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School of Distance EducationUNIVERSITY OF CALICUTSCHOOL OF DISTANCE EDUCATIONSTUDY MATERIALCore CourseB Sc Counselling PsychologyV SemesterBASICS OF COUNSELLING PSYCHOLOGYPrepared & Scrutinized byLayout:Prof. (Dr.) C. Jayan,Dept. of Psychology,University of Calicut.Computer Section, SDE ReservedBasics of Counselling PsychologyPage 2

School of Distance EducationContentsPage No.MODULE I5MODULE II10MODULE III18MODULE IV22MODULE V27Basics of Counselling PsychologyPage 3

School of Distance EducationBasics of Counselling PsychologyPage 4

School of Distance EducationMODULE IDefinition and features of counseling psychologyCounseling psychology is a psychological specialty that facilitates personaland interpersonal functioning across the life span with a focus on emotional,social, vocational, educational, health-related, developmental, and organizationalconcerns. Through the integration of theory, research, and practice, and with asensitivity to multicultural issues, this specialty encompasses a broad range ofpractices that help people improve their well-being, alleviate distress andmaladjustment, resolve crises, and increase their ability to live more highlyfunctioning lives. Counseling psychology is unique in its attention both to normaldevelopmental issues and to problems associated with physical, emotional, andmental disorders. Populations served by Counseling Psychologists includepersons of all ages and cultural backgroundsPurpose and goals of counselingThe main objective of counseling is to bring about a voluntary change inthe client. For this purpose the counselor provides facilities to help achieve thedesired change or make the suitable choice. The goal of counseling is to helpindividuals overcome their immediate problems and also to equip them to meetfuture problems. Counseling, to be meaningful has to be specific for each clientsince it involves his unique problems and expectations. The goals of counselingmay be described as immediate, long-range, and process goals. A statement ofgoals is not only important but also necessary, for it provides a sense of directionand purpose. Additionally it is necessary for a meaningful evaluation of theusefulness of it.The counselor has the goal of understanding the behavior, motivations,and feelings of the counselee. The counselor has the goals are not limited tounderstanding his clients. He has different goals at different levels of functioning.The immediate goal is to obtain relief for the client and the long-range goal is tomake him ‘a fully functioning person’. Both the immediate and long- term goalsare secured through what are known as mediate or process goals.Specific counseling goals are unique to each client and involve a consideration ofthe client’s expectations as well as the environmental aspects. Apart from thespecific goals, there are two categories of goals which are common to mostcounseling situations. These are identified as long-range and process goals. Thelatter have great significance. They shape the counselee and counselors’interrelations and behavior. The process goals comprise facilitating proceduresfor enhancing the effectiveness of counseling.Basics of Counselling PsychologyPage 5

School of Distance EducationThe general public tends to view counseling as a remedial function andemphasizes immediate goals, such as problem resolution, tension reduction, andthe like. Counselee may refer to the resolution of a particular conflict or problemsituation. However, the goals of counseling are appropriately concerned withsuch fundamental and basic aspects such as self-understanding and selfactualization. These help provide the counselee with self-direction and selfmotivation. Counseling in its spirit and essence is generative. It aims at assistingthe individual to develop such that he becomes psychologically mature and iscapable of realizing his potentialities optimally.Counseling has no magical solutions. The only meaningful, sensible andrealistic view of counseling is that it is not and cannot be everything toeverybody. It is concerned with helping individuals find realistic and workablesolutions to their problems by helping them gain an insight into themselves sothat they are able to utilize their own potentialities and opportunities and thusbecome self-sufficient, self-directed and self-actualized.Professional counselingProfessional counseling is the process whereby specially trained individualsprovide academic, career or vocational guidance, provide problem-solving supportand expertise, provide support and/or expertise specific to certain biologicalthreats, or provide support and expertise to individuals, families, andcommunities as they strive towards optimum wellness. The requirements to be aprofessional counselor vary from one continent to another and from onetownship/village to another. Professional counselors are different from traditionalsources of support or guidance in that they have received formal training andsupervision in the practice of providing support or guidance and adhere to clear,expert-defined standards of practice. These standards of practice are often calledCodes of Ethics.Counseling in IndiaCounselling needs in the Indian context emerge against the background oftremendous social change. In addition, the last ten years of economic reformhave enhanced the pace of these changes and further transformed life styles.Counselling services are poorly defined and presently anyone at all with little orno training can offer these services. Available counselling services are largelybased on Western approaches to psychology. These approaches have been widelycriticised as not being relevant to the Indian cultural context. A relevant andculturally valid counselling psychology therefore has remained a fledglingdiscipline. Psychological thought is not new to India, and ancient traditionspresent ideas and constructs that are rich in possibilities for application.Basics of Counselling PsychologyPage 6

School of Distance EducationEthical and Professional issues of counselingPrinciples direct attention to important ethical responsibilities. Eachprinciple is described below and is followed by examples of good practice thathave been developed in response to that principle.Ethical decisions that are strongly supported by one or more of theseprinciples without any contradiction from others may be regarded as reasonablywell founded. However, practitioners will encounter circumstances in which it isimpossible to reconcile all the applicable principles and choosing betweenprinciples may be required. A decision or course of action does not necessarilybecome unethical merely because it is contentious or other practitioners wouldhave reached different conclusions in similar circumstances. A practitioner’sobligation is to consider all the relevant circumstances with as much care as isreasonably possible and to be appropriately accountable for decisions made.Fidelity: honouring the trust placed in the practitionerBeing trustworthy is regarded as fundamental to understanding andresolving ethical issues. Practitioners who adopt this principle: act in accordancewith the trust placed in them; regard confidentiality as an obligation arising fromthe client’s trust; restrict any disclosure of confidential information about clientsto furthering the purposes for which it was originally disclosed.Autonomy: respect for the client’s right to be self-governingThis principle emphasizes the importance of the client’s commitment toparticipating in counselling or psychotherapy, usually on a voluntary basis.Practitioners who respect their clients’ autonomy: ensure accuracy in anyadvertising or information given in advance of services offered; seek freely givenand adequately informed consent; engage in explicit contracting in advance ofany commitment by the client; protect privacy; protect confidentiality; normallymake any disclosures of confidential information conditional on the consent ofthe person concerned; and inform the client in advance of foreseeable conflicts ofinterest or as soon as possible after such conflicts become apparent. Theprinciple of autonomy opposes the manipulation of clients against their will, evenfor beneficial social ends.Beneficence: a commitment to promoting the client’s well-beingThe principle of beneficence means acting in the best interests of the clientbased on professional assessment. It directs attention to working strictly withinone’s limits of competence and providing services on the basis of adequatetraining or experience. Ensuring that the client’s best interests are achievedrequires systematic monitoring of practice and outcomes by the best availablemeans. It is considered important that research and systematic reflection informpractice. There is an obligation to use regular and on-going supervision toenhance the quality of the services provided and to commit to updating practiceBasics of Counselling PsychologyPage 7

School of Distance Educationby continuing professional development. An obligation to act in the best interestsof a client may become paramount when working with clients whose capacity forautonomy is diminished because of immaturity, lack of understanding, extremedistress, serious disturbance or other significant personal constraints.Non-maleficence: a commitment to avoiding harm to the clientNon-maleficence involves: avoiding sexual, financial, emotional or anyother form of client exploitation; avoiding incompetence or malpractice; notproviding services when unfit to do so due to illness, personal circumstances orintoxication. The practitioner has an ethical responsibility to strive to mitigateany harm caused to a client even when the harm is unavoidable or unintended.Holding appropriate insurance may assist in restitution. Practitioners have apersonal responsibility to challenge, where appropriate, the incompetence ormalpractice of others; and to contribute to any investigation and/or adjudicationconcerning professional practice which falls below that of a reasonably competentpractitioner and/or risks bringing discredit upon the profession.Justice: the fair and impartial treatment of all clients and the provision ofadequate servicesThe principle of justice requires being just and fair to all clients andrespecting their human rights and dignity. It directs attention to consideringconscientiously any legal requirements and obligations, and remaining alert topotential conflicts between legal and ethical obligations. Justice in thedistribution of services requires the ability to determine impartially the provisionof services for clients and the allocation of services between clients. Acommitment to fairness requires the ability to appreciate differences betweenpeople and to be committed to equality of opportunity, and avoidingdiscrimination against people or groups contrary to their legitimate personal orsocial characteristics. Practitioners have a duty to strive to ensure a fair provisionof counselling and psychotherapy services, accessible and appropriate to theneeds of potential clients.Self-respect: fostering the practitioner’s self-knowsledge and care for selfThe principle of self-respect means that the practitioner appropriatelyapplies all the above principles as entitlements for self. This includes seekingcounselling or therapy and other opportunities for personal development asrequired. There is an ethical responsibility to use supervision for appropriatepersonal and professional support and development, and to seek training andother opportunities for continuing professional development. Guarding againstfinancial liabilities arising from work undertaken usually requires obtainingappropriate insurance. The principle of self-respect encourages activeengagement in life-enhancing activities and relationships that are independent ofrelationships in counselling or psychotherapy.Basics of Counselling PsychologyPage 8

School of Distance EducationTransferenceTransference is a concept in psychoanalysis that owes its origin and use toSigmund Freud. It defines the unconscious revival of past psychologicalexperiences with objects and other persons such as figures of authority (e.g.parents). The process involves the projection of these attitudes and feelings fromearlier life into other people-such as the physician in cases of a counselingrelationship set up. It may be termed as the patient’s active effort to re-enact orrevive these attitudes and feelings from the past as though they belonged to thepresent time-time of analysis.Counter-transferenceCounter-transference in analysts can be demonstrated by situations whichan analyst begins to feel excessively sympathetic to the client concerning howother people treat the client. This kind of sympathetic feelings may lead toempathy which may impel the analyst to do something active for the client suchas offering suggestions or advice.Failure to obtain informed consentFailure to obtain legal consent is an issue that is related to counseling andpsychotherapy, especially; in the management of the client’s records. This issueis closely related to client abandonment and cessation of practice. A practitionerwhether still practicing or not, still has an ethical and legal obligation to maintainthe records of his clients in confidentiality and adhere to obtaining of legalconsent in the securing and disposition of a client’s records .Basics of Counselling PsychologyPage 9

School of Distance EducationMODULE IIPRACTICAL SKILLS OF A COUNSELORThe pattern of sessions has a predictable rhythm with an introduction,information gathering, discussion and a conclusion.Active listening happens when you "listen for meaning". The listener says verylittle but conveys much interest. The listener only speaks to find out if astatement (or two or twenty) has been correctly heard and understood.Body language takes into account our facial expressions, angle of our body,proximity of ourself to another, placement of arms and legs, and so much more.Notice how much can be expressed by raising and lowering your eyebrows.You need to monitor the tone of your voice - in the same way that you monitoryour body language. Remember, the person may not remember what was said,but they will remember how you made them feel.An open question is one that is used in order to gathering lots of information –you ask it with the intent of getting a long answer. A closed question is one usedto gather specific information - it can normally be answered with either a singleword or a short phrase. Good counseling techniques to know.Paraphrasing is when you restate what the speaker said. Often different worksare used and the listener may be using this to draw attention to a particularconcern or aspect. Sometimes paraphrasing is used to clarify.Summarizing is focusing on the main points of a presentation or conversation inorder to highlight them. At the same time you are giving the “gist”, you arechecking to see if you are accurate.Notetaking is the practice of writing down pieces of information, often in anshorthand and messy manner. The listener needs to be discreet and not disturbthe flow of thought, speech or body language of the speaker.Homework: When the person identifies a need or concern, she or he must bewilling to work hard at addressing it.Ethical standards of counselorsThe concept of ethical standards in counselling is mentioned to indicatethat there are indeed certain ways of doing things counselling ways which are inline with what is expected of a professional person on the job. What a counsellorsays and does in counselling should be fully in line in the provision of the law. Apracticing counselor is required to see that all his behaviour within the context ofcounselling functions are in line with the ethical standards of the profession.Basics of Counselling PsychologyPage 10

School of Distance EducationPersonal qualities to which counselors and psychotherapists are stronglyencouraged to aspire include:Empathy: The ability to communicate understanding of another person’sexperience from that person’s perspective.Sincerity: A personal commitment to consistency between what is professed andwhat is done.Integrity: Commitment to being moral in dealings with others, personal straightforwardness, honesty and coherence.Resilience: The capacity to work with the client’s concerns without beingpersonally diminished.Respect: Showing appropriate esteem to others and their understanding ofthemselves.Humility: The ability to asses accurately and acknowledge one’s own strengthsand weakness.Competence: The effective deployment of the skills and knowledge needed to dowhat is required.Fairness: The consistent application of appropriate criteria to inform decisionsand actions.Wisdom: Possession of sound judgment that inform practice.Courage: The capacity to act in spite of known fears, risks and uncertainty.Legal consideration of counselorsCounselors need to know that there are occasions when their misconductor omission in the exercise of counselling may very well be actionable by theiraggrieved clients and that occasions do exist too, when certain things they maydo in counselling can be adjudged as unethical and which in cases of seriousdimensions of misconduct may warrant their being proscribed from practicingcounsellingThe law about confidential relationship and privileged communications incounseling: Shertzer and Stone (1980) said counselee usually reveal intimate,personal and painful experiences with the assumption that others will not haveaccess to their disclosure without their express consent. This means that aconfidential relationship exists making the professional person involved tobecome obliged to protect the best interests of the client by maintaining it.Basics of Counselling PsychologyPage 11

School of Distance EducationThe obligation here does not have only an ethical connotation but even alegal implication. What the law appears to require in this case is that theprofessional is not to disclose information shown to him under the setting of oneto-one counselling and also to maintain the professional confidence reposed onhim in such relationship. The counselor is not to disclose such a confidentialinformation (even where accurate) to individual not entitled to it. Also everythingabout the relationship in written records must be accurately done and stronglysafeguarded.However, the confidentiality of information revealed in counselling is indeednot absolute per SE. This is because the disclosure of facts relevant to a litigatedissue usually takes precedence over confidentiality in counselling. Privilegedcommunication is assumed to be almost absolute, the communication is usuallyknown to lose its protection where it is discovered that it is for furtherance ofcrime or fraud.That means counselors may be required to testify to knowledge they derivefrom their professional relationships with their clients.The law about confidentiality of counseling information in group therapy:One may want to ask whether the sanctity of information revealed in the contextof one-to-one counselling relationship also applies to information revealed in thecontext of group guidance and counselling. In group counselling or therapy, theprotection of privileged communication cannot be said to exist since under sucha relationship, the presence of a third parry is involved.If the information to be concealed is already a shared information that is bypersons that make up the group then the court is qualified to address asubpoena to get it testified especially where in doing so, the greater interest ofjustice is likely furthered. Counselors keep information revealed in group therapyfor ethical reasons rather than legal considerations.The law

such fundamental and basic aspects such as self-understanding and self-actualization. These help provide the counselee with self-direction and self-motivation. Counseling in its spirit and essence is generative. It aims at assisting the individual to develop such that he becomes psychologically mature and is capable of realizing his potentialities optimally. Counseling has no magical solutions .

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