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What is counseling mean?
August 22, 2001
2:52 pm
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Windslasher
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To all

What is counseling mean in ur point of view. There is several different point of view out there. Could someone define in his/her view about it? I think it will be quite interesting to discuss about this.

Hope to hear from u soon.

Windslasher

August 22, 2001
11:14 pm
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stardreamer
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I think counseling means listening. Offering advice,or suggestions but still leaving it to the individual to chose for themselves. Not to be judgemental but just being a friend can help alot.

August 22, 2001
11:35 pm
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damaged
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stardreamer

The last I was told counselors can not be your friend. That is crossing the ethical line. For the most part we are just their jobs. However, I do feel they might care about our well being and hope we live a happy life. Just my opinion.

August 23, 2001
4:14 am
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proton
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Counseling is a process of helping individuals to understand themselves and to understand their world.

This process takes place through a temporary relationship between a counselor(or counselors) and a counselee(or counselees),through stages wherethere is an attempt to identify the problems of the counselee and the obstacles that hinder its solution and then identify goals that the counselee wants to reach. Then helping the counselee to achieve his/her goal(i.e. being more independent,quit smoking, minimisz depression,communicate effectively with partner,solve a conflict with someone,study more effectively,control agression impulses,minimize a phobia,manage time effectively,meet more people,minimize shyness,....etc).Then evaluate the whole process to be sure that there is progress as a result of counseling.

August 23, 2001
9:58 am
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Cici
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Different counseling styles probably grow from different psychological philosophy. I love humanistic psych, with Rogers' prinicple of unconditional positive regard, and Frankl's concept of self-created meaning, and Maslow's peak experience theory. In humanistic psych, being friends with someone seeking counseling from you is not out of the question, but different philosophies have different ethics, and in school we actually have to take counseling ethics classes where you go over different boundaries that you should try not to cross.

August 23, 2001
10:19 am
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ravenchild
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counseling is simply listening when someone needs some one to understand there way of looking at a problem whatever it may be and giving advise on how to find a way to make the situation better.

August 23, 2001
10:19 am
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ravenchild
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ps isnt that what we all do hear?

August 23, 2001
11:19 am
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Windslasher
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Thank all, it seem to get interest in these topic now. I do agree with all here. On top of what have been mention, I personally feel that understanding of self and other is also another main point of counseling.

Even through, counselor shouldn't be friend, they are someone who can be walking alone on your path for a time being. It sound to me that they are not like friends, director (in mean someone who direct), leader (someone who lead). What are they? They are having some character of these. They are someone who you gave a problem and they be trying to stand on the top and centre, trying to lead/direct the path of life, with ur choice. They are also a supportor behind like a good friend does. Am I right?

If there is any thing that hurt, I am sorry about it. Maybe u may like to explain more about ur view and there will be more people benefit in the future. Thank u very much.

August 23, 2001
11:21 am
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Windslasher
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Sorry, I mean walking along instead of alone in the second paragraph.

August 23, 2001
8:33 pm
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malaikau
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Just for the record, I do think that most counselors do take a personal interest in their clients, and it is more than just a "job". A good counselor chose the profession not for the money, but for the desire to be a part of others' change processes.

August 23, 2001
10:42 pm
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stardreamer
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A good counselor becomes a good friend sometimes, or a true friend can also be a good counselor. The ones that just take your money doesn't really do anything but listen and doesn't alway give direction. (just my thoughts)

August 24, 2001
12:05 pm
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Cici
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Well, being that I've been in school for almost 5 years in psychology, I have to say that I think counseling is a lot more than listening and being a good friend. That's why there are lisencing examinations in every state and in most every other country in the world. That's why I can't practice counseling right out of school, I have to go for another 1 1/2-2 years to get my Master's degree!

Maybe because I've spent so much time, money and effort, I kind of resent the fact that everyone thinks counseing is so easy and that everyone can do it. Everyone can be a friend, and can listen and help out and give advice, but counseling isn't just that. You have to learn different philosophies and approaches and take classes in ethics and research methods and do internships and you learn that it's so much more than what it appears to be on the surface.

August 24, 2001
8:30 pm
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Alena
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Cici, I agree with you. I have zip amount of classes in Psychology but I've been a "listening friend" all of my life. I can listen with the best of them and offer advice based solely on my experience, intuition, opinion, I can observe my friends and make a determination of how they may react to my advice or to the action they take because of it....but that's still not being a counselor. When I think about ALL the many different personalities out there and their subsequent disorders, I think I would be totally overwhelmed in trying to do the best for them because I don't have the tools I need to adequately help them. You have the tools, you're developing them now and in your many years of schooling. You will be properly armed to listen, be a friendly face and heart and then, most of all, you'll be able to advise in the best possible way for that individual. To me, that's the big difference. Actions, and their reactions due to your method of counseling....I don't think the average friend can do that. So, yeah, keep on keepin on, you're almost there kiddoo. My son is in about his umteenth year of psych and working and caring for a wife and baby and he's about ready to change his career to "would you like fries with that Happy Meal?"...... 🙂

August 26, 2001
1:21 pm
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Windslasher
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I do agree that a good counselor some time have to do more than what they are. But this also apply to most other jobs too.

Sometimes, I feel that counseling have the mix from jobs too. It sometimes like a sale person, who need to understand the need of their client. Also like human resource, there is a need to know a bit of a person's background too. There will be more if to contiune listing.

I don't really agree that we can't practise counseling once out from school. The most important point of counseling is that self understanding before even we can assist other. Which mean that on other hand, counseling is a daily life. I am currently studying counseling too and at the sametime, I had become a befriender on my own wish. This, in fact, help me to understand more about human behaviour.

What is base on book is only theory, in life, we will need to put it to practical. As for human, the more we contact, the better understand it is. It is experience that count here, but it will never be an end, don't u all agree? In fact, the more years of study also show the more theory & practical we are going through here, from study itself.

From art of war, there is a saying that: One who understand both sides, is the victory. One who don't understand either sides, is a 50% winning. As for those who dun understand both side, is the lose.

When we use this on other point of view in counseling, in work in somehow. This also show that understand, listening & even friending are important. If these are, may I ask, isn't these our normal growing stages?

If there is any point of views which hurt, I am sorry @ it. Hope to hear more from all of u. Thank you very much.

August 26, 2001
1:31 pm
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Windslasher
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In the 6 paragraphy, in work in somehow. It is "it work in somehow". Sorry about it.

August 29, 2001
3:23 pm
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Cici
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Well, practical experience is a necessity. Although most undergrad psych programs offer internships, most do not require them for credit. I opted to actually do an internship at a forensic mental hospital with violent male criminals. I would be hard-pressed to consider the residents I worked with "friends" in any way, being that many were murderers and rapists, but I put aside my bias and had to work with them to teach them life skills.

In any state in the U.S. there are licensure examinations to be a counselor, and each examination is different. So...in order to ethically practice counseling, NO you cannot practice right out of undergrad (pity the patient of that counselor, too).

Every graduate school I've looked at requires practicums and internships, which involve learning real-life counseling skills in a variety of settings.

Counseling is not part of every job. The prinicples of psychology are of course applicable in every setting where you must interact with other individuals, i.e. social psychology. BUT, it is inappropriate, I think, to counsel someone in the middle of a furniture showroom floor. Just my opinion.

August 29, 2001
11:04 pm
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Windslasher
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Thank, Cici, it is really seem to be more interesting.

I do admit with what u have mention, but somehow, even when you are having lunch with a group of your friends, you might apply some skills of what you have learn, am I right?

I do agree that it will be a pity for the patient. But on other hand, it will be forturate for the patient too. At least, they have been given a practical chance by that counselor, which also mean that they will be given chances to more area in life by different counselor, am I right?

At least, those who study in counseling/psych prog, will be having more stronger the skills of self awareness, am I right?? It will somehow be use in life.

By the way, all this is just my point of views. If there is any hurt, I am sorry about it. Hope to have more views on this topic. Thank you very much.

All the best to all.

Regards

Windslasher

September 1, 2001
6:17 am
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yc
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counseling is more than listening but help the counselee to raise his/her self esteem, be reponsible for choices and be own choice maker

September 2, 2001
1:05 am
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katemc
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Say for instance the counselor doesn't like his/her client. Do they put that aside and follow through with that individual or refer them to someone else? My coulselor is terrific. I travel 2 hours to see her. However, does she really give a crap about me or is she merely "doing her job?" I don't see why it's overstepping the boundries by becoming friends with them. It seems as though this is one of the few professions that frown upon it. I have become friends with teachers, professors, bosses,etc. and it has never been a problem yet. so, what is the difference? Also, when the termination approaches, do counselors feel sad to say goodby? Or are they trained not do attach themselves? One more question...who determines termination? Is it the client or the therapist? I would like to have some input. Thanks in advance for your help.

September 5, 2001
1:10 pm
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Windslasher
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katemc, I think this will usually depend on individual counselor. But as far as I know, they will usually refer to someone else. As for counselor, in usual practice, they will not be a friend to their client as it one of the rule. But till, we are human afterall, am I right? Counselor are also human too. It still left to the counselor decide too.

Does a doctor feel sad to say goodby too? Counselor are just like a emotion doctor in somehow. I have to admit that sometime, they do feel a bit bad about saying goodby too. It just need to be so as it is part of their job. In theory, they are not suppose to attach themselves, but as I mention, we are human afterall. We do have feeling also.

As for who determines termination, I can't give u a answer as I am not so sure too.

Thank you very much and hope that it will not hurt as it is only my point of view afterall.

September 5, 2001
1:16 pm
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pill
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Counseling is a trade. Trained just like anyone else: chef, seamstress, mechanic.

The counselor's job is to discern what we say and how we say it. Then, they hold up a mirror and ask if what we see is true. They might also let us borrow tools like books, exercises and they give us homework.

Counselors are not friends, that would cross the line of objectivity. They then couldn't do their job.

September 5, 2001
2:46 pm
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Cici
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ERGH! ARGH! UG!

Whether or not a counselor feels that it is ok to be a friend to the client depends on a variety of things. The first and foremost would be ethics. But equally important is the philosophy of counseling from which the practice.

Most practicing counselors nowadays are "ecclectic", picking from a variety of different philosophies. Some are purely pyschotherapists, basically Freudian. Some are gestalt therapists, some are humanistic psychologists, and each different philosophy carries with it a different set of protocols. Two years ago I took a class called "Psychology of Personality" where we reviewed at least 25 different philosophical approaches founded by big names in the field, Rogers, Maslow, Freud, Jung, Horney etc etc.

Recently I was reading a book called "Being Therapeutic", which was humanistic-based (my favorite philosophy...Carl Rogers, one of the founders, as well as Abraham Maslow, a contemporary and friend of his, actually did become friends with their clients, some of them developed rich and long-lasting friendships that endured for 25 years or more!). The book went over different humanistic therapeutic techniques and exercises to try out, and it was at once extremely challenging and very refreshing.

Part of your philosophical bendt comes from your upper division educational institution. My current unviersity, for instance, is definately more cognitive-behavioral, although most big-name universities tend more toward behavioral because it's easier to research.

A lot of laypeople forget that the biggest part of psychology, the part that takes up the majority of time and effort of the people who have degrees in the field, is research.

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