We have all heard the terms ‘guidance’ and ‘counseling’ at some point. But what do they mean exactly? Are they two different words for the same thing or are they entirely different? And if you feel like you need psychological help, who should you turn to: a guide or a counselor? Continue reading for the answers to these questions.
What is guidance and counselling? Guidance and counseling definition is a process through which a person can receive help in personal, emotional and professional development with the help of a professional. Guidance counselor is usually the person (at school or university) that helps students find their way in life by giving personal and career advice.
What is guidance?
First of all, let’s define the term ‘guidance’. It is usually used to describe the process through which one person (usually with more knowledge and experience) helps another in finding the right path. Guidance is most often used in education as a way to help students find their calling by carefully weighing the available resources, the pros and cons, and by considering the untapped potential that is waiting to be used.
Throughout the course of our lives, a lot of people take on the form of guides: parents, teachers, professors at the universities. However, there are people whose sole job is guidance. To be a guide, you should have at least basic knowledge of human psychology and be able to listen to and analyze the information your client gives you.
Guidance helps people find their place in society, gives answers to pressing questions and points each person in the right direction. Most of us have needed some guidance in any shape or form at some point in our lives. Be it help with choosing the right university and future profession or distinguishing right from wrong.
What is counselling?
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Introduced after World War II as a means of helping people cope with their new realities, counseling became a form of psychological help. By definition, it is a therapeutic conversation between a client and a counselor, which helps the former resolve their psychological problems and barriers with the help of the latter.
Counseling is mostly meant to help people deal with their mental issues. Not just anyone can help with that. To become a counselor, you need extensive training in the field of psychology and a natural predisposition to help people.
A good counselor should be able to gently steer their client towards the answer and help them on the way toward their personal growth and inner peace, with no judgement or subjectivity. They should also aid the client by presenting a different point of view, so that the person could look at themselves from a different perspective.
What is the difference between guidance and counselling?
While both of these things are meant to help people find the answers and resolve their issues, there are five main differences between guidance and counselling:
⚹ A guidance session usually involves a guide listening to the clients problems and providing an available solution or advice. In a counseling session, the client tries to figure out the answer on their own using the counselor’s expertise.
⚹ Guidance is mostly a back-and-forth dialogue: the client shares their concerns, and the guide provides them with answers right away. Whereas counseling is usually a monologue from the client, during which the counselor considers the remarks that they provide in the end.
⚹ Guidance helps to find the answers to practical questions, like what job to choose, or how to excel in the chosen specialty. Counseling deals with emotional issues: why you feel how you feel and how to deal with it.
⚹ Guidance has a preventive approach: it tries to teach a person what not to do to avoid unwanted situations. Counseling deals with already existing problems and works on resolving them.
⚹ Guidance session can involve one or more people and is open. Counseling session is always one-on-one and strictly confidential.
Both guidance and counselling are important tools in shaping a person and maintaining that shape throughout their life. Everyone needs a willing ear to vent all of their problems to, but it is even better if the ear has a mouth attached to it. If that mouth can also give advice, it is just perfect. If you don’t have that kind of support, consider turning to a professional. For guidance and counseling in Nigeria, contact the Counselling Association of Nigeria for more information (www.cassonnigeria.org).