Why counselling is a process.

Stages of the counselling process.

Counselling typically helps bring about change.

The process begins with exploring the challenges a client faces before assisting them in resolving developmental and situational difficulties.

Therefore, the counselling process is a planned, structured dialogue between a counsellor and a client. It is a cooperative process in which a trained professional helps a person called the client to identify sources of difficulties or concerns that he or she is experiencing.

Together they develop ways to deal with and overcome these problems so that person has new skills and an increased understanding of themselves and others.

Stage 1- Relationship Building

Involves building a relationship and focuses on engaging clients to explore issues that directly affect them, The first interview is important because the client is reading the verbal and non-verbal messages and making inferences about the counsellor and the counselling situation. Is the counsellor able to empathise with the client? Does the client view the counsellor as genuine?

Stage 2- problem Assesment

While the counsellor and the client are in the process of establishing a relationship, a second process is taking place, i.e, problem assessment. This step involves the collection and clarification of information about the client’s life situation and the reasons for seeking counselling.

Stage 3- Goal Setting

Setting goals is very important to the success of counselling. It involves making a commitment to a set of conditions, to a course of action or outcome.

Step 4- Counselling Intervention     

There are different points of view concerning what a good counsellor should do with clients depending on the theoretical positions that the counsellor subscribes to. E.g, the person-centred approach suggests that the counsellor gets involved rather than intervenes by placing emphasis on the relationship. The behavioural approach attempts to initiate activities that help clients alter their behaviour.

Stage 5- Evaluation, Termination or Referral

For the beginning counsellor, it is difficult to think of terminating the counselling process, as they are more concerned with beginning the counselling process. However, all counselling aims toward successful termination. Terminating the counselling process will have to be conducted with sensitivity with the client knowing that it will have to end.  

Counselling helps clients by bringing much-needed change to their lives.

While personal and theoretical approaches may vary, a professional counsellor will typically begin by building a relationship with the client before understanding their situation and their reason for seeking help. They can then explore how to move forward and assist the client in changing their thinking, emotional responses, and behaviour.

Whether performed individually or as a group, empathy and a collaborative approach are crucial to therapeutic success. The stronger the relationship and the more committed and motivated the client, the more likely a robust and appropriate outcome is reached.

When successful, counselling offers the client the opportunity to change by establishing specific goals, improving their coping skills, promoting decision-making, and improving relationships across life domains 

Time spent gaining knowledge, training, and practising is vital to gaining the required skills for this challenging yet rewarding profession. In return, mental health professionals have the potential to help people in a wide variety of situations live more productive and satisfying lives.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article.                          

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