Give an account of the similarities between the procedure of individual counseling and group counseling
Both the individual counseling and group counseling are concerned with the welfare of the individuals. For the acquisition of this very welfare, the individual or group methodology is adopted. The experts hold that individual or group counseling, more or less, follow the same procedure. In this regard, it can be carefully said that a visible resemblance is found in the individual and group counseling procedure. This common procedure consists of the following necessary steps :-
Comprehensive planning :-‘Counseling’, as a program, is an integral part of the total program of an institution. This is highly formal and organized program. It requires comprehensive planning at every step or stage. An advisor has to carefully
look into the existing situation. He must know the direction of the steps taken and the gains for the counselees or counselors. Counseling requires detailed planning and logical mutual coordination among the various steps.
Initial contact :-Whether the counseling is individual or group, the counselor establishes initial contact with the counselees. He develops a friendly relation with them. In this way, he wins: the trust and reliance of the individuals seeking for counseling. He gets close to them so that the counselees may express their inner feelings and problems. This is. the only way of getting comprehensive information about the counselee for the accurate planning for the process of counseling.
Identification of the problem :-The mutual trust following the initial contact identifies the problem of the counselee. When the counselee recognizes the counselor as his advisor and well-wisher, he unfolds the problem before the counselor.
Following the identification Of the problem, the counselor becomes able to take necessary steps for the solution of the problem. Determination of objectives: Following the identification of problem, the counselor determines the objectives of counseling. Here he decides the objectives which have to be realized through the process of counseling. At this particular stage of counseling, he also highlights the behavioral changes which have to be brought about by means of counseling. For the realization of these objectives, the counselor
forms his counseling strategy. The determination of objectives leads the process of counseling to a well defined effort.
Selection of effective sources :-For the acquisition of the objectives of education, a counselor has to select the tools and sources which can be useful for collecting date about the counselee. These tools may include tests, questionnaires, cumulative record, observational reports, case study and interviews etc. The counselor must be very careful in the selection of these tools and sources. They must be in harmony with the nature of the problem and social values.
Acquisition of information :-Counselor collects information about the various aspects, of the life of counselee for the solution of the problem. These pieces of information help in understanding the interests, likings and tendencies of the
counselees. The. information can be obtained through observation, tests and formal meetings. They serve as a guide in the solution of problem. They tell us about the present situation of the individual surrounded by problems and how he/she can be guided accordingly.
Interpretation of date :-It seems, here, necessary to analyze and interpret the date collected through different sources. The statistical methods are used for the analysis and interpretation of date. The collection of date is not sufficient for the solution of the problem. An analysis of the collected date is essential for making the date rational, organized, purposeful and quotable. The mutual relations of cause and effect are traced among the collected date by means of , statistical methods and then results are drawn on the basis of the collected date.
Diagnosis of the problem :-Analysis of date, according to the statistical methods, enables a counselor to get aware of the root causes of the problem. This analysis of date unfolds all the aspects of the problems of the counselee. The counselor has to be very careful during the course of diagnosis of the problem. He has to consider some critical matters seriously during this stage of counseling. For instance, whether the diagnosis based on the provided date is correct? Did the circumstances and conditions influence the result? Do the results are valid, credible and authentic? After considering more other questions like these, the counselor states his/her expert
opinion regarding the diagnosis of the problem.
Action plan :-When a counselor brings the problem to light, he suggests a formal strategy for its solution. He makes the counselee aware of the suggested strategy for the solution of problem. In connection with the development of problem-solving strategy, the nature of the problem, emotional condition of the counselor are taken
into account. Thus, the proposed Strategy helps in solving the problem of the counselee.