“All children should be taught to unconditionally accept, approve, admire, appreciate, forgive, trust, and ultimately, love their own person” ~Asa Don Brown
‘Counseling’ refers to the process of assisting and guiding individuals, especially by a trained person on a professional level, to resolve personal, social, or psychological problems and difficulties. There are various types of counseling such as mental health counseling, educational counseling, career counseling and guidance, marriage and family counseling etc.
Career Counseling, also known as Career guidance, helps students to choose a field which fits their interests and fulfill their job expectations. Generally, it helps to provide perspective and direction to students so that they can perform their level best and succeed in life.
What is the need of career counseling?
- Taking the right Career Decisions- In today’s era, where the world is making progress day by day and the technology is prospering, the career opportunities are also increasing in various fields. Our parents, relatives and friends tend to have limited knowledge of the career options available today. Due to lack of knowledge, students tend to choose the career path which is not suitable for them. Taking informed decisions at the right time could bring in wonderful opportunities as opposed to wrong ones, which could ruin a student’s future as these decisions are often irreversible. Hence, they are left in a lurch throughout their life due to such decisions. In such a situation, approaching a career counselor would be a step in the right direction.
- Fulfilling our Purpose of Life- We, humans, are social and creative beings. We need to interact with a lot of people. Also, we all have some purpose in life. To fulfill that purpose, we must have a career so that we can stand on our own. It provides an avenue to fulfill our purpose. A career helps us to feel productive which is good for the soul. We also maintain a standard of living.
- Choosing a ‘right’ career- Please note that I’ve used the word ‘right’ and not ‘best’. One should choose a career which gives him/her inner peace and satisfaction. There is a saying- “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. Work super hard all the time with no separation or any boundaries and also take everything extremely personally.” Hence, the students must have a clear perspective for their future and career counseling helps them in guiding throughout their path towards success.
Role of Career Counselor
A career counselor provides all the necessary details regarding the duration, fees structure etc. of the course the student is interested in, to have a clear picture on what should be pursued. List of various colleges and institutions in which a particular course can be undertaken is presented so that he/she can choose according to his/her comfort level. A good Career Counselor is a problem solver, an enthusiastic listener and observer, and has sufficient knowledge of various areas and professions to guide students in their career decisions.
Counseling in Educational Institutes
- Various institutions, including schools and colleges, conduct aptitude tests which judge the students on the basis of their interests, skills, personalities and capabilities. They also determine their strengths and weaknesses. These tests help students to discover their true potential in order to choose the right career path and are the most important tool of the counselor which also helps them to find out the emotional and behavioral aspects of a student.
- The Indian education system can be very domineering. There is an endless wave of competition and everyone is in the rat race to pursue one of the best courses. Choosing the right institution means choosing the correct place to live in for the next 3 years or more and working on their future. There are separate pros and cons of different institutions. If the student has come up from a small high school then going to a big and large university could be overwhelming for him/her. On the other hand, a smaller college has fewer courses to offer and even fewer clubs and activities. A larger college tends to have more courses to choose from, more athletic teams and campus activities. All such factors are to be taken care of while choosing the institution. Career counselors help students in such situations and ease out their decision making.
- Students in schools or colleges are very important and quite a valuable asset. Similarly, they too have emotions and feelings. However, sometimes emotions, as well as feelings, become overwhelming and people lose their confidence. There are many reasons behind that. Nonetheless, they have a negative impact on the quality of their life. Mental health Counseling is a type of therapy which helps the individual overcome their problems. Moreover, it helps them gain their lost confidence. Therefore, it refers to the process of helping a person face their problem and overcome it.
- Sometimes students get addicted to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes etc. Substance abuse counseling is a form of counseling which help students in treating them and supporting them from breaking free from their drug and alcohol addiction. It helps them to discuss the cause of this addiction and reach to the root of it. The counselor thereby suggests various coping strategies which make a positive impact on their lives. Moreover, they also provide them with practicing skills and behaviors which helps in their recovery.
- Mental illnesses have become very common these days. Awareness has helped students identify the symptoms of it and as a result, visit mental health counselors. Mental health counseling helps students deal with issues that impact their mental health and well-being. Some of the mental illnesses are depression, ADHD and more. This counseling focuses on such issues and helps in resolving them for a healthier life.
- Conducting seminars for students of schools and colleges also helps them to cope with social, behavioral and personal problems. It enhances their social and academic growth through effective counseling provided to them. They also develop their life skills which help them in dealing with real life problems.
In conclusion, all types of counseling, namely, career counseling, substance abuse counseling, mental health counseling, family counseling, self management, emotional management, relationship management, behavioral management, stress management, depression management etc carry equal importance. They allow people to work through their problems and lead a happier and healthier life. There is no shame in taking counseling sessions as it only helps in the growth of a student. In addition, counseling helps save lives.