Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Dimensions of Counselling

As mentioned above, the term ‘counselling’ is used in a
number of ways. In order to define and understand the
meaning of counselling let’s know the each of these
First of all, counselling is viewed as a relationship. There
is consensus among all the counsellors that a good
counselling relationship is prerequisite to be effective
with clients. Some consellors regard the counselling
relationship as not only necessary, but sufficient for
constructive changes to occur in clients (Rogers, 1957).
One way to define counselling involves stipulating central
qualities of good counselling called the ‘core conditions’,
are empathic understanding, respect for clients’
potentials to lead their own lives and congruence or
genuineness. Those who view counselling predominantly
as a helping relationship tend to be adherents of the
theory and practice of person-centred counselling
(Rogers, 1961; Raskin and Rogers, 1995).
Secondly, counselling is viewed as a therapeutic
intervention. It is believed that a set of interventions are
required in addition to the relationship to bring
constructive changes in the person. These interventions
are counselling methods or helping strategies.
Counsellors, who have a repertoire of skills, assess and
decide of which intervention to use, with which client,
when and with what probability of success. These
interventions are based on the theoretical orientations
of the counsellors. For example, psychoanalytic
counsellors use psychoanalytic interventions, rational
emotive theory counsellors use rational emotive theory
related interventions and Gestalt counsellors use
Gestalt interventions. Some counsellors are eclectic and
use interventions derived from a variety of theoretical
Another dimension of counselling is that it is viewed as
a psychological process. Counselling is fundamentally
associated with psychology. There are number of reasons
for this association. First, the goals of counselling have
a mind component in them. In varying degrees, all
counselling approaches focus on altering how people
feel, think and act so that they may live their lives more
effectively. Counselling is not static, but involves
movement between and within the minds of both
counsellors and clients. Further, the underlying theories
from which conselling goals and interventions are
derived are psychological (Nelson-Jones, 1995). Many
of the leading counselling theorists have been
psychologists: Rogers and Ellis are important examples.
Most of the other leading theorists have been
psychiatrists: Beck and Berne.