney, T. J. (2007). Wellness in counseling: An overview (ACAPCD-09). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association. Web.

Witmer, J. M., & Sweeney, T. J. (1992). A holistic model for wellness and prevention over the lifespan. Journal of Counseling and Development 71, 140-148. Web.

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