Counseling in one form or the other goes on constantly as the leader works with the members of his group. Counseling can be used to encourage or reassure an individual, to develop a more effective member of the group, or to help solve a specific problem. Counseling is helpful when a person is in need of encouragement, should have more information bearing on his or her task, needs help in interpreting facts, is uncertain about what to do, or the leader feels the need to correct a situation.
The counselor first must find out that there is, in fact, a need for counseling. He must recognize that not two counseling situations are alike, that each person is different, and each problem is different. There are no “pat solutions”.
There are six keys to good counseling:
Listen carefully. Give undivided attention to what the person is saying.
Ask yourself. “Do I understand what he is trying to say?”
Summarize frequently to assure understanding, keep on track, and check what is being told.
Additional information may be all that is needed. The person may not have all the facts or may not know all of the resources available. The counselor must be sure that information is given, not advice.
The person must be encouraged to think of different ways of handling the problem. He has the problem, has thought about it in greater detail than the counselor, and may have arrived at a solution. He may only be seeking confirmation of that solution.
Above all, the counselor must not give advice. The objective of counseling is to lead the individual to his or her own solution.
A key to effective counseling is to keep the individual talking. Many counseling sessions fail when the counselor attempts to arrive at a solution before the individual has finished telling the complete problem. Use “trigger words” to keep the person talking. Phrases like “What did you do then?” or “How did that make you feel?” can bring out more details. Words of sympathy or understanding like “Wow”, “Oh, my”, “That’s a shame” etc., are helpful. Only when he begins to repeat himself will additional information be of value.
Some counseling sessions uncover problems that are serious and may require professional help. The Scouter involved in counseling must consider his efforts as “first aid” to a young person with obvious and serious problems. Be careful not to counsel above your abilities. Our objective is to help youngsters the best we can—not become and amateur clinical psychologists. The leader should be prepared to refer a troubled youngster to a competent professional in this field if it appears necessary.
Disclaimer: Troop 411 and Pack 3411 makes every effort to present accurate and reliable information on this Internet site. However, Troop 411 or Pack 3411 does not guarantee the accuracy of completeness of such information.
Any links from this site contain information created, published, maintained, or otherwise posted by organizations independent of Troop 411 and Pack 3411. Troop 411 and Pack 3411 does not endorse, approve, certify or control these external Internet addresses and does not guarantee the content of such sites.
Use of any information obtained from this site, child sites, or linked sites, is voluntary, and reliance on it should only be undertaken after a review of its accuracy. Reference to any specific commercial product, process, or service does not constitute or imply endorsement, or recommendation by Troop 411 or Pack 3411.