Counseling can be viewed as relationship between two individuals, a counselor and a client, with the aim of helping the client overcome a problem or reduce adversary/suffering . In this relationship, the assumption is that the client is in a problem and needs assistance, while the counselor is experienced and possesses unconditional positive regard to the client. Therefore, counseling may also be regarded as a helping profession because it aims at helping the clients deal with the problems they face.
A counselor is the person who offers services of counseling and is a professional who has undergone training to acquire the skills and competency to do the job. The client or counselee is the person faced with a certain problem and needs help so that he/she may be helped to restore his/her functioning capacity. The goal of counseling is to establish a good relationship between the counselor and the counselee so that the problem facing the client may be easily solved. There are various kinds of counseling e. g. ehavioral counseling, career counseling, mental health counseling etc. However, each counselor may apply different style, approach or theory, depending on the case; with the overall objective of solving the problem. A school counselor: This is the person who offers counseling services in a school setting mostly to students and even staff and non-teaching staff. Most of students in schools may be children or adolescents. In such a setting, the counselor may go about the process as per the following: The counselor may use a systems approach to counseling.
This approach means that the counselor focuses on the totality of the environment surrounding the student, which may be described as a system. The stressors to the adolescents may be physical, emotional sexual, financial or sociological. The counselor should pay attention to all these aspects because they are interrelated and therefore need to be considered in the process of solving the problem. Ignoring one aspect may lead to a poor understanding of the problem or use of the wrong strategy by the counselor which eventually does not solve the problem.
School counselors could apply an holistic leadership style in there operation by designing programs which ensure a good environment for learning e. g. clubs for various groups and a variety of leisure activities for the students while in and out of school. They can also work with the school administration to provide financial support to students with financial problems. They could also champion for the respect of students and parents as well as social justice for the students within the school environment. In counseling, theory is used as a frame of reference by the counselor in his/her operation.
It gives insight to the counselor and directs his/her action during the intervention process. There are many theories in counseling and each is applied in a different situations. For a school counselor, cognitive behavioral theory/therapy can be applicable. This theory suggests that individuals thinking patterns may cause disturbance in their minds, then affect their behavior. The idea therefore is to replace the negative thoughts which cause negative behavior with positive ones which bring meaning to life and are accompanied by positive/good behavior.
In this regard therefore, the counselor lays a lot of emphasis on the mind sets of the students and tries to influence positive thinking, so as to improve behavior. A mental health and substance abuse counselor This is a person who does the work of counseling individual, families, couples and groups to help them optimize their wellbeing and mental health. In their operations, they help their clients deal with a wide range of problems e. g. suicidal tendencies, depression, drug and substance use, conflicts and lack of peace of mind with in oneself. Mental health counselors use a holistic approach in their intervention.
They focus on the person’s external environment in terms of social, political and economic as well as the person’s physical, emotional and mental health. By doing this, they are able to integrate both the internal and external environments to the individual with an aim of harmonizing them so as to achieve a good state of mind for the individual to function properly. The mental health counselor is more professional in style because they rely on information which they collect through interviewing, observation and some tests to the clients. They may also give the clients some home work to do. The process may therefore be participatory.
They may also do home visits and do some evaluation of the clients while at their place of residence, as well as referrals of the clients to other professionals. They do a lot of documentation of the records for their clients In comparison, it is evident that the two are holistic in their approach. They both understand the importance of dealing with a system, which has got several parts, rather than dealing with a single part. They both focus on the physical, social, psychological and external environment to the clients so as to harmonize everything because every part is depended on the other.
They are also guided by similar philosophies in their intervention, in which they put the client interest first, and everything is done for the best interest of the client in order to bring healing on the part of the client However, all counselors differ in their style. Depending of what kind of counseling one may choose it is up to the professional to alter their skills and methods to accommodate their client. I would love to help a child in need by providing the best from of counseling I could to better them as a person and help them become a productive member of society.