Comparison of Individual and Group Counselling

Individual and Obviously group counseling are helping relationships. The words helping relationship are usually used by counsellors, social workers, psychotherapists, and physicians to define their services. the phrase” helping relationship” which is easy to understand as help email to assist and aid while relationship means some personal connection or reference.

When counsellor uses this phrase, he means interaction with others so that he can facilitate the process in a positive way to improve the concerned persons. This phrase according to Shertzer and Stone (1980) include “many nurturing, and uplifting contacts among people “. In this, one person (counsellor) helps others person or persons (counselees) and this term is applied both to individual counselling and group counselling.

Characteristics of Helping Relationship:

Helping relationships is complex and not easy to be reduced into its components. Functions of helping relationship as suggested by different experts are:

  1. To provide relationship between counsellor and counseled.
  2. To provide alternatives in self-understanding and in the courses of action open to the client.
  3.  To provide for some degree of intervention with the situation in which client finds himself and with others important in client’s immediate life.
  4.  To provide leadership in developing process a healthy psychological environment for his clients.
  5.  To provide for improvement of the counselling process through individual self criticism and (for some counsellors) extensive attention for the improvement of process through research.

Goals of individual and group counseling:

Before we proceed onward, let us have a look at the goals of individual and group counselling. This will further clarify the similarities and differences Goals of individual counselling, according to Gerald Corey (1977) are:

  • To make unconsciousness conscious.
  • To reconstruct basic personality.
  • To provide safe climate conducive to client self-exploration.
  • To provide safe climate conducive to client self-exploration.
  • To enable the client to move towards openness to experience and greater trust in self.
  • To criminate clients maladepative behaviour pattern and assist the client in learning constructive patterns.
  • To assist the client in making value judgements about behaviour and in deciding on a plan of action for change.
  •  To assist client in gaining awareness of moment-to-moment experiencing.
  • To challenge the clientele to accept responsibility.
  • To assist client in becoming, self free. autonomous person.

Goals of group counselling:

  • To help each member of the group know and understand and to assist with identification seeking process.
  • To develop increased self-acceptance and feelings of personal growth.
  • To develop increased self-direction, solving problem and decision making abilities, and to transfer these abilities to use in the regular classroom and social contracts
  • To develop social skills and interpersonal abilities which enable one to cope with the developmental tasks in their personal social areas.
  • To develop sensitivity to the needs of others which results in increased recognition of responsibility for one’s behaviour, to become able to identify with the feeling of those significant others in our world as well as to develop a greater ability to be emphatic.
  • To learn to be an emphatic listener who hears not only what is said but also feelings which accompany what has been said, Everyone should be congruent with self, and be able to offer accurately what thinks and believes, to say one means to be a congruent sender.
  • To help each member to formulate specific goals for himself main objective of group counselling is to assist individuals in coming to fuller realization and acceptance of self and others. (Chauhuan. 1982).

Elements Of Group And Individual Counselling:

Elements of group counselling are the same as individual counselling. Distinction may be made in their logical sequence of occurrence as

  1. the establishment of the group
  2. Identification (group role, and goal)
  3. Productivity
  4. Realization
  5. Termination and evaluation.

Similarities Of Individual And Group Counselling:

counselling individual Functions as are well as of group helping counselling relationship. Some implies of the for similarities both types of individual of counselling and group i.e

  • Both types aim to assist the counselee to achieve self-direction. integration and self-responsibility.
  • Establishment of relationship is important in both types of counselling, when respect is accorded to the counselees, they feel free to examine their feelings and experiences, so both approaches strive to develop confidence in the ability of clients so that they may able to take responsibility of their choices.
  •  In both approaches these techniques are important: classification of feelings, reflection of feelings, restatement of the content, structuring, acceptances etc. The counsellor uses his skills to make counselee’s aware of his/ their feelings and attitudes. Counsellor can examine his feelings and clarify in better way.
  • Persons who have normal development problems participate in individual and group counselling process. Both approaches deal with common needs, interests. concerns and experiences of normal persons.  For each of two approaches, the individuals who participate need privacy, confidentiality, and trust so they can develop and use their resources.

Differences of individual and group counselling:

As there are common grounds between individual and group counselling, there
are some differences also. They are:

In group situation, persons have excellent chances to experience intimacy with others. Members may have reactions, the suggestions on alternative methods of behaving with each other. Counselee can get others’ perceptions of oneself in relation to other while this is not possible in individual counselling

In group counselling the counselee can receive help from other counselee and can help other counselee also. If the group is stable and cohesive, more mutual assistance can be made. This interaction helps the members to facilitate mutual expression of feelings and interpretation of meaning. In individual counselling, interaction between counselee and counselee does not exist. Only Interaction between counselee and counsellor exists which is similar in both approaches. The task of counsellor is more complicated in group counselling than individual counselling.

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