The many schools of counseling stress different ideas in approaching a patient’s problems. Since the aim, td counseling is basically the same, improved adjustment for the patient, there must be major areas of similarity that cross theories. There are four major principles that are common to all counseling systems:
1. Acceptance. To be effective, all counselors must accept the patient and his problems. Some problems are not amenable to counseling and some individuals will not profit from counseling. The counselor must evaluate the patient and his problems and decide if there is a reasonable prognosis for success. Then, the counselor must accept the patient and his needs in a positive, genuine manner.
3. Learning. Counseling involves learning, either directly taught by the counselor or indirectly deduced by the patient. The learning process offers the patient new ways to deal with his problems or to adjust to his environment.
4. Thinking with the individual Even in very directive approaches. the counselor really thinks with the patient in helping develop new approaches to problems. Only by seeing the situation front the patient’s point of view can the counselor select the most effective way to deal with the problem.
The main difference between the various systems of counseling lies in their degree and use of authority. The directive or interpretative functions of the counselor vary from the totally nondirective Rogerion system to highly authoritarian, behavioristic counseling systems.
The successful application of counseling should help the counselee understand himself better and develop a greater capacity for self guidance as a result of an effective learning experience.
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