Counseling – The Act or Process of Giving Counsel

The process of assisting and guiding clients, especially by a trained person on a professional basis, to resolve personal, social, or psychological problems and difficulties a generic term that is used to cover the several processes of interviewing, testing, guiding, advising, etc. designed to help an individual solve problems, plan for the future, etc. Process – a systematic series of actions directed to one end a continuous action or series of changes taking place in a definite manner In counseling, there are many processes used by a counselor in his sessions with a client. These may be done in a specific order or however which way the counselor sees them to be appropriate. Listed below are the different processes that may be undertaken during a counseling session.

Before meeting a counselee, the counselor tries to find out as much as he can about the former. This is done so that he may discern what will help the client most. Also, he has to fathom the counselee’s past so that he will know beforehand how he can help him. The counselor and the counselee take some time to get to know each other. This is a process that works both ways, as does the entire counseling process upon which they are about to embark. In the process, the counselee’s needs are assessed and appropriate therapy may be chosen. Questionnaires or tests may be given to the counselee to prove or disprove the counselor’s initial findings. It may be too early to judge the counselee right away but this may help the counselor in the totality of the sessions.

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The counselor needs to determine, with greater accuracy, the nature of the emotion and experience that is behind the counselee’s current difficulties by further detailed examination of the latter’s history. Some of the issues and patterns raised in the questionnaires or tests may be raised and any relationships that may be analogous to initial observations may be noted with the behaviors and feelings involved. The counselor tries to give a summary of some of the findings and also some instruction regarding specific actions to be taken or thoughts that need to be changed. He may ask the client to compile a journal so that the latter may elaborate upon the area of emotion that he feels is central to his problems. The counselee may be asked to look in some detail at the problems he faces on a day-to-day basis and explore all the emotions that he feels are associated with these problems as they arise.

The counselor and the client look in some more detail at the problems reported and the emotions surrounding them. They are now better equipped to look in greater depth at the counselee’s problems. Relevant issues will be approached and any patterns that can be discerned are raised and related to the counselee’s background life and history as a whole. During the course of this process, major underlying driving factors are identified and these factors are often learnt as a result of past experiences. Role-playing may be used to help the counselee react to experiences that seem to bother him. The interaction will help the original experience to resurface and be better understood, enabling the counselee to learn from it and gain a better understanding of the emotional forces that have lead to his current feelings or behaviors.

The counselee should be active in the interpretation of raised issues. He should be able to provide explanations foe each emotion or behavior based on the insight he has gained to date. Progress may be discussed by the counselor and counselee and recommendations for the future may be made. Each session may be recorded for further reference. To summarize, the different counseling processes which may be used during counseling sessions are: initial assessment of the counselee by the counselor Counseling takes place on several levels. One level is where insight is the goal. Skills for life management are developed. Problem solving, negotiating, and communication skills are taught. Another level of counseling work is where relationship skills are developed. On this level, the relationship between the counselor and the counselee may become a representational model for the relationships the counselee has with other people.

The third level is counseling work which focuses on internal processes. This is where the deepest experiences, including painful and frightening unresolved conflicts may be encountered. This is where resolution occurs. Counseling works with many presenting issues including problems with communication, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, phobias, divorce and separation, death and dying, stress, child abuse, sexuality, relationships, parenting, fear, grief, anger and self-esteem. Many forms of therapeutic interventions are used such as talking, remembering, role-play, imagery, dialogue, sand tray, art, movement, behavioral modification, cognitive challenges, and more. Counselees are to work in whichever way seems to move them toward their goal. Together with the counselor, the latter can take steps toward the betterment of his existence.

There may be many steps and processes involved when a person is faced with difficulties in his life. He may know what to do. But more often than not, he may not. He may be able to work out his problems on his own and that is good. But if he cannot, then there are always counselors who are willing to help. The latter may help him choose the path he wants to take for the solution to his problems. If the counselee is determined enough, then any process will probably work. If not, then it will take additional work on both the counselor and the counselee’s part.


  1. Bootzin, Richard R., and Joan Ross Acocella. Abnormal Psychology. New York:
  2. Gormly, Anne V. Understanding Psychology. California: Glencoe/McGraw Hill, 1986.
  3. Hill, Clara E. Therapist Techniques and Client Outcomes. California: Sage
  4. Kalat, James W. Introduction to Psychology. California: Wadsworth Publishing
  5. Peake, Thomas H., Borduin, Charles M. and Robert P. Archer. Brief Psychotherapies
  6. Changing Frames of Mind. California: Sage Publications, 1988.


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Counseling – The Act or Process of Giving Counsel. (2018, Jul 04). Retrieved from