what is counselling?

      Counselling is not new in Tanzania. Is part of our typical lives

      In most communities, people help others with their problems.

      Somehow we seek help to other (more experienced, knowledgeable) people to find ways of dealing with stressing problems.

      Examples, in making critical life choices

      While it is true that counselling has been part of our daily life, the practice is questionable

      We need to know why we need it and the best way to do it

Definition of Guidance

      The terms guidance and counseling have been loosely or interchangeably used

      The two terms are, however, are two sides of the same coin (related but different)

      Effective counsellors, need to understand the clear difference between the two so that they are able to identify exactly the nature of the services

      Guidance is a broad in scope and is educational and proactive in nature (information based)

       Refer to activities (services) that aim at assisting students to make and carry out adequate plans and to achieve satisfactory adjustment in life.

      Is a process, developmental in nature, by which an individual is assisted to understand, accept and utilize their abilities, aptitudes and interests and attitudinal patterns in relation to their aspirations.

Guidance as Services

1. Educational/vocational: academic engagement

2. Personal: Identify the potentials/abilities in relation to future risks

3. Social guidance: addresses more people at the same time

Goal of Guidance

      Help an individual identify who they real are (strength, weakness etc) and are able to develop/grow their potentialities.

      Make clients predetermine the coming challenge in the future.

Meaning or Counselling

      Usually viewed as one part of guidance services

      Defines as a professional relationship between a trained counsellor and a person seeking help –also known as a client –to solve their problem.

      Counselling builds on facilitative relationship which assists the client to gain a wider view of their problem so that they are able to better analyze their problem so that they arrive at best decisions possible.

Counselling relationship?

      Empathetic understanding (getting into client’s concerns, thoughts and feelings)

       Genuineness and sincerity  (being ourselves without pretending)

      Unconditional acceptance (no judgement, valuing the other person)

Goals of Counselling

      Counselling is basically a reaction to the existing problem.

      The focus is on the solution of the life challenge facing the client (the understanding of the core problem)

      Core problem is usually unknown unless the client comes for counselling

      The ultimate goal of counselling is to help the client deal with emotional and behavioural problems which may have been interfering with their well being.

Engaging Activity

    If the client usually doesn’t know the core problem, why do they come to counselling?

    Not every relationship can be useful in facilitating counseling process. Elaborate this statement with specific examples.


 Compare and contrast guidance and Counselling

  1. What they do (nature of operation)
  2. How they do it (strategy)
  3. Who benefits (Recipient)
  4. Scope of services (
  5. What do they try to achieve (goal)
  6. Who offers the service (provider)

Think of guidance and Counselling activities in the school context:

  1. At the point of entrance (Form one and Five)
  2. During the Studies (process)
  3. On Completion  (Form 4 and 6)

Traditional Advice Giving

      Advice giving is providing suggestions to another person, telling them what they need to do to solve their problem (imposed solution to someone else’s problem

      Why do we give advices to other people?

      Easy to give (we think we know the other person). But do we?

      Some people expect advices (they think other people know better than them)

      It is rewarding to feel we have helped the other person (we feel important)

      But imagine you have given an advice which didn’t work…or the advice is rejected!

In Counseling we DON’T GIVE ADVICES!


      We know very little about the client’s problem.

      We don’t want to be responsible for the consequence of our advices

      It is embarrassing to offer an advice which is not used. 


      We helps people face their own problems, examine their options, understand their feelings and choose alternatives that seem best to them.

      We ONLY give advices when we are 100% certain that it will work


      The terms ‘counselling’ and ‘psychotherapy’ are often used interchangeably, but there is a slight distinction

      Counselling works with present emotional and behavioural problems whereas psychotherapy intensively and extensively examines a person’s psychological history. 

      Counselling is concerned with practical or immediate issues and outcomes while psychotherapy is long term process that looks at long standing attitudes, thoughts and behaviour

      Psychotherapist: have medical background

      But no clear line between counseling and psychotherapy


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