How Counselling is different from Guidance

Counselling typically offers support to normal individuals with educational, occupational, marital, or other adjustment problems. It is seen as a process that assists individuals in learning about themselves, about their environment, and the way to handle their roles and relationship. It is an applied field where a counselor uses behavioral knowledge to assist the student. Tylor (1969) a renowned scholar points out that counseling is the word that everyone seems to understand but no two people understand it exactly in the same way. It is applied social science which utilizes the knowledge gained from psychology, sociology. cultural anthropology, education, economics, and philosophy so it is inter-disciplinary in its very nature..

Counseling is the relationship between a professionally trained and competent counselor and individual seeking help in gaining greater self-understanding so that he can improve decision-making skills for problem resolution and developmental growth. Counseling helps to facilitate wise choices on which a person’s later development depends, so it helps in an individual’s optimum development and well-being.
Counselling has the following three common goals:

  1. Self-exploration
  2. Self-understanding
  3. Behavior change

These goals can be achieved only il counseling has the following ingredients:

  1. Positive regarding
  2. Authenticity
  3. Empathy

The above three components help in establishing a relationship between counselor and consultee. Counseling is primarily associated with specific kinds of work settings and professional functions-like:

  • A scientific approach is adopted.
  • Focus on individuals. special attention is given to nurturing personal potential. Human development is emphasized vs, educational decisions. Occupational choices, and interpersonal adjustment.
  • Specific professional competencies are necessary in addition to competencies required by professionals.
  • Struggle over a professional identity

For a comprehensive definition, let us study Warner (1980) According to him. To define goals by individual counseling is also seen as” therapeutic and growth process,   and solve problems which are related to personal social, educational and career concerns. Specialized counseling provides assistance which is related to physical and social rehabilitation, employment. religious and value choices, career development, and other concerns.

“Counselling is a learning process carried on in a one-to-one social environment. In this process, a counselor seeks, to assist the client by the methods appropriate to the client’s need and within the context of the total personal program. to help the client to understand himself to learn how to put such understanding into effect in relation to more clearly perceived, and realistically defined goals. As a result, the client may become happier and a more productive member of his society.

Counseling is a part of the guidance. if we analyze various definitions of guidance. we can easily locale some basic elements in them. Strange (1970) defines  Guidance as a process, not as a result. Learning how to solve problems is more important than the solution to a specific problem. Thus guidance is a learning process. Guidance, founded over the principles of conservation of human life human needs, is a process, not an end. Learning the way in solving problems is most important than the real solution of the specific problems. According to Aubrey as quoted by Pietrofesa et al. (1980) Guidance is “… a comprehensive system of functions, services, and programs in school also designed to affect the development of persons and psychological competencies of students..

As an educational concept, guidance is the sum total of planned experiences for students designed to achieve such developmental educational outcomes. As an educational service, guidance is like teaching. Teaching is a process that consists of a number of functions and operations to be utilized by students in attaining developmental and educational outcomes”.

There are two basic elements in these definitions.  The first is that the focus of the guidance is on human development, Second is making appropriate choices. One can evolve the concept of guidance as a concept that is grounded in the belief of human worth and dignity and designed to facilitate maximum function. It is usually not a single setting service but a series of several services offered by a professional or professionals in a variety of settings. Guidance is a process to help children learn about selves, others, and circumstances. According to Alec (1990), successful guidance depends upon the following.

  1. Knowing the kind of help the individual child requires.
  2. Providing help a child needs at a given time.
  3. Strategic timing of help.
  4. Available amount and quality of resources for use in providing help.
  5. Qualification of those who give the help.


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