INDIA: on January 22nd, Dr.Pratik gave a career counseling lecture to students in Ahmedabad’s 10th grade. As you can all see, there was an enormous response.
The concept of guidance has emerged many years ago and it is as old as human civilization. In earlier times, guidance was offered to the young people by elders in the family and the family priest gave guidance to those in distress. This practice continues even today, in India, where people acquire guidance from the family priest, significant elders in the family, palmist, astrologer or numerologist in personal, educational, vocational or political matters. Guidance, as an organized professional activity, dates back to 1905 and this is because of the work of Frank Parsons, Boston, USA. Author of the classic ‘Choosing a Vocation’ and his efforts to help find the Vocation Bureau, made him a pioneer in the guidance movement in America. Various social reformers followed Pearson and contributed to the guidance movement. In India, guidance as an organized professional activity is more than four decades old.
From the beginning we find that more experienced persons have been guiding less experienced or inexperience persons. However, guidance at that time was limited and life was also simple as compared to today. Due to the complexities in present day lives, guidance has become an integral component for better adjustment and this has called for specialized persons to give guidance and thus has helped individuals to adjust to social realities and live happy lives. Guidance – unorganized and informal existed in all places and at all levels and has been a vital aspect in various spheres especially in the educational scenario.
Counselling has been understood and defined in a number of ways.
According to Cormier and Hackney (1987) counselling is defined as the “helping relationship that includes –
a) someone seeking help,
b) someone willing to give help who is capable or trained to help,
c) a setting that permits help to be given and received.
Arbunckle has mentioned three points about counselling. They are:
a) Counselling is a process between two persons.
b) The basic aim of counselling is to help the person in solving his problems Independently.
c) Counselling is a professional job involving professionally trained persons.
The following points below will give a clear picture as to what counselling is not. What counselling is not:
Counselling is not giving information alone, though information may be present
Counselling is not giving advice
Counselling is not influencing the clients’ values, attitudes, beliefs, interests or decisions with or without any scolding, or compelling without the use of physical force
Counselling is not interviewing, though interviewing is involved.
Therefore, the main objective of counselling is to bring about a voluntary change
in the client.
Counselling can be of two types, individual or group. Individual counselling is done face to face and Group counselling is done to a group of individuals. Group counselling is a useful way of helping adolescents for addressing issues that are related to peer group influence.
Who can benefit from Counselling ?
At any point of time have you approached an elder in your family or teacher asking for guidance? If so, recall the incident and how was the experience?
All of us irrespective of our age, sex and profession have been taking help from our elders, teachers and friends in solving certain problems. However, you might have faced situations where you would have felt the need to take help from a professional or trained and experienced person such as a counsellor. If we have a problem that we are unable to solve and because of which not able to carry on day to day activities, then we can go and seek professional help. All of us can benefit from counselling provided we need such a professional help. Counselling can also form an integral part of the healing process for those who have lost a loved one, or who are suffering from a terminal illness, helping them to come to terms with death and bereavement. Specialists are available for areas of specific need, for example, Educational, Career Counselling, Family, Personal and Marriage Counselling. Group Counselling is beneficial for people to share their feelings and receive advice from those in similar circumstances such as victims and survivors of disasters.