Directive versus nondirective indicates also the degree to which the counsellor attempts to direct the discussion along the lines that he thinks profitable as compared with encouraging the counselee to determine the direction of the discussion.
The nondirective technique is based on the belief that the client has the resources within himself to solve his own problems without direction from others.
1. Client-Centered Point of View:
The nondirective, permissive, client-centered approach is more effective when ’emotional’ problems are present. It is clear, however, that many problems of students who come to the counsellor have few if any such emotional conditions. Many cases merely call for information or some other routine help.
Without any intention to detract from the real value of the client-centered technique, it should be pointed out that the “slight suggestion or interpretation” made by a counsellor when he is in the ‘semitrance’ of feeling as the counselee feels may be as purely directive as a similar suggestion made by a directive counsellor.
The value of the suggestion or interpretation in such a case comes from the counsellor’s wide experience which enables him not only to understand the present feeling of the student but to see more clearly than the student the steps that must be taken to arrive at a suitable solution of the problem.
2. Directive Point of View:
In contrast to the client-centered technique it is often said that the directive counsellor is more interested in the problem than he is in the counselee, but this belief is an exaggeration. He is concerned with the student and his problem—the two cannot be separated.
The directive counsellor, however, is apt to be more active, to make use of tests and other records, and to be freer in giving advice and information. It is likely that most school counselling could be classified as directive.
3. Contrast and Comparison:
Although the differences between the client-centered and the directive point of view may be more theoretical than practical, it will be valuable to examine some of the claimed point of opposition.
The process of eclectic counselling proceeds somewhat along the following lines:
1. Counselling may be preceded by an intake interview.
2. During the opening phase of counselling, the counsellor tries to establish rapport and may have to do structuring so that the client understands what to expect of counselling.
3. Often a tentative diagnosis is made which may include the collection of a case history and a plan for counselling is formulated.
4. To enhance the client’s self-understanding, information, about him and his background may be gathered from various sources. The client needs to be helped to assimilate this information.
5. Educational, occupational and social information, if needed by the client, may be supplied to him.
6. The client achieves emotional release and insights, alters his perceptions and attitudes about himself and his situations.
7. During the closing phase, the client makes decisions and plans, modifies behaviour, solve his problems.
8. There may be follow-up contacts, if needed.
No matter what method or view-point—directive, non- directive or eclectic is employed in the practice of interviewing and counselling, counselling should have developmental preventive and remedial values.
It is obvious that counselling process is viewed differently by different approaches. But in spite of the diversity in approaches to counselling, there are some common factors which are:
1. All counsellors accept the importance of ideal counselling relationship.
2. Interview is the basic tool of counselling.
3. The counselling relationship is built during interviews.
4. All counsellors realise the importance of acceptance of and respect for the counsellee.
5. “Honesty”, “Sincerity”, or “Openness” of the counsellor is another common element with all counselling approaches. How the counselee perceives the counsellor is more important than even the skills and the knowledge of the counsellor.