What is Counseling?
Counseling is a professional, one to one interaction between a trained person (called a counselor) and a person seeking help (called the client). It is initiated and maintained to facilitate changes in the behavior, emotions, feelings, beliefs and thoughts of client. It is a relationship which is private and confidential.
In counseling, the person receiving help is a normal person facing some difficulties of adjustment. Unlike Psychotherapy, where the person receiving help is a patient who is suffering from some kind of mental illness. (It is extremely important for us to understand the difference between the two and not confuse them with each other)
Counseling has no medical background but extensive training on the field of Psychology
Person giving Psychotherapy is called a Psychiatrist who has a medical background. The aim of counseling is to help in self understanding. It is a learning process whereas in Psychotherapy the aim is to cure a certain ailment.
Counseling is a unique experience of complete emotional freedom within a well-defined framework, the client is free to recognize and understand his impulses and patterns, positive and negative, as in no other relationship. This therapeutic relationship is distinct from, and incompatible with, most of the authoritative relationships of everyday life.
What is not Counseling?
Counseling and Guidance: Guidance is a more comprehensive process which includes counseling. Guidance services include many other services apart from counseling.
Instruction and Counseling: Instruction is obligatory to be followed by the person who receives it whereas in the case of counseling the counselee is not obliged to act according to anything said by the Counselor. The ultimate aim of instruction is the development of the individual.
Advice and Counseling: Advice is given with the expectation that what is told will be done. The person seeking advice is not responsible for the course of action. In Counseling, decision making is wholly the responsibility of the counselee.
Counseling involves identifying the incongruent messages, planning an effective intervention(for the client’s problems) so as to bring self awareness and to remove the discrepancies between thoughts and actions, feelings and actions. According to Carl Rogers, effective Counseling consists of a definitely structured, permissive relationship which allows the client to gain an understanding of himself to a degree which enables him to take positive steps in the light of his own orientation.
I adopt Rogerian therapy techniques while counseling and focus on conducting Client centered therapy which emphasizes on making the client a fully functioning person, maximizing his/her self actualization through empathy and unconditional positive regard.