Counselling Skills

Title:   Discuss the ways in which counselling differs from other ways of helping.  

“Counselling is an activity freely entered into by the person seeking help, it offers the opportunity to identify things for the client themselves that are troubling or perplexing.   It is clearly and explicitly contracted and the boundaries of the relationship identified.   The activity itself is designed to help self-exploration and understanding.   The process should help to identify thoughts, emotions and behaviours that, once assessed, may offer the client a greater sense of personal resources and self-determined change.”   (Russell, Dexter and Bond, 1992.)
Counselling is voluntary; otherwise the client “may be exposed to the best efforts of expert counsellors for long periods of time, but what will happen will not be counselling.”   Other professions use counselling skills (nursing, social work) but are not counselling.   Good helping skills facilitate relationships, but interactions with the Police, Social Services or nurses are often determined by circumstance, not choice.   These professionals meet people in emotive situations and crises, and elicit information to provide a service.   The professional has an outcome leading them to use counselling skills.   Duration of a counselling relationship is more likely determined by the client, other professionals maintain involvement and support until they achieve their aims.   A counsellor has no personal or business aim from the interaction.
BAC (1984) identified the aim of counselling as “to give the ‘client’ an opportunity to explore, discover and clarify ways of living more satisfyingly and resourcefully.”  
Aims advertised by counselling services include ‘growth’, ‘self-actualisation’ and ‘potential’ – non-directional outcomes.   Teaching and medicine use helping skills to maximise their ability to impart knowledge, but have set knowledge to impart over a set time – they are delivered en-masse in a centralised fashion....