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December 2021

Personal growth and personal development: concepts clarified

Author(s): Williams, D. I.

Journal/Book: Brit J Guid Couns. 1999; 27: Rankine Rd, Basingstoke Rg24 8Pr, Hants, England. Carfax Publishing. 517-526.

Abstract: A distinction can be drawn between personal development and personal growth. Despite their similarities, linguistic analysis shows the two concepts to convey different ideas. Personal development is a process concerned with specific aspects of the individual: the development of 'what', and the ways this can be planned, achieved and evaluated. Personal growth, on the other hand, is a more generic process having to do with the totality of the individual; it is always judged in terms of values. This difference is vital in counsellor training, where the emphasis should necessarily be on those aspects of personal development that are relevant to specific training objectives and client needs, rather than on personal growth per se.

Note: Article Irving JA, Univ Hull, Dept Psychol, Hull HU6 7RX, N Humberside, ENGLAND

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