The major objective of all counseling is to help individuals become self-sufficient, self-dependent, self-directed, and to adjust themselves efficiently to the demands of a better and meaningful life. To provided assistance to Individuals to improve their personal, social, emotional, physical and intellectual development. Several terms have been used along with, and often synonymously with counseling. It is necessary to examine these terms so as to have a proper understanding of counseling.
Advising: Is the situation where by a person having a problem approach another individual for assistance in decision making. It has several features such as:
There is an element of voluntariness.There is a belief (right or wrong) that the other person has the necessary experience, wisdom and ability to advice.The advice is sought for consensual validation.The advice given is not binding on the person who seeks it, that is, the person may reject it and approach another person for assistance which in turn may be rejected if found unsuitable. Parents and teachers often give advice.
Guidance: Guidance is the assistance given to individuals in making intelligent choices and adjustments. It is based on the conception that it is the duty and the right of every individual to choose his/her own way of life as long as her/his choice does not interfere with or disobey on the rights of others.
Psychotherapy: is defined as a form of therapy in which a trained professional uses method based on psychological theories to help a person with psychological problems. It refer to almost any kind of human interaction such as talking or demonstrating that is based on a psychological theory of the problem but it does not include medical treatment methods such as medication.
This is the initial step in counseling on the part of the counselee or client. Example, you may consider client like chronic smoker, alcoholic people and people at the risk of being contaminated with HIV are they ready to quit from that behavior?
Issues that affect readiness
Ignorance: Individuals may persist in certain kinds of habits without having the least idea that such habits are undesirable.
Resistance: Individuals tend to show no interests or exhibit lack of enthusiasm to certain things due to an innate resistance to change.
Lack of motivation: An individual may be aware that a particular habit is undesirable but may not be sufficiently motivated to do something about it.
Once the client has reached the stage of readiness, the next stage is the pre-counseling interview or initial interview. It is meant to notify the client of his/her responsibilities, the manner in which the counseling services will be carried out, the frequency and time of the counseling sessions. This interview must also concern itself with obtaining personal data and other basic information regarding the client. The counselor on his/her part tries to establish an initial contact which could go a long way in establishing rapport and a healthy counseling relationship.
This is a systematic collection of facts about the client’s present and past life. It comes immediately after rapport is established between the client and the counselor. Counselors have different orientations place different degrees of emphasis on case history and use different kinds of materials.
Conditions that can support counseling process
The physical setting is a place where counseling is rendered. It must be free from outside disturbance. The room should be simple but tastefully furnished; should give a feeling of warmth and should be comfortable, with lighting that is neither too flashy and bright nor too dull and depressing. It should have good ventilation. It should be comfortable such that a relaxed atmosphere is provided in which the client can talk in a relaxed mood.
Means that all information obtained during counseling must be kept confidential. If there is need to give out any of such information, consent and permission must be sought and obtained from the client. Confidentiality goes a long way in maintaining trust and confidence in the relationship.
Understanding is essentially the perception of another’s attitudes, meanings and feelings. In a counseling session, understanding has two connotations. First, it refers to the client’s understanding of himself/herself and the situation or environment. Second, refer to the understanding of the counselor of the client’s position or situation. For counseling to be effective, it is important that the counselor is able to follow the client’s mode of thought and to understand his or her feelings
Rapport is a warm, friendly and understanding condition, which is essential for an effective relationship between a client and a counselor. It is a relationship that cannot be established by force. It is important for counselors to bring this skill to abide in counseling relationship.
To understand the essence of the content and feeling expressed by the client, the counselor should be attentive while listening and observing. In counseling, listening means more than what is meant in common parlance. A counselor should not listen to the verbal communication alone but should also observe the non-verbal behavior of the client, such as facial expressions, postures, gestures, inflections in tone and periods of silence.