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Counselling began at the turn of the century with an understanding of the patient's/client's
symptoms as attempts to adjust to a hostile environment. In this light, Freud did away with
hypnosis and emphasised the interpersonal relationship between therapist and patient. Through
psycho-analysis, he stimulated the patient to communicate freely all that was in his/her mind.
He interpreted the data collected in the light of his development of human behaviour. In the forties, Carl Rogers found the psycho-analytic interpretation too subjective.
He believed that if the therapist created the requisite conditions, the client would be in a
better position than the therapist to understand himself / herself and make his / her own
diagnosis. Hereafter, the emphasis was transferred from the therapist's interpretation to the
client's understanding of the self. In the late sixties, Robert Carkhuff accepted all that Rogers had to offer and developed
it further by personalising the client's contribution to his / her problem, then, changing that into
a goal after which appropriate and systematic steps would be laid down for the client to attain
the established goal to solve his / her problem. Present day counselling is moving towards reaching the client's "life-coping skills", both
interpersonal and intrapersonal and involving the client's family in the process of counseling.
Your Career Options
The specialised areas in the field of counselling are -
Career Counselling Marriage counselling Parental counselling Child counselling Old age counselling Educational counselling Stress counselling Personality development counselling Industrial / organisational counselling Community counselling FAQs
Q. What subjects are required at the graduation level if one intends to become a counsellor?
A. Psychology as a major subject at the graduation level and then a further specialisation in the same would help you
understand people in depth. A counsellor needs to understand the client properly before coming to any conclusions
regarding the problem. Q. Is it necessary to have a formal training to become a career counsellor?
A. A formal training would definitely stand you in good stead. However, knowledge of human psychology combined with
awareness regarding latest careers, institutes, affiliations,courses and deadlines is certainly required for career counselling.
You must also be able to tap the capabilities of the candidate in question through a validated methodology and
appropriately advise him/her.
*There is a lot of information available on the internet. The trick is to tune yourself to what is useful to you. Visit relevant portals
and news sites . Most leading news sites have information on the latest careers, institutes, and the opportunities ahead in the
field. *Your aim should also be to have an identity on the net. Individuals willing to provide services should attempt to make their
presence felt globally. *You could also subscribe to various career information sites and receive all material of your interest at your personal email
address. *Explore ways to put the net to your best use and gain as far as possible from it.
Your Training The quality of being "helpful" seems to be a natural gift. Some people, without training, possess it and use this for
the good of others. That is why we hear at times people say, "Everybody goes to consult him or her." Other people may have the capacity of counselling, but they need training in order to actualise their potential of stimulating personal growth in others. The process of one individual attempting to help another is not the exclusive domain of professional counsellors. Research findings show that some lay persons with a short period of training can bring about significant changes in
distressed people. A wide range of short and long term courses are avilable in the various fields of counselling.Your Personality Traits
*The counsellor's distinguishing mark is a special sensitivity to people, sensitivity to their hopes and fears and personality
tensions. *The key to the counselling process is therefore, empathy which is a state of identification leading to genuine understanding
between people. *Good listening skills with good interviewing skills play a crucial role. *Counsellors must be reliable and capable of inspiring trust. *Problem solving is a major part of the work, therefore, the ability to think creatively and logically is important. *The work can be emotionally demanding, you have to develop the art of switiching off after work.
Are you Eligible?
A counsellor must have at least the equivalent of a master's degree with training in the essential areas of counselling such as
the counselling process, understanding the individual, statistics and research methods used in those psychological
investigations ordinarily used or undertaken by all counsellors. It is apparent that a counsellor needs to be a good
student of human psychology. Therefore, ideally a post-graduation in psychology is recommended with specialisation in
Most counsellors are required to have studied Psycholgy and possibly have a post graduation in the same. Hence you must
prepare accordingly. If you are doing graduation or plus two from the science stream , then take up a course in counseling as a part-time study
programme. You can also read about counselling on your own and keep up with Education/Career supplements with various
newspapers. Remember that counselling--that is , pulling people out of problems is actually 'doing good for mankind'. Hence, this activity
should be out of genuine interest, consequently, if you are doing something because you enjoy it, do a good job of it!
NIMHANS - NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL & NEURO SCIENCE, BANGALORE
COURSE : i) Ph. D in Clinical Psychology
DURATION : 3 Years
ELIGIBILITY : M.A. Psychology, 1st Division or Diploma in Medical Social Psychology COURSE : ii) Diploma in Medical & Social Psychology
DURATION : 2 Years
ELIGIBILITY : M.A. Psychology, with experimental psychology as a subject COURSE : iii) Certificate of Rehabilitation of the Physically Handicapped
DURATION : 4 weeks
ELIGIBILITY : MA Psychology, or Diploma in Vocational Guidance TATA INSTITUTE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE, DEONAR, MUMBAI
COURSE : Certificate Course in applied Psychology
DURATION : 1 Year
ELIGIBILITY : MA Psychology or Psychiatric Social Work INDIAN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE, BANGALORE
COURSE : Research in Economic & Industrial Psychology
ELIGIBILITY : M. A. Psychology, Minimum 50% or allied subjects ALIGARH MUSLIM UNIVERSITY, ALIGARH - 202001
COURSE : PG Diploma in Professional Psychology
DURATION : 1 Year
ELIGIBILITY : M.A. Psychology UNIVERSITY OF CHENNAI, CENTENARY BUILDINGS, CHEPAUK, CHENNAI - 600005
COURSE : Diploma in Counseling & Guidance
DURATION : 1 Year
ELIGIBILITY : M.A. Psychology ALL INDIA INSTITUTE OF PHYSICAL MEDICINE AND REHABILITATION,MUMBAI - 400034
COURSE : Diploma in Vocational & Rehabilitation and Counseling
DURATION : 1 Year
ELIGIBILITY : MA Psychology XAVIER INSTITUTE OF COUNSELING, MUMBAI
COURSE : Certificate in Counseling
DURATION : 50 hours
ELIGIBILITY : Graduation in any field Your Responsibilities
Most people think of counselling as "giving advice" or "offering solutions to problems" , however, counselling is neither of these.
When a counselee comes for help with a personal problem, he/she has to change something within to solve it. This may be a
change of attitude, of perception of self or others, habits or a change of behaviour. There is no permanent solution to a problem
without the counselee undergoing a certain change from within. The objective of counselling is to help a person understand and solve his/her adjustment problems, while guidance may be
individual or group oriented, counselling is primarily client centred in its approach. It is a therapy which is a two-way process,
involving the counsellor and the counsellee. A wide range of procedures may be followed from interviewing, questioning,
psycho-analysing, testing, interpreting test scores to giving advice, providing information, encouraging the counsellee to think
out his/her difficulties or work through his/her emotions etc. Your Working Conditions
Most counsellors work in quiet surroundings. They are restricted to offices or in the case of career counselling, they could be operating out of a counselling cell in schools. Your Future Prospects
There is an increasing need for counsellors in all fields. There are challenging job opportunities in :
Educational institutions, Hospitals and clinics Specialised counselling and guidance centres like child guidance centres, family life and marriage counseling
centres, centres for mentally retarded children, occupational therapy centres. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which specialise in counseling like Sumaitri, Sanjivini, Manav Vikas,
Age Care-India etc. NGOs working in the field of women's development like Saheli, Dastakar, Suraksha, Sanjivini, Gram Vikas Samiti,
Parivar Sewa Sansthan, National Council of Women in India, Joint Women's Programme . You can also establish a counselling centre of your own after an assessment of the need in your area. Thus, the
field of counselling has tremendous potential.
The remuneration of counsellors is highly dependent upon the satisfaction of the clients. The annual turnover, however, peaks after several years of experience ranging from Rs. 1.5 lacs to above Rs. 5.0 lacs .