What Are the Goals of Counseling?

Updated on December 8, 2017
brendonthomas profile image

My core interests are history, psychology, philosophy, and, of course, personal development.

Source

Introduction

Different individuals have different perceptions of what can be expected of counseling. Individuals preparing to become counselors, and those who seek counseling, as well as parents, teachers, school administrators and governmental agencies, all differ in their expectations of the counseling experience. The final designation of these goals is to be determined by the counselor and the client as a team.

Counseling theorists do not always agree on appropriate counseling goals because they are often general, vague and saturated with implications. However, these are the five most commonly named goals of counseling:

  1. Facilitating behaviour change.
  2. Improving the client’s ability to establish and maintain relationships.
  3. Enhancing the client’s effectiveness and ability to cope.
  4. Promoting the decision-making process and facilitating client potential.
  5. Development.

These goals are not mutually exclusive and will naturally be emphasized by some theorists and not others.

Enhancing Coping Skills

We will inevitably run into difficulties in the process of growing up. Most of us do not completely achieve all of our developmental tasks within a lifetime. All of the unique expectations and requirements imposed on us by others will eventually lead to problems. Any inconsistencies in development can result in children learning behaviour patterns that are both inefficient and ineffective. Learned coping patterns, however, may not always work. New interpersonal or occupational role demands may create an overload and produce excessive anxiety and difficulty for the individual.

Children who grow up in excessively strict homes frequently adjust to such training measures through learned behavioural inhibition. When social or occupational responsibilities require individuals to be assertive, they may experience anxiety and be unable to handle responsibilities effectively. In addition to psychological symptoms, physical symptoms such as frequent headaches, stuttering in front of people in authority or the inability to sleep are common. This maladjustment to daily living makes coping skills an important goal of counseling.

Source

Improving Relationships

Many clients tend to have major problems relating to others due to poor self-image. Likewise, inadequate social skills cause individuals to act defensively in relationships. Typical social difficulties can be observed in family, marital and peer group interaction (e.g., the troubled elementary school child). The counselor would then strive to help the client improve the quality of their lives by developing more effective interpersonal relationships.

Promoting Decision-Making

The goal of counseling is to enable the individual to make critical decisions regarding alternative courses of action without outside influence. Counseling will help individuals obtain information, and to clarify emotional concerns that may interfere with or be related to the decisions involved. These individuals will acquire an understanding of their abilities and interests. They will also come to identify emotions and attitudes that could influence their choices and decisions.

The activity of stimulating the individual to evaluate, accept and act upon a choice, will assist them in learning the entirety of the decision-making process. The individual will develop autonomy and avoid dependence on a counselor.

How to Conduct the First Counseling Session

Facilitating Client Potential

Counseling seeks to maximize an individual’s freedom by giving him or her control over their environment while analyzing responsiveness and reaction to the environment. Counselors will work to help people learn how to overcome, for example, excessive substance use and to better take care of their bodies.

Counselors will also assist in overcoming sexual dysfunction, drug addiction, compulsive gambling and obesity, as well as anxiety, shyness and depression.

Facilitating Behaviour Change

Most theorists indicate that the goal of counseling is to bring about change in behaviour that will enable the client to be more productive as they define their life within society’s limitations. According to Rodgers (1961), behaviour change is a necessary result of the counseling process, although specific behaviours receive little or no emphasis during the process.

Alternatively, Dustin and George (1977) suggested that the counselor must establish specific counseling goals. A necessary shift from general goals to specific goals should take place to enable both the client and counselor to understand what change is desired. Specific behaviour goals have additional value as the client is better able to see any change that occurs.

Krumbolz (1966) suggested three additional criteria for judging counseling goals, as follows:

  1. The goals of counseling should be capable of being stated differently for each individual client.
  2. The goals should be compatible with, though not identical to, the values of the counselor.
  3. The degree to which goals of counseling are attained by each client should be observable.

Conclusion

These goals are not mutually exclusive, nor are they equally appropriate for every client at any specific time. Counseling goals can be classified according to three categories: ultimate, intermediate and immediate.

Ultimate goals are philosophical ideals that can be reasonably expected from counseling. These goals include helping individuals to realize their full potential or to become self-actualized.

Intermediate goals relate to the reasons for seeking counseling and usually require several sessions to achieve them. Helping the individual develope to become and remain a well-adjusted, mentally healthy person and to achieve his/her potentialities, would classify as an intermediate goal.

Immediate goals, on the other hand, are the moment-by-moment intentions of counseling, for example, encouraging the client to verbalize an unexpressed feeling.

What Happens in Counseling?

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      eunice ndiritu 2 years ago

      In counseling use of UPR makes client feel at ease encouraging them to open up.Empathetic listening adds to the feeling of worthiness on the clients side it acts as giving of oxygen to someone experiencing air hunger.

    • profile image

      joe rauraumal 3 years ago

      I need some steps of counselling

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, owlcation.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://owlcation.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)