Steps in the Counseling Process
1. Establish a safe, trusting environment
2. CLARIFY: Help the person put their concern into words.
3. Active listening: find out the client's agenda
a) paraphrase, summarize, reflect, interpret
b) focus on feelings, not events
4. Transform problem statements into goal statements.
5. Explore possible approaches to goal
6. Help person choose one way towards goal
DEVELOP A PLAN (may involve several steps)
7. Make a contract to fulfill the plan (or to take the next step) 8. Summarize what has occurred, clarify, get verification
9. Get feedback and confirmation
Counseling is different from opinion giving, sympathizing and offer to assist. They are help-oriented actions. The prime responsibility of a counselor is to use his skills in such a way to create an ambience of warm acceptance where the person in front of him feels safe and confident. One cannot solve human problems in their entirety, but an individual can be assisted to understand the problem to enable him to manage it better. The problems are one’s exclusive property. They are one’s current liabilities—a counselor’s challenge is to how to convert those liabilities into assets. Gerard Egan writes, “Indeed, the goal of helping is not to solve problem, but to help the troubled person manage them more effectively or even transcend them by taking advantage of new possibilities in life.”(p.5) The model prescribed by Gerard Egan in his book, cited below, describes the skills needed to work through the three stages.
Stage I: Exploration
An experienced and skilled counselor is aware of the fundamental truth that concerns his all clients: Gerard Egan writes, “In the end, of course, all of us must learn how to help ourselves cope with the problems and crises of life.”(p.3) He should not proceed in dealing with the client with the feeling that, whatever he says is correct. Good results come-forth through co-operative efforts....