Approaches to counseling; Counseling Process – Beginning, Developing and Terminating a Counseling Relationship and Follow up

What is Counseling?

Counseling is a process through which one person helps another by purposeful conversation in an understanding atmosphere. It seeks to establish a helping relationship in which the one counseled can express their thoughts and feelings in such a way as to clarify their own situation, come to terms with some new experience, see their difficulty more objectively, and so face their problem with less anxiety and tension. Its basic purpose is to assist the individual to make their own decision from among the choices available to them.

Counseling is discussion of an employee’s problem that usually has an emotional content to it, in order to help the employee cope with the situation better. Counseling seeks to improve employee’s mental health. People feel comfortable about themselves and about other people and are able to meet the demands of life when they are in good mental health.

Why is Counseling Needed?

“HR initiatives only look at the organizational perspective, but the well being of the workforce depends just as much on the individual’s well being. And stress, from home or from the routine of work affects not just the individual, but the workplace in turn,” says Dr Samir Parikh, consultant psychiatrist at Max Healthcare

What are the objectives of Counselling?

According to Eisenberg & Delaney, the aims of Counselling are as follows:

1. Understanding self
2. Making impersonal decisions
3. Setting achievable goals which enhance growth
4. Planning in the present to bring about desired future
5. Effective solutions to personal and interpersonal problems.
6. Coping with difficult situations
7. Controlling self defeating emotions
8. Acquiring effective transaction skills.
9. Acquiring ‘positive self-regard’ and a sense of optimism about one’s own ability to satisfy one’s basic needs.

When to counsel?

An employee should be counseled when he or she has personal problems that affect job performance. Some signs of a troubled employee include
• Sudden change of behavior
• Preoccupation
• Irritability
• Increased accidents
• Increased fatigue
• Excessive drinking
• Reduced production
• Waste
• Difficulty in absorbing training

What are the traits of a good counsellor?

The set of attitudes required for an efficient counsellor are:
• Respect i.e. High esteem for human dignity, recognition of a person’s freedom & rights and faith in human potential to grow.
• Sincerity, authenticity.
• Understanding
• Non-judgmental approach towards the counselee.

The set of skills required for an efficient counsellor are:
• Decency skills i.e. social etiquettes, warm manners
• Excellent communication skills which also include non-verbal communication and listening skills
• Objectivity
• Maintaining confidentiality
• Empathy

What’s the process of counselling?

Types of counseling processes are Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalytic Therapy; Carl Roger’s Client Centered Therapy; Carkhuff Model of Personal Counseling; Gestalt approach to counseling; Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy by Albert Ellis.

The Counseling Process
Step 1. Describe the changed behavior. Let the employee know that the organization is concerned with work performance. The supervisor maintains work standards by being consistent in dealing with troubled employees. Explain in very specific terms what the employee needs to do in order to perform up to the organization’s expectations. Don’t moralize. Restrict the confrontation to job performance.
Step 2. Get employee comments on the changed behavior and the reason for it. Confine any negative comments to the employee’s job performance. Don’t diagnose; you are not an expert. Listen and protect confidentiality.
Step 3. Agree on a solution. Emphasize confidentiality. Don’t be swayed or misled by emotional please, sympathy tactics, or “hard-luck” stories. Explain that going for help does not exclude the employee from standard disciplinary procedures and that it does not open the door for special privileges.
Step 4. Summarize and get a commitment to change. Seek commitment from the employee to meet work standards and to get help, if necessary, with the problem.
Step 5. Follow up. Once the problem is resolved and a productive relationship is established, follow up is needed

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