Moreover, one of the responsibilities of the counsellor in individual counselling situations is to help the individual discover the fundamental causes of his problem.
The difficulty may stem from his experiences in the home or the school, on the job, or in his social relationships or recreational activities. 2. Home experiences: It is not unusual for a child occasionally to resent what he considers to be unjust treatment by his parents, to be jealous of apparent privileges granted a brother or sister and denied him, or to be embarrassed by the fact that his home compares unfavourably with that of his classmates. If the mother as well as the father is working and is thus away from home, the child is likely to engage in unsupervised after- school activities that get him into trouble with the parents of neighbourhood children and elicit consequent punishment from a work-weary mother when his misdemeanors are reported to her. These are but a few of the many problem situations that are likely to arise in the home even when the father and mother try to be good parents. The effect on a child or a young adolescent of real or fancied home difficulties may be such that it necessitates individually- received assistance from a counsellor. In some instance, the situation lends itself to help that can be given by a member of the school guidance staff. If inner resentments and conflicts become too serious, the situation may require clinical or psychiatric attention.
During later adolescence and adulthood, matters dealing with plans for establishing a home of one’s own become extremely important. Choosing a mate, marrying, selecting and furnishing a home, budgeting the home finances, and rearing children give rise to questions that may cause the young person considerable concern. The older adult also needs help toward the solution of problems of marital adjustment and parent-child relationships. 3. School experiences: During his elementary-school years, the child usually can be helped to meet his problems of adjustment in group situations through the efforts of an alert and guidance- minded teacher. It usually is best not to place too much emphasis on the personal difficulties of the child by subjecting him to individual counselling situations that will seem to set him apart from his schoolmates. Secondary-school pupils and college students may require individually received help in planning their courses or in adjusting to them. An individual may have academic difficulties or his attendance record may be unsatisfactory.
Personality differences between a student and an instructor often cause difficulties. Ineffective study habits or too little time for or lack of interest n home study will interfere with school success. The questions often asked by young people about their school experiences indicate their concern over matters that may not seem important to the adult but that are extremely significant in the lives of high-school and college students.
4. Vocational and occupational adjustment: Many problems in this area can be taken care of by guidance in group situations. There are times, however, when the pupil should receive specific information about his particular situation, or when the solution of a problem is made difficult because of his attitudes or the behaviour of other people. It is in situations like these that the individual should be able to avail himself of the services of a counsellor; who will help him think through the problem and arrive at a reasonable conclusion. The specific questions raised by an individual about vocational choice, preparation, and job satisfaction are extremely important to him.
Feelings of insecurity or of personal ineffectualness and expressed or implied criticism of one’s course of action are likely to arouse one emotionally to the point where clear thinking and unbiased judgment are almost impossible. In situations like these, an individual feels the urge to talk over his problems with someone in whom he has confidence. 5. Social and leisure-time adjustment: Not all of an individual’s waking hours are spent in meeting his home, school, or business responsibilities. Everyone should take time off to play, preferably in the company of others who have interests similar to his. Personal inadequacies, lack of opportunities, and pressures of duty can give rise to more or less serious problems of adjustment. A problem is intensified if the individual is unable or unwilling to recognise the fundamental cause of his difficulty.
He may place the blame on elements in the situation outside himself rather than recognise that the fault lies within him. Many of the questions asked counsellors give evidence of this shift of responsibility for personal adjustment from one’s own shoulders to those of one’s friends and acquaintances.