How to Counsel Students: A Manual of Techniques for Clinical Counselors

How to Counsel Students: A Manual of Techniques for Clinical Counselors

How to Counsel Students: A Manual of Techniques for Clinical Counselors

How to Counsel Students: A Manual of Techniques for Clinical Counselors

Excerpt

Most of the problems discussed in this book are found among both high-school and college students. Students' problems on these two educational levels, however, often differ in complexity and intensity. For example, the problem of scholastic failure is found on all educational levels but becomes more acute in college because of more rigid enforcement of rules and regulations. The techniques of counseling such a problem are, of course, modified in terms of the educational setting in which the student has his being. A more important modification is necessary in terms of the individuality of the particular student being counseled. In other words, differences among students are far more significant than differences among types of institutions. For this reason, it is not necessary to stress the differences in techniques used by high-school and college counselors. These two types of counselors have far more in common than has been contended in other discussions of techniques.

Experience in counseling college students reveals a large proportion of students who were inadequately counseled in high school and who come to the college counselor with problems growing out of inadequate ability for the type of curricula available in a university. Such students have been permitted to guide themselves toward unachievable goals and are subsequently given negative guidance by college teachers in terms of failing marks. Many of these students reach the counselor in such a state of morale that effective counseling is not possible.

Many other students come to the counselor in an emergency situation which demands immediate action. In such cases, it is not possible to devote months and years to assisting the student "to arrive at his own decision." Rightly or wrongly, the educational system demands that immediate action be taken. The non-counseling point of view proves to be totally inappropriate in such a situation, however effective it may be in other cases.

The counselor's function in such cases is not merely that of a passive listener and dispenser of information. To contend that the counselor should never give advice is to be guilty of hasty overgeneralization and of arbitrary and blanket prescription. We have . . .

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