Counselling is a developing area of work in an increasingly complex world. It is best defined as the skill of helping normal people, through discussion, to decide how best to scope in specific situations. Counsellor’s client groups are diverse: they could be young couples requiring marriage guidance and counselling, younger people with emotional problems, people in stressful jobs, patients in a hospital, students or those seeking employment.
Counsellors assist people with personal, family, educational, mental health and career decisions and problems. Their duties and responsibilities, therefore, depend upon the individuals whom they serve and the setting in which they work.
Nature of Work
Buy listening attentively and without passing judgement the counsellor gives client the opportunity to explore, discover and clarify how and why they (the clients) feel as they do. The clients may then be able to make choices and decisions about their situation which they were incapable of making while psychotherapists may try to change patient’s personalities, or at least their attitudes, sometimes over a long period, counsellors tend it deal with more immediate, often practical problems such as alcohol addiction, marriage problems, or career indecisions. However, psychotherapists’ and counsellors’ work may overlap or they similar methods.
School counsellors help students understand and deal with their social, behavioural and personal problems.
Career counsellors help students evaluate their abilities, interests, talents and personality characteristics so that they can develop realistic academic and career goals. They use interviews, counselling sessions, tests or other methods when evaluating and advising students. They may operate career information centres and career education programmes. Helping students to develop job-finding skills such as resume writing and interviewing techniques and assisting them in job hunting and career development techniques falls under the purview of the career counsellor.
Rehabilitation counsellors evaluate the strength and limitations of evaluate the strengths and limitations of individuals, provide both personal and vocational counselling and may arrange for medical care, vocational training and job placement. The goal is to help the patient lead a more independent and satisfying life.
Mental Health counsellors help patients deal with addiction, suicide, stress management, marital problems, family, parenting, all sorts of emotional health and family problems.
Employment counsellors explore and evaluate the client's education, training, work history, interests, skills and personality traits, and may arrange for aptitude and achievement tests. They may assist clients in locating and applying for jobs.
Counsellors work in many settings. In addition to schools, colleges and universities, counsellors work in a wide variety of public and private establishments. These include health care facilities, job training, career development and vocational rehabilitation centres, social agencies, correctional institutions, remand homes for juvenile delinquents, homes for the aged and the disabled. Orgall1sahons engaged in community development and social change, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres, central and state government agencies also require the services of counsellors. Apart from the formal employment sector, there is ample scope for counsellors to set up their private consulting practice (Usually after sufficient work experience in the organised employment sector).
School Counsellors consult and work with parents, teachers and maybe social workers (in specific cases)
In school/college settings Career Counsellors are concerned with expanding the number of opportunities for students and encouraging them to make good choices.
Rehabilitation Counsellors help people deal with the personal, social and vocational effects of their disbilities.
Mental Health Counsellors emphasise prevention and work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental health. They may work closely with psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, and social workers too.
Employment Counsellors help individuals make wise career decisions.
Physical and Psychological Requirements
Persons interested in counselling should have a strong interest in helping others and the ability to inspire respect, trust and confidence. Other traits to build up include a detached interest in
individuals' and communities' behaviour rather than a personal involvement; an interest w scientific method; the ability to work well on one's own, but also to work as part of a team and t cooperate with people from different backgrounds; excellent communication skills; patience, and when working with children and young people, especially, a warm and easy manner.
Counsellors have to be creative people with ingenuity. Tact, sensitivity and warmth are helpful in this career
There could be various routes for entry into this profession. Education and training are available in the departments of education, psychology or social work. While a Master's degree in any of these fields is helpful to get into the profession, it merely constitutes the base. For a long-term career in any of the counselling fields with adequate advancement options, it is best to plan for a doctoral programme or post diploma training after the Master's degree.
To get into the field of Educational/ Vocational/ Career Counselling you could pursue a master's degree programme in Psychology at a university, which offers specialisation in Educational/ Vocational Counselling. The other option is to take up MEd (Master of Education) after a BEd in a university at which Educational and Vocational Counselling is offered as a specialisation. There is the option of taking up a postgraduate diploma course in Guidance & Counselling at the National Council for Educational Research & Training (NCERT), New Delhi
If an individual opts for education and training in Psychology with specialisation in Clinical Psychology, that could be one way of getting to be a Mental Health Counsellor with the right type of practical internship during the Master's degree programme. You could also opt for a Master's degree programme in Social Work and opt for a specialisation such as Medical and Psychiatric Social Work. As part of the specialisation you are exposed to the social aspects of illness, care and. rehabilitation with inputs on communication and its application in the field of health. Thereafter, there is theory and practice of therapeutic work with individuals, families and groups, exposure to psychiatry to understand the psychopathology of mental disorders and so on.
When it comes to working with inmates of remand homes and other correctional institutions both a clinical psychologist or one who has specialised in Psychology with Criminological and Legal Psychology could be called upon or a Social Work Master's degree holder who has specialised ii Criminology & Correctional Administration.
Rehabilitation Counsellors could be Psychologists with specialisation in the Clinical' Occupational/Medical Psychology. Of course, there are also those rehabilitation professionals w) specialise in Special Education but they normally associate with the Psychologist in extending tr counselling facility
School Counsellors who deal with the social, emotional and learning difficulties of schoolchildren are normally qualified psychologists who have specialised in Educational or C Psychology, they could easily be clinical or social psychologists. Specialisation in Child Development in a Home Science programme can also lead to related work.
In marriage and family counselling or guidance centres you would find either a Psychologist (clinical or social, etc.) or a Social Worker with a specialisation in Family and Child Welfare.
There are also 1-year Diplomas in Guidance and Counselling for graduates in various universities in India. Prior study in psychology as a major/honours subject at the graduation or a teaching degree may be an advantage for admission to such courses.
There is ample scope for productive employment in the profession. The government, defence services, the corporate healthcare sector and NGOs and other social development agencies offer openings. There is also scope for these professionals to focus on teaching, research, or consutting.
A growing number of people are expected to use the services of counsellors as society focuses on ways of developing mental well-being, seek proper career direction and exploration, and appreciate the need for the absorption of the disabled into productive occupations that make them independent. Self-employed counsellors with well-established practices and counsellors employed by private agencies tend to have higher earnings.
Entry point salaries depend upon the level and employer. Teaching faculty in universities start off with approximately Rs. 8,500 as also those in government officer cadre jobs. Counsellors in the social sector may earn less while counsellors in the corporate sector may start with five figure salaries.
Advancement in the profession would primarily mean moving on to supervisory and administrative responsibilities. Years of rich experience allow a counsellor to grow and there can be a lot of consulting and advisory positions they are required to hold.
Prospects for career progression tend to vary with the field of specialisation. School Counsellors may move on to bigger schools and career counsellors to set up their own counselling centre. Rehabilitation Counsellors may advance to head the institution or centre. Many counsellors set up group practice.
British Association for Counselling, 1 Regent Place, Rugby, Warwickshire CV21 2PJ
The Institute of Careers Guidance, 27a Lower High Street, Stourbridge, West Midlands DY8 1TA
American counselling Association, 5999 Stevenson Ave., Alexandria, VA 22304-3300
National Board for Certified Counsellors Inc., 3 Terrace Way, Suite D, Greensboro, NC 27403-3660 www.nbcc.org
LIST OF TRAINING INSTITUTIONS
P.O Annamalai Nagar 608002
Tamilnadu [estd. 1929]
Phone: 38259, 38283
Diploma in Guidance & Counselling
Regional institute of education, Bhopal 462013
1 year PG diploma in guidance & counselling
55% in Master’s degree in psychology/education [candidates belonging to M.P., Maharashtra. Gujarat, goa, union territories of daman, diu and dadra & nagar haveli may apply. Candidates from northern region may also apply]
Sector – 14,
Chandigarh 160014 [estd. 1947]
PhoneL 541945, 541716
Masters in education (MEd). Guidance & counselling [optional] diploma in Guidance & Counselling
Graduation or Bed
University of Madras,
Centenary Building Chepauk,
Tamilnadu [estd. 1857]
Phone: 2568778 [10 lines]
Diploma in Guidance & Counselling
4 weeks certificate career guidance & counselling
Graduate teachers if higher secondary schools
Mahatma Gandhi chitrakoot
Madhya pradesh [estd. 1991]
1 year PG diploma in guidance & counselling
Karnataka [estd. 1949]
1 year diploma counselling
MA in Psychology
169 ravindra nathtagore marg,
Madhya pradesh [estd. 1964]
Masters in education (MEd). [Vocational guidance as an optional]
Rani durgavati vishwavidyalaya,
Madhya pradesh [estd. 1957]
Phone: 321452, 320785
1 year diploma in guidance & counselling
MA in Psychology/Master in Education (MEd)
University of Mumbai, M.G. Road, Fort, Mumbai 400032,
Maharashtra [estd. 1857]
1 year diploma in counselling
Graduation/ Post graduation preferably with psychology
Sndt women’s universith,
1 nathibai thakersey road,
Maharashtra [estd. 1951
Masters in education (Med). Specialisation in guidance & counselling.
Regional institute of education, Mysore 462013
1 year PG diploma in guidance & counselling
55% in Master’s degree in psychology/education [admission are restricted to candidates passing the qualifying examination from institution situated in the southern region]
National council of educational
Research & training,
Sri Aurobindo Marg,
New Delhi 110016
Post-Graduate Diploma course in Guidance & Counselling
Ma in psychology or masters in. education with at least 55% marks.
Himachal pradesh university,
Himachal pradesh [estd. 1970]
Phone: 230890, 231321
1 & 2 year diploma in guidance & counselling
Graduation/ equivalent teaching degree/ psychology background maybe given preference
The Maharaja Sayajirao
University of Baroda,
Opp. Drug Laboratory,
Shastri Bridge Road, Fatehganj,
Gujarat [estd. 1949]
Phone: 795600, 795521
Masters in education (MEd). Guidance & counselling [as an optional]
Ba special education/ bed/bsc home science
Also refer chapters
Teaching for other master in education (Med) courses
Masters in education (MEd) curriculum offer guidance & counselling as an optional/specialisation.
Psychology: counselling or vocational or educational psychology can be specialisations.
Social work: social/rehabilitation counselling.