What is Counseling?


Becoming a counsellor requires professional training under supervision of a competent and experienced counsellor.

Some of the major elements of counselling are-

It is a voluntary process in which a counselor responds to the feelings, thoughts and actions of the clients.

It requires acceptance of the client’s perceptions and feelings.

The setting of counselling maintains confidentiality and privacy.

A counsellor does not use coercion to obtain information from the client.

A counsellor focuses attention on the specific problem of the clients.

Counsellors and clients both exchange verbal and non verbal messages during the process of counselling. It is therefore important to be aware of and be sensitive to the kind of messages present.

In counselling both the client and counsellor spend significant time, effort and money. Therefore, for counselling to be effective, the client and counsellor both need to know that they are moving in the same direction i.e. their goals converge.

The feeling of progress will occur if the client begins to relate or behave efficiently during the process of counselling. Similarly , a counsellor feels rewarded because his or her efforts at helping the client have been productive and therapeutic.

The important gains of counselling for clients are given below-

Owning the problems– it means that client is able to accept the responsibility for his or her problems. Often clients come for counselling and blame people or environmental factors for their problems. Owning the problem is often the first step towards solving the problem.

Developing understanding of problems-once the client develops some sense of responsibility of the problem he/she is able to develop understanding and get an insight into the problems. This helps them to perceive reality more clearly and gain control over their reactions to the problem.

Acquiring new behaviours and actions-In addition to developing greater understanding of the issues, the client also needs to acquire more effective ways of behaving in the situation. To avoid repeating their ineffective behaviour patterns clients should develop new ways of behaving, responding and interacting in situations or with others.

Developing effective relationships- Most of the people who seek help from counsellor do not have effective or satisfying relationships. Social support from family, friends, peers and community members is essential for clients in order to develop meaningful relationships with others.

The client- counselor relationship during counselling is often the first step towards developing a meaningful relationship with others.

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