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Stages and Skills of Counseling

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.



Children of today are under more stress than children in earlier times.  As a direct consequence of this, parents and teachers of these stressed children also undergo additional stress. If we start listing the reasons for this, it goes on.  While it is beyond the scope of this narrative to address these reasons, it is crucial that those who deal with these children are equipped with necessary competencies to cope with the changing times with its unique challenges. As mentioned in the Serenity prayer, we have to accept the things we cannot change while making conscious effort to change whatever we can to help everyone involved to cope with the situation. It is towards this end, probably this interaction was felt through which counseling services are made available to our younger generation looking towards a support in finding their lost way. In the present context parents and teachers too are looking for avenues to learn to handle situations their children are in.  This module is an attempt to provide certain input into the essential skills of different stages, and their significance in counseling to address the needs of children, parents and teachers.

The newspaper nowadays are full of stories of children committing suicides due to poor academic performance and depression. Often we find juvenile involvement in criminal acts, we find examples of traumatized children due to pressure for performance and lack of identity.  Parents and teachers are clueless as to how to handle their innocent yet rebellious teens. Teachers are getting de-motivated due to disinterest, indiscipline, and disrespect by students in class. School managements are struggling with teacher attrition and human resource crunch besides media assault to deal effectively with school running. Students are stressed out due to academic pressure as also changed lifestyles due to private tuitions, stresses of urban life and cut throat competition. Hence those involved in making education as an effective tool for personal and societal development are under stress for different reasons. Amidst all this chaos, “The destiny of India is being shaped in her class rooms” the strong and true statement still echo in all possible stages talking of school and education. To make this a reality in practice, guidance and counseling services are the need of the hour.


After the transaction of this module, the participating members 

  • Understand the relevance of stages and skills essential for each stage of counseling
  • Enhance the knowledge about counseling skills and apply them as per the requirement of the individual and context


Ice breaker

Participants will make a logo which best depicts them and introduce themselves using the logo introduce their ‘self’. They add one of their personal quality that they consider is essential for a counselor

  • Importance of self reflection
  • Identify the personal qualities that facilitate therapeutic change in another person
  • Post card size cards, color pencils/markers

Open house discussion

Through some narrations of present day problems faced by youngsters like addiction to social networking, discussion will focus on building relationship as a beginning to process of counseling The sensitivity of the situation that call for the student to trust and open up to the counselor will be highlighted.

Participants come out with their views on the difficulties of building relationship with the students facing extreme guilt and trauma.


Group activity

The participants will be divided into groups.

Each group would list the difficulties of students in relating to the counselor and possible ways of overcoming them.  Similar instances would be elicited from the group with a focus on skills that are required in such situations. The participants may share their experiences with one or two instances.

  • Identify the difficulties and probable causes leading youngsters to cyber addition and depression.
  • As a counselor how do you communicate to such students that you understand their situation?
  • What skills are necessary to assure the student a safe and comfortable environment?
  • Practice skills of listening and responding.


  • A narrative about an instance depicting social network addiction leading to delinquent behavior among the teenagers.
  • A video clipping showing the importance  developing quick trust
  • Worksheet*
  • PPT
Discussion on the stage “Rapport Building”

Participants will critically think and reflect on the point of discussion.  To consolidate the points, importance of rapport building and the skills facilitating this relationship will be presented.

  • What is the uniqueness of the relationship in the process of counseling?
  • What are the challenges that a counselor may face in this stage?
Chart paper  and marker.
Group work and discussion on “Assessing the Problem”

The earlier groups will work on the discussion points. The group will a discussion on the ways and techniques of assessing the problem and present the consensus points. At the end the points will be consolidated and a presentation will be done.

  • What is the inevitability of assessing the problem of the students?
  • Practice the skill of eliciting information and analyzing.
  • How to develop skill of observation?
  • Plain Paper/ Chart paper and markers
  • LCD and PPT (PPT skills of assessing the problem)
  • Video to develop skill of observation
Discussion on the stage “Goal Setting in counseling”

Based on the narration of an experience the group will deliberate on the importance of goal setting in counseling.  Presentation to consolidate the points.

  • What does mutual goal setting signify for the student
  • Practice the skills of asking open ended questions.
  • Practice skills of confrontation and ability potential response
  • In what way goal setting facilitates resolution of the problem?
  • Narration of an experience
  • PPT on  skills useful for setting counseling goals

Materials required for transaction

  •  LCD Projector
  • Narratives
  • Chart paper, plain paper, markers, crayons and sketch pens
  • PPTs

 Reference material for further learning




Supporting Materials and Information

  1. The recent flash of news about a father lodging  complaint with the local police as he was being harassed by a stranger with constant posting of pictures and videos to his phone of the intimate scenes with wife demanding ransom created panic among parents and every individual with an orientation to healthy society.  The investigation revealed that the young son was befriended by a stranger through a social networking site, developed close contact with him, asked the boy to take pictures and videos of his parents and send him.  The stranger used them to blackmail the parents.   — Reflect upon this
  • How do you develop the ability to understand the reality to assist the young boy in coming to term with the situation the initial stage of counseling?
  • What are the sources of data that could guide you into understanding the problem?
  • What leads the youngsters to be entangled with the strangers?


  1. Newly admitted hostel Sonam came with a request to change her room as she is unable to stay with her roommate.  According to her, roommates talk about her and laugh at her often.  When situation did not favour, Sonam as per her requirement which aggravated the situation and effected her routine.  Later on she managed to get one girl to stay with her and changed her room.  However, she soon started complaining about the new roommate also like she does not talk to her, she has to move in the campus alone and feels isolated.  Slowly all the students of the wing started complaining against her for more than one reason.  The girl keeps talking in insulting tone to others, shouts and picks fight with everyone from dining room to bathroom without any break.
  • Suggest ways of beginning the process of counseling with Sonam?
  • What are the ways through which you can assess the problem?
  • What are the challenges in assessing the situation?


  1. Manohar is a high achieving student and got into B Sc in a prestigious institute to study his favorite subject.  After two years he started losing interest in the programme and told his parents that he wants to quit and join into design engineering.  Just another year to go before he gets his degree in science from a reputed institute in his favorite subject parents insisted that he completes one more year  and then can think of taking up some other course.  But little did the parents realize that Manohar never attended his class in the third year, did not write his exam but prepared and wrote the entrance exam for the design engineering institute and came among top five to a place in his dream institute for his dream career.  He joined the institute to his new career choice.  Parents are too worried and anxious due to the earlier episode.
  • Who need counseling in this situation?
  • Which are those aspects you need to assess to understand the problem situation?
  • What are the aspects of home culture that might interfere in making the right educational choice for teenagers?



The worksheet will be discussed with the participants for group work

Unhelpful Behaviors

Verbal Nonverbal





















The worksheet will be discussed with the participants for group work

Helpful Behaviors

Verbal Nonverbal




















1.2 Innovations in counseling intervention


There is a growing tendency to view counseling as a remedial function and emphasize immediate goals, such as problem solution, stress / anxiety reduction and the like.  Counselee may be referred to the resolution of a particular conflict or problem situation.  Counseling in its spirit and essence is generative as it aims at assisting the individual specific to the context to develop insight into their own situation and find a way to resolve.  It is a truly educative, because through counseling process students are capable at realizing their potentialities optimally.  Hence counseling at the secondary school needs a meaningful, realistic, practical frame of reference constituent with the short term nature at school counseling.


After the completion of the transaction of this module, the participants shall :

  • Enumerate the individual specific issues of students that interplay in creating a problem situation
  • Develop the skill of integrating the knowledge to design an intervention specific to the  individual and context
Group activity

Review on the awareness of various counseling approaches and techniques relating to intervention.

Divide the participants into 5-6 groups and ask to pick one paper clipping randomly from news items related to recent adolescent issues.

Every group will analyse the problem, and design an appropriate intervention plan

  • List out reasons that drive young students to the extreme conditions as depicted in the news paper cutting?
  • Identify the skills that need to be promoted among the young adolescents.
  • News paper clippings on recent adolescent issues

Each group will present their ideas. It will be followed by discussion


At the end of the session groups will develop a relevant poster and display in the hall.

  • How can we nurture better adjustment among such students?
  • Depict your vision of a healthy student in the classroom.
  • Writing materials
  • Worksheet *
  • Chart papers, markers, color pens, crayons and any other required raw materials


Materials required for transaction:

  • News paper clippings,
  • LCD Projector
  • Chart paper, plain paper, markers, crayons and sketch pens
  • PPTs

Reference material for further learning:

  • Journal articles
  • E books


This worksheet will be discussed with the participants for group work

Classroom factors contributing to student’s adjustment and wellbeing.


Skills to be developed among adolescents to adjust with people and situation