Professional identity is the result of a developmental process that facilitates individuals to reach an understanding of their profession in conjunction with their own self-concept, enabling them to articulate their role, philosophy, and approach to others within and outside of their chosen. As counselors engage in this individually unique growth process, it is hoped that the counseling profession as a whole will be strengthened as its practitioners and educators reach a heightened sense of purpose and a synergistic collective identity, an identity which is still developing within the profession. The term collective identity refers to having shared goals, resources, and aspirations for the profession. In order for individuals to build a personal relationship with their chosen occupation, it is important for a clear foundation to be established. To build this foundation, a professional philosophy must be constructed which clarifies and distinguishes one’s profession from other similar vocations; in this instance, other mental health fields. In counseling, this foundation is thought to be created by establishing clear professional expectations through licensure, streamlined educational programming, professional organizations, and ethical standards that build on an underlying professional philosophy. This article will review current literature and research on professional identity in the counseling field. This review will then be presented in relation to the external evaluation of success within counseling and counselor education and how this evaluation is influenced and internally understood through one’s gender role beliefs and associated societal expectations. As a counselor engages with the profession, there is an intersection am… … middle of paper … …lly for me, also, even as a teacher , so I’m looking at either performing this role outside a school setting, or in a specialized school setting such as my previous placement. With the frustrations that you note in teaching in your particular system, it might benefit you to look into private/alternate ed placements specifically for special needs…until we had a change of administration that made a lot of changes for the worse in how our school was run, I loved teaching at my previous school, because it was set up in a way that allowed for greater independence and student success in ways that can be hard to accomplish in the traditional school model. I don’t know if it’s feasible for you in your circumstances to seek out a different type of school, but if it is, you might find that another philosophy or approach works better for you as an educator for special needs.