Importance of Guidance and Counselling
| Prof. Dr.Pratik Rajan Mungekar - 16 Mar 2023

The idea of guidance dates back a long time and is as old as human civilization. In the past, family elders guided young people, and the family priest assisted those in need. In India, people still use this method to get personal, professional, educational, and political advice from the family priest, significant family elders, palmists, astrologers, and numerologists. Frank Parsons' work in Boston, USA, led to the development of guidance as a structured professional activity in 1905. He was a pioneer in the American guidance movement thanks to his efforts to locate the Vocation Bureau and author of the classic "Choosing a Vocation." Pearson was followed by several social reformers who contributed to the guidance movement. Over the past four decades, guidance as an organized professional activity in India has existed.

We have observed that more experienced individuals have been guiding inexperienced or less experienced individuals from the beginning. However, there was limited guidance available at the time, and life was also simpler than it is today. Guidance has become an essential component for better adjustment in today's complexities, necessitating the services of specialized individuals to assist individuals in adjusting to social realities and living happy lives. Unstructured and informal guidance was present everywhere and at all levels, and it has played a crucial role in a variety of fields, particularly education.

There have been numerous interpretations and definitions of counseling.

The "helping relationship that includes – a) someone seeking help, b) someone willing to give help who is capable or trained to help, and c) a setting that permits help to be given and received" is what Cormier and Hackney (1987) define as counseling.

Arbuckle has made three observations regarding counseling. These are:

a) Counseling is a relationship-based process.

b) The fundamental objective of counseling is to assist the client in independently resolving his or her issues.

c) Counseling is a professional occupation performed by trained professionals.

What counseling is not will be made abundantly clear by the following points. 

What is not counseling:

Even though the information may be present, counseling does not consist solely of providing information. Counseling does not consist of providing advice. Counseling does not consist of influencing the clients' values, attitudes, beliefs, interests, or decisions, either with or without the use of physical force. Counseling does not consist of interviewing, even though interviewing is involved.

As a result, the main goal of counseling is to make the client change on their own.

Individual counseling and group counseling are two options. Counseling for an individual is done in person, while counseling for a group is done with a group of people. Adolescents can benefit from group counseling when it comes to addressing issues related to peer influence.

Who ought to seek counseling?

Have you ever sought advice from a teacher or an older member of your family? If so, can you recall the incident and describe how it went?

All of us, regardless of our age, sex, or profession, have utilized the assistance of our elders, teachers, and friends to resolve various issues. However, you may have encountered circumstances in which you felt the need for professional assistance or the assistance of a trained and experienced individual, such as a counselor. If we are unable to solve a problem and are unable to carry on with our day-to-day activities as a result, we can seek professional assistance. Counseling is beneficial for everyone, provided that we require such expert assistance. Counseling can also help people who have lost a loved one or are battling a terminal illness come to terms with death and bereavement. This can be an important part of the healing process. For specific needs, such as educational, career, family, personal, and marriage counseling, specialists are available. When people want to talk about their feelings and get advice from others in a similar situation, like disaster victims and survivors, group counseling is a good option.

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