The Heart Of Guidance
Counseling is considered as the most intimate and vital part of guidance program. It is also known as the "heart of guidance". Most of us define counseling as to what it is not. counseling is not lecturing. It is not just talking and definetely, it is not mere giving advice. Counseling is a consulation, an interview or it may also be means of helping people in overcoming their weaknesses and solving their problems. It can also be an aid to a person by assiting him with his attitudes, feelings and emotions.
For me counseling is not only talking about problems. it may also be as simple as sharing my experiences to someone whom I completely trust. It doesn't mean that I am only entitled to ask some counseling from my guidance counselor. I may also ask my friends, family or even our Parish Priest. Counseling is not merely asking for pieces of advice. Sometimes, I just want someone to listen to me and comfort me. I had encountered counseling before. I usually seek help whenever I am emotionally stressed from burdens of workload from school, peer pressure and of course, family problems. I can say that more often than not, I seek counseling and more often than not, I go to our Parish priest. I am not shy about it because I know I have nothing to be ashamed of. Accepting that you are weak makes you strong, yes, I know it is ironic. but for me, it's true. People who can't accept their weaknesses or people who can't accept that they committed mistakes are coward. Nobody is perfect, that's why we all need someone to be with when our burden is killing us.
Accorsing to Carl Rogers, an effective counselor must possess these qualitites:
""If I want to become an effective helper, I must begin with myself"
Yes, self awareness and values are important as well. Personality is the principal tool in helping people. Sometimes, the pieces of advice that you give is based upon from your own experiences. one must know how to develop her strength and overcome her weaknesses. With these, she will be able to see strength in others and help them overcome their weaknesses because she was in their shoes once. She should also solve her own problems first before trying to help others or else she will be causing more conflicts to the one that she is trying to help because she is emotionally distressed as well.
"Tender, Loving, Care"
The most famous TLC. One must be warmth and caring as a counselor. Everyone needs this especially those who are emotionally unstable, troubled, hurt and confused. We can show TLC by our own willingness to listen and to spend time with them, sensitivity to their needs and a genuine interest and concern in their welfare.
"A person who is accepted is free from fear and is often ready to deal with her problem"
Yes, acceptance is thus important. to become an effective counselor, one should never judge or stereotype a person especially with her physical appearance. Everyone is created in the image and likeness of God, and everyone is UNIQUE. Comparing people and bickering them won't help them. More so, you will make them more miserable. We want to convey to the people that we are helping that we accept them for what they are and for what they are not, for what they can become and what they can't be. admit it, No one is the same as the others. Like what I've said, Nobody is perfect.
"A good heart is not enough"
Helper needs to have knowledge of what it takes to help people. Helping people is not easy, I must admit. That's why Knowledge is important as well. It's not only being nice, good and affectionate that will help them. It is also the things that you can share for them to solve their problems. The process of helping, how problems develop and how to deal with problems are some points that a counselor needs to be aware of. Sometimes it's not also just mere helping or listening, Understanding is also needed and very important. Helper should continuously read books, articles and magazines that will give her more ideas on the technicals
thus we should not forget that "it is important to remember that an effective helper should be rooted in Christ, the greatest counselor of all times, should be her foundation"
if we walk with him, in his way and in his path, nothing will be wrong. He will guide as in whatever we do. We should always pray and thank him for everything.