Counselling put in very simple terms, is a type of relationship in which a specialized person provides help, upon request, to a person who is going through a more difficult period of his life.
There are several types of counselling: psychological counselling, educational, career, legal, real estate, business, pastoral counselling; for each of these fields, there are counsellors specialized in the respective activity.
The differences between counselling and psychotherapy would be: counselling has a preventive role, psychotherapy being a type of intervention in case of chronic problems and in case of crisis situations, Counselling is focused on solving specific problems, psychotherapy on personality restructuring, Counselling has a shorter duration while psychotherapy lasts longer (sometimes even a few years).
The purpose of psychological Counselling:
- self-knowledge and self-discovery of one’s own potential
- personal growth and development
- taking responsibility for decisions made
- self-acceptance and acceptance of others
- positive relationships with others
- increasing the degree of tolerance for frustration
- improving physical and mental health
- inner well-being
- discovering the joy of living.
- is a relationship
- is a special form of communication
- involves listening
- prevents crisis situations – the proactive role
- assumes that one person is helped by another
- assumes that a person helps a group of people
- is a confidential form of providing help
- is based on the principle of personal development
- involves “empowering” people seeking help
- means helping others to identify and clarify their problems
- is an activity performed by professionals
- is guided by certain theories and methods specific to the field
Counselling is not:
- caring like a parent
- treating someone like a doctor
- training or teaching
- only use Counselling skills and abilities
The most common mistakes in counselling:
– Excessive use of closed questions- these are questions by which the counsellor acquires factual information (eg, “how long did that relationship last?”). According to it, it would be the predominant use of open-ended questions (“tell me how you felt then?”).
– The use of rhetorical questions to which a certain answer is expected, which would prove that in a certain situation, the counsellor would know better than his client (e.g., “I assume you knew what will follow?”).
-Using tendentious questions that tend to lead the client to block the exploration of their own emotions by suggesting that they adopt socially accepted behaviors (e.g., “I hope you’re not going to be overwhelmed by emotions and give up this marriage?” )
– Avoiding questions that start with “why“ because they tend to block the client and give him the feeling that he is being judged and that he has to justify himself. We will not forget that he is in the Counselling office precisely because he does not understand why he does certain things. It is recommended to use questions that start with “how,” “what,” “which.”
In conclusion, the profession of counsellor goes beyond the field of immediate experience, using certain techniques and strategies acquired through specialized studies, training courses that will give the counsellor the necessary skills: empathy, active listening, ability to communicate, to tolerates differences and what is more important to believe in the client’s resources and in his ability to heal.