“…Counseling children is like working with an array of different gems and stones. Some are perfect as they are. Others need a little polish to shine, and still others need to be examined for preparation before they are shaped to be the most beautiful and functional…Each is different, each is beautiful in its own right and, most important, each has value. ” ASCA President’s statement, Janice Gallagher, summarizes the foundation of my personal counseling philosophy not only to children but even to adults.
In counseling all should be regarded as unique individuals in relation to their strengths, weaknesses, cultures, values, personalities, principles and other dimensions that sum up him as a human being. The approach of counseling to be used should always take into consideration these counselee’s dimensions. Counseling should not repress these aspects of the counselee but rather respect them and if possible use or uphold them in dealing with the conflict he has. Ideally, they should be exploited in solving the current conflict of the person himself.
Individual differences exist. Therefore, there’s no way but to deal with it. Everyone has its beauty in its own right. This is what I personally believe and what should transpire during counseling session. Beyond the physical dimensions that the counselee sees to himself, he should discover the beauty he possesses– his character, ability, attitude, values and the likes. He has to be the first one to perceive his own beauty before others would notice it. In this way, he will gain confidence to address the problem on his own even in the long run.
During counseling session, more than helping and guiding the counselee to solve his conflict and problem, the most important objective is to be able to make the counselee discover and recognize his worth, his value as a human. He should realize that he’s existence has important purpose and he has a role to accomplish in this world. He has to believe that he’s capable of doing significant things. He has to feel that he belongs to this world that he needs to play his role and function well. He should have positive perception and evaluation about himself, his self-concept.
Counseling should be able to address not only the problem of the counselee but also his self-concept which will help him in a long term course. The counselor should be the guide and facilitator in processing, identifying and developing the counselee’s self-concept. With regards with all these things I mentioned above, the counselee is the main character in counseling who will solve his problem, who will make the final decision, and who will be the “captain of his life”. As a counselor we listen, empathize and guide him towards the solution of its problem.
We try our best to let him identify his problem, its roots and its solution. We can only do much . We can’t treat him as worthless and incapable human because he is worthy and very capable. We are not helping him if we regard him as a helpless and incompetent individual who we always give answers to all his problems rather than letting him look for and discover them. The counselor should not only be the active agent in counseling. The counselee must also take an active role in counseling.