Guidance and Counselling | What is Guidance Counseling?

Guidance and Counselling | What is Guidance Counseling?

Guidance and Counselling Serve as A Supporting Function in The Educational Process by Directing and Controlling Activities to Help Each Individual Develop to His/her Fullest Potential.


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Guidance and Counselling have come to play a significant role in the field of education.

  • Guidance, in simple terms means, to direct or provide assistance to someone who needs help.
  • Counselling refers to professional services provided to an individual who is facing a problem and needs help to overcome the problem. Counseling is considered to be an integral and central part of the guidance.

GUIDANCE

Guidance covers the whole process of education which starts from the birth of the child. As the individuals need help throughout their lives, it is not wrong to say that guidance is needed from cradle to grave.

Guidance in simple terms means to direct or provide assistance to someone who needs help. In a broader perspective, guidance is provided at all levels to human beings by one person or the other.

Guidance can help a person solve a personal, vocational, educational, or any other problem for which he is unable to find a solution on his own.

National Vocational Guidance Association of United States of America (USA) defines guidance as, ‘Guidance is the process of helping a person to develop and accept an integrated and adequate picture of himself and of his role in the world of work, to test this concept against reality and to convert it into reality with satisfaction to himself and benefit to the society.’

Aims of Guidance

  • Guidance aims to help the individual in realizing his potentialities.
  • It aims to help the individual to solve his problems and make proper choices and adjustments.
  • It helps the individual to live a well-balanced life.

Objectives of Guidance

Objectives of Guidance at The Primary Education Stage:

  • It assists the students in developing a better attitude towards school activities.
  • It enables the children to adapt to the school traditions and regulations of the school.
  • It assists the students in developing their physical & emotional stability.
  • It enables the students to identify their problems.
  • It ensures cooperation among the students.
  • It facilitates the transition of students from primary to high school.
  • It provides information to children regarding high school.

Objectives of Guidance at The Secondary Stage:

  • To familiarize the students with their school environment.
  • To enable the students to cooperate with their classmates.
  • It enables the students to critically analyze the subject options and to help them choose the best according to their aptitude.
  • It encourages the students to participate in co-curricular activities according to their skill set.
  • To ensure that the students grow in a healthy environment.
  • To meet the individual and social needs of adolescents.

Objectives of Guidance at The Higher Level of Education:

  • It aims to inform the students about the process of admissions to colleges and universities.
  • It provides information to students about the co-curricular activities they can participate in.
  • It aims to help the students choose subjects and programs that can help them build a bright future.
  • Guidance aims to help the students get vocational advice so that the students can choose a career for themselves.
  • It aims to develop an environment conducive to the educational and social needs of the students.

Need for Guidance

  1. By providing proper guidance the educated unemployed youth can be helped to identify work situations suited to their potentialities.
  2. Guidance services can help the educational authorities by developing a curriculum according to the needs and abilities of the students.
  3. Through guidance, the right persons can be identified for specified jobs.
  4. Due to changes in society, there is an increased number of conflicts within the family, and adolescents are passing through stressful situations which results in growing frustrations.
  5. As the life pattern is changing fast and becoming complex, there are increased demands of society on parents, which has reduced the personal contact between the parents and children.
  6. Through guidance, students can be helped to select courses according to their abilities, interests, and aptitudes.
  7. The need for guidance for students has become necessary to enable them to select the right path.
  8. Guidance is also needed for the overall personality development of individuals.
  9. Our country has certain problem areas where guidance is needed. These areas are caste problems, new economic policies, and problems of retired persons.
  10. With the change in the traditional image of women, guidance is needed to create a balance in the family structure.

Purpose of Guidance

Guidance is to help one to adjust to the abilities, interests, and needs of society.

The purpose of guidance at the elementary school level is focused on assisting pupils to integrate such primary groups' forces as the home, the school, religion, and the peer-relationships.

At the secondary school level: Secondary school guidance services focus on the assistance given to the students to develop themselves according to their potentialities and opportunities in the areas of

  • Educational planning,
  • Career choice,
  • Interpersonal relationships and
  • Interpersonal acceptance

Importance of Guidance

Importance of Guidance for the Students:

  1. Help them understand themselves by knowing more about their abilities, aptitudes, interests, and limitations.
  2. Get along better with other people and understand the world in which they live.
  3. Get the most out of school by gaining information regarding career, subjects, etc.
  4. Explore their own interests, abilities, learn about various aspects of the world of work, and learn to make the most of their abilities.
  5. Recognizing gifted and slow learners and students having special needs and helping them to develop a proper attitude.

Importance of Guidance for the Teachers:

  • Guidance offers opportunities to increase teachers’ understanding of their students through in-service education programs carried on by the guidance person.
  • Knowledge about students’ physical condition, medical history, family background, scholastic record, scores on standardized tests, personal characteristics, etc. helps the teacher to provide better instruction to the student.

Importance of Guidance for the Parents, School, and Community:

  • The teacher can provide a picture of the child’s abilities, interests, and potentialities to the parents so that they know, understand, and accept the child as he/she is.
  • Assist the local community population towards better mental health.
  • Help the entire school in many ways. e.g by aiding students in their choice of courses by counseling on the basis of their interests and aptitudes.
  • Give administration information on those aspects of the school program which relate to the educational career and personality development of the students.

Scope of Guidance

  • Academic achievement and progress
  • Personal development
  • Personal-social relations
  • Relation of the individual to educational and vocational requirements

Principles of Guidance

The principles of Guidance are:

  1. Guidance is a lifelong process
  2. Guidance lays emphasis on individualization
  3. Guidance gives importance to self-direction
  4. Guidance is based on co-operation
  5. Guidance is for all
  6. Guidance is an organized activity
  7. Guidance workers need special preparation
  8. Guidance gives respect to individual differences
  9. Guidance is flexible
  10. Guidance is an interrelated activity
  11. Guidance emphasizes on code of ethics

Types of Guidance

  1. Educational Guidance
  2. Vocational or Career Guidance
  3. Personal-Social Guidance

Educational Guidance: It is a process of helping the individual to place him/herself continually in the most favorable setting or environment for his/her education.

Vocational / Career Guidance: It is the process of assisting the individual to choose an occupation career, prepares for it, enters upon, and progress in it.

Personal-Social Guidance: This includes social, emotional, and leisure time guidance. It concerns with the problems of health, emotional adjustment, social adjustment, etc.


COUNSELLING

Counselling refers to professional services provided to an individual who is facing a problem and needs help to overcome the problem.

Counseling is considered to be an integral and central part of the guidance. The process of counselling helps an individual find solution to a problem and also helps in the overall development of an individual.

Counselling is a process that involves two people—

  1. One is the counsellor who offers counselling services and
  2. The other is the person wanting help or counseling.
According to Willey and Andrew, ‘Counselling involves two individuals one seeking help and other a professionally trained person helped solved problems to orient and direct him towards a goal.’
According to Arbuckle, ‘Counseling is helping a person to come to see who he really is, what he has and does not have, what he can do easily, what he can do with difficulty and what he cannot do at all. It is a close sharing of a human relationship with one who has for him a high regard; one who can offer him unconditional acceptance, but one who has no guarantees, no answers.’
According to Shertzer and Stone, ‘Counselling is an interaction process which facilitates meaningful understanding of self and environment and result in the establishment and or clarification of goals and values for future behavior.’

Thus, counselling has emerged as a two-way process that involves two individuals and mutual cooperation between them. Counseling enables an individual to gain self-understanding and develop self-acceptance.

In this sense, the aim of counseling is the same as guidance. Counselling also helps an individual adjust to his environment and conditions and lead a happier life.


Principles of Counselling

Counselling is based on a number of principles. These principles are:

  1. Counselling is a process.
  2. Counseling is for all.
  3. Counselling is not advice-giving.
  4. Counseling is not thinking for the client, but thinking with the client.
  5. Counselling is not problem-solving.
  6. Counseling is not interviewing but conversing with the client in order to help him/her develop self-understanding.
  7. The counselor should determine individual differences and provide for them.
  8. The counselor has to prepare the client to open to criticism including self-criticism.
  9. The counsellor acts as a facilitator only.

Purpose of Counselling

Some of the major purposes of counseling generally accepted by counselors are given below:

  • Achievement of positive mental health
  • Problem resolution
  • Counselling for decision-making
  • Improving personal effectiveness
  • Helping to change
  • Behavior modification

The Major Approaches to Counselling

  1. The Directive Approach
  2. Non-directive Approach
  3. Eclectic Approach

Counselling Process

The process of counseling passes through certain stages which can be broadly classified as follows:

Initial Stage:

  • Client self-exploration
  • First interview
  • Initial counselling sessions

Middle Stage:

  • Deeper exploration and analysis

Final Stage:

  • Implementation of goals through action
  • Termination

COUNSELLORS, CAREER MASTERS, AND TEACHERS AS GUIDANCE PERSONNEL

Guidance personnel includes

  • Counsellor
  • Career Master
  • Teachers
  • Principal/ Head Master
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Doctor etc.

In addition to this, parents and the community also play a significant role in providing guidance to the children.


Counselor

Basically, a counselor is a trained professional expected to carry out guidance functions in the school.

A counsellor functions systematically after carefully evolving a school guidance program by

  • Surveying student’s needs,
  • Pooling the physical and other resources available and
  • Ensuring co-operation from the administrative authorities.

Functions of A Counsellor

  • Orientation of students
  • Student appraisal
  • Educational and occupational information service
  • Holding counseling interviews
  • Placement
  • Research and evaluation

Specifically, the counsellor should be knowledgeable in the following:

  1. Student appraisal procedures.
  2. Educational and occupational information.
  3. Counselling methods and procedures.
  4. Referral procedure and skills in recognizing the need for referral.
  5. Group guidance procedures.
  6. Methods and procedures in conducting local research studies in the area of student needs and opportunities.

Role and Responsibilities of a Counsellor

A counsellor is needed in

  1. Helping students plan for the future
  2. Solve their problems
  3. Develop healthy attitudes
  4. Prepare the students for life

  • The counselor should be a teacher of teachers. He/she is responsible for the operation of the school guidance program.
  • He/she should help the teachers plan and develop good guidance practices in the classroom.
  • The counsellor should possess high competency with a wide and varied background of experiences.
  • He/she should have a full understanding of children.
  • The counsellor has a responsibility in the community. He/she should talk with civic groups, and explain the aims, problems, and features of the guidance program.
  • The counselor acts as the facilitator of a career development program

Career Master

Next to the Counsellor in the guidance program, is the Career Master. Nowadays, this term is also replaced by the word “Career Teacher”.

A regular teacher of the school who offers information service (educational and career) is designated as a Career Master/Teacher. This person is a trained graduate teacher who has received special training to equip him/her for this work.


Roles and Responsibilities of Career Master / Teacher

  1. Formation of a Guidance Committee
  2. Setting up an information corner in the school
  3. Orientation talks to new entrants
  4. Preparation of News albums and bulletins
  5. Maintenance of Cumulative Record Cards
  6. An individual session with the students as and when necessary.

Teacher

Guidance is an integral part of the teaching and learning process. With the possible exception of the child’s parents, no other person has a greater influence on the personality development of the child than the classroom teacher.

Role, Responsibilities, and Duties of the Teacher in School Guidance Program

  • Identification of needs and problems of students.
  • Setting up and maintenance of the Career Information Centre in the school.
  • Creating a harmonious and sound classroom environment for the student.
  • Support and create a motivating environment for the school guidance program.
  • Creating a positive attitude among the students, parents, and all others concerned about the school guidance program.
  • Building self-esteem and competence
  • Individualizing instruction
  • Guiding daily learning
  • Sharing educational goals with students
  • Discussing common problems
  • Following up student needs

NEED BASED MINIMUM GUIDANCE PROGRAMME IN SCHOOLS

The systematic guidance program in schools calls for

  • A full-time counsellor
  • Infrastructure
  • Materials and
  • Sufficient budget

In the absence of these, the need-based minimum guidance programs could be organized in schools.

The Career Master/Teacher could take up these programs with in-service training in guidance.


Organization of Minimum Guidance Activities in Schools

The following steps are involved in the organization of minimum guidance activities in schools:

  • Formation of the guidance committee
  • Meeting of the guidance committee
  • Group guidance activities of the different types like:
  • Class talks
  • Career talks
  • Career conferences
  • Career exhibition
  • Career visits
  • Career fair
  • Career corner and its maintenance

TYPES OF COUNSELING

  1. Individual Counseling
  2. Group Counselling
  3. Peer Counseling
  4. Multicultural Counselling
  5. Crisis Counselling
  6. Family Counseling
  7. Career Counselling
  8. Counseling for Prevention of Substance Abuse

COUNSELLING IN SCHOOLS

Individual Counselling

Individual counselling is a personalized process in which the client or student and the counsellor are in a one-to-one, face-to-face relationship working towards exploring and focusing on the various needs of the client.

The counseling process is meant to help the students in exploring feelings, beliefs, understanding the self, examining possibilities, and initiating change for a positive result.


Dryden (1984) has pointed out many benefits of individual counseling for the clients.

  • Individual counseling provides complete confidentiality.
  • Individual counselling provides an opportunity to develop a closer relationship between counselor and client.
  • Individual counselling can be conducted to match the client’s pace of learning.
  • Individual counseling is helpful for clients who wish to differentiate themselves from others.
  • Individual counseling is helpful for clients who want to explore whether or not they should differentiate themselves from others.

Dryden (1984) has also pointed out some issues involved in individual counselling and some disadvantages too.

  • In individual counselling the client may become over-dependent on the counselor and hinder the healing process.
  • Close proximity/interaction may be threatening to some clients.
  • Individual counseling situation may not provide enough challenge for change to clients.
  • Clients who are shy, retiring and afraid to take risks may benefit more from group counselling.

Group Counselling

In group counselling individuals explore and analyze their problems together so that they may

  • Understand them better
  • Learn to cope with them and
  • Learn to make valid choices and decisions.

The group experience helps them to feel closer to others to find and give emotional support and to understand and accept themselves and others.

Group counselling has all three dimensions of individual counseling viz.

  1. Remedial
  2. Preventive
  3. Developmental

However, in the school situation, the emphasis is given to preventive and developmental.


Advantages of Group Counselling

  • It is economical in many ways. In group counselling a large number of individuals are helped at the same time by a counsellor.
  • It helps individuals to socialize their attitudes, habits, and judgments.
  • The group helps the individual appraise his values and come to an increased appreciation of the importance of good human relations in his value system.
  • Some individuals who cannot be reached through individual counseling can be reached through group counseling.
  • In a group counselling situation feeling of depression, isolation is reduced, and talking made easy.
  • Apart from these, group counselling gives the counselor an opportunity to study persons in an initial group setting.

Disadvantages of Group Counselling

  • Group counseling is not suitable for all individuals. Some individuals find the group situation too threatening.
  • Some individuals have a very low level of tolerance and will not be able to adapt their behavior to the demands of the group.
  • Very personal and private problems cannot be discussed in the group situation.
  • The counsellor has less control over the situation in group counselling

Peer Counselling

As in counselling, peer counseling is a helping relationship and process. In peer counseling, two people or a group of people are in a helping relationship.

Peer counselling is employed in situations where people have a number of things in common. The basis for peer counseling is that most people seek the help of their friends when they face challenging life situations, for making important decisions, etc.

In school settings, peer counselling means one student counseling another student or a group of students. Peer counseling gains importance as many schools do not have a regular full-time trained professional counsellor.


Benefits of Peer Counselling

  1. It is economical as the peer counselors are drawn from the student population.
  2. Peer counselling is easily available.
  3. Peer counseling enhances the school counselling program.
  4. Peer counselling brings more students to the fold of the counseling programs.
  5. Peer counselors bridge the gap between the students and the professional counselor.

Functions of Peer Counselor

  • Supporting in academic activities
  • Inducting newcomers
  • Helping in resolving conflict
  • Helping in preventing absenteeism and dropout
  • Setting up a peer counseling program
  • Conducting a need assessment survey
  • Defining the goals
  • Selecting peer counselors
  • Training peer counselors
  • Defining the roles of the partners
  • Enlisting the support of the school administration

Multicultural Counselling

Teachers and students may not come from the same background. There exist differences in the student community too. Therefore, multicultural counselling gains importance in the school counselling programme.

In multicultural counseling, a counselor needs to acquire and demonstrate additional multicultural competencies.


Multicultural counseling involves

  • Gaining knowledge about the culture of the clients or students,
  • Understanding the process of socialization in their culture and
  • Understanding the complex process through which they construct gender-role identity, values, attitudes, and world views.

Crisis Counselling

A crisis situation may occur in an individual’s life due to

  • The death of a loved one,
  • Debilitating injury,
  • Illness,
  • Physical violence,
  • Sexual abuse,
  • Natural disasters,
  • War,
  • Militancy,
  • Civil strife, and such other events.

Children may also experience crises in their life when faced with such events. These events are intense and stressful and severely affect their ability to cope. Often people would find it difficult to deal with it alone and it disrupts the quality of day-go-day normal life. Professional help offered to cope with a crisis situation is a highly specialized area of counselling.


Some crisis situations that school children may face in their life are:

  • Child abuse
  • Severe illness
  • Suicide prevention

SPECIALISED AREAS IN COUNSELLING

Family Counselling

Family counseling involves an interaction between a professional counselor and a family, in which family members are helped to improve their communication and relationships so as to increase the individual growth of each family member while achieving balance and healthy interactions among family members.


Career Counselling

Career counseling refers to that professional relationship where the clients or students are helped to select, prepare to enter, and function effectively in an occupation.


Counseling for Prevention of Substance Abuse

Drug addiction has reached epidemic proportions in our country. The ill-effects of substance abuse are so many.

In substance abuse cases counselors emphasize inpatient residential treatment programs in a highly structured and protected environment. This is because it is important to protect them initially from bad environmental influences. Moreover, medication is advisable in many cases to help addicts to withdraw from the dependency that they have developed.

Further References:

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