By – Dr Renita Dsouza
People of all walks of life seek mental peace and happiness. People struggle hard within themselves to adjust to the environment, it can be at school, home, college or work place. In this struggle they can adopt faulty thinking and behavior.
What is counselling?
Counselling is not about giving advice, suggestion or solution, counselling is all about guiding or assisting a person to help himself resolve his personal or social problem by making use of his own hidden potential.
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Difference between Counselor and counselee
A counsellor is a trained person who undertakes counselling. A counselee is one who need to be counseled, known as client.
Why do we need counselling?
Counselling a person can help him change the way of thinking, perception of self or of others or a change in behavior. This enables him to understand himself and take right steps in life to be happy and peaceful. Most of us have some faulty or unhelpful method to cope with emotional, psychological or social problems. For example – Eating excess during stressful situations. The purpose of counselling is to help a person face every situation of life in a healthy and effective way.
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Types of Counseling
Counselling can be classified into various types. Here are few simple classifications of counselling.
Based on level of Counselling
- Informal counselling – helped by a responsible person
- Non-specialist counselling by professionals – Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers etc
- Professional counselling – helped by a person who is specially trained as counsellors
Based on theoretical background
- Directive counselling
- Non – directive counselling
- Eclectic counselling
Based on number of persons involved for counselling
- Individual counselling – Interaction is between 2 people, the counsellor and the counselee
- Family counselling – Interaction is between counsellor, counselee and his family
- Group counselling – Here group of people having similar problems are counselled together at the same time.
Based on specific problems
- Marriage counseling
- Educational counselling
- Rehabilitation counseling
- Mental health counselling
- Substance abuse counseling
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Benefits of Counselling
- High self esteem
- Optimistic outlook
- Improves self confident
- Self acceptance
- Increases decision making skills
- Better understanding of self and others
- Coping effectively with anxiety, fear, grief, depression
- Increased productivity and creativity
- Effectively managing stress
- Improves problem solving ability
- Managing and expressing anger in a right way
- Graceful and successful aging
- Helps to have effective communication
- Maintaining healthy and happy relationship
- Helps to live in the present
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Myths and Facts
Counselling is for those with mental illness
Counselling helps to manage the symptoms of mental illness and it is used for any person who need help to resolve everyday problems such as relationship issues, adjusting to new work place, low self esteem, fear, anxiety, grief, procrastination, time management etc.
Talking to a friend is as same as talking to a counselor
Talking to friend is not same as talking to a trained counselor. A trained counselor applies the techniques of counselling which help individual open up easily without being judged and finds relieve. The counselee or client also learn skills from trained counselor that can help overcome personal problems.
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Counselling is giving advice or suggestion
Counselling is not giving advice or suggestion instead it removes the blockage within the client and help him find solution and improves the decision making ability.