There are moments when we feel like things are difficult and there is no way out of the darkness. We may feel overwhelmed and wish someone could help us. It is a time when a trained professional can help to find some ways to handle the challenges. This process is called Counselling or Therapy. Counselling has existed since the beginning of civilization, where individuals sought guidance and support from religious leaders, philosophers, and wise elders. The concept of counselling has evolved over time, influenced by cultural, philosophical, and societal changes.
What is Counselling
Counselling is a therapeutic process in which a trained counsellor works collaboratively with an individual, couple, family, or group to help them explore and understand their thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and relationships. The goal of counselling is to assist clients in addressing various challenges, improving mental health, and enhancing overall well-being and bring some change in the client’s life.
There is no one definition of counselling that applies to everyone. Psychologists, each belonging to a distinct school of thinking and methodology, define it differently.
According to ‘American Psychological Association, 2008’, The counsellor supports clients with physical, emotional, and mental health issues, helping them resolve crises, reduce feelings of distress, and improve their sense of wellbeing.
Hence Counselling is not definition bound, instead it is a process that can be carried out only by a trained professional.
In the current environment, we all have multiple tasks and responsibilities to fulfill and often neglect our own mental health. As a result, we may encounter difficulties and become lost in a confusing dark maze.
Hence, several individuals are looking for help in the present situation. However, we must recognize that counselling is a systematic scientific process, and a trained counsellor is equipped with certain techniques, tools, skills, and ethics after undergoing extensive training.
Importance of School Counselling
In the realm of school counselling, students juggle multiple areas of focus beyond academic studies. School counsellors play a crucial role in addressing students’ needs for emotional, social, and mental development. Prioritizing these developmental aspects significantly contributes to improvement in academic performance and overall well-being.
In the context of School Counselling, we need to understand the different roles of counsellor and facilitator. Facilitators often provide valuable support to students, helping them navigate academic challenges, and fostering a positive learning environment. However, a counsellor is a specialized professional who has undergone extensive training and can work with clients using various counselling techniques that have undergone extensive study and investigation.
Debunking The Myths
Counselling is not about giving advice or imposing our beliefs on the clients. Counselling is a scientific interactive learning process of empowering the client to overcome their difficulties, to take control of their lives and learn to make changes that they want for themselves in their present and future lives.
To further develop our understanding of counselling, it is essential to debunk some myths about counselling.
Counselling is not:
- Helping and solving someone’s problem
- Only for weak students
- Directive Coaching (Making students dependent).
- Making promises to the client
- Providing advice without training
- Casual conversations
- Problem-Solving without exploration
- Providing medical diagnosis
In times of emotional turbulence, seeking guidance from a school counsellor is valuable. Their expertise provides a safe space to explore and address challenges. Remember, reaching out is a sign of strength, and professional support can make a profound difference in your well-being. Take that step towards a healthier, happier you. Finally, remember, self-discovery is a journey, not a destination. Embrace growth, face challenges, and be kind to yourself along the way.
Share with us, in the comments below, how this article helped you in building your understanding of counselling.
We extend our sincere thanks to Dr. Alka Saxena for inviting us to contribute to her blog and share our perspectives.
Sources: The Counselling Process and Strategies, Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations of Education, NCERT.
This guest article has been contributed by School Counsellors, Ms. Renu Khare, Ms. Prerna Karkhanis, and Ms. Komal Kathuria.