The counselling given may be casual; it is brief, and it may be superficial in that it is not extensive or intensive. The need for help is important even though slight, and the relationship maintained through the brief contact should not be less than that maintained during the long counselling session.
Counselling at the next level requires a more prolonged contact because the counselee needs more and complicated information. He may, for example, wish assistance in planning a programme of study for a two or four year period. As the problems became more complicated and as more intensive study of the case is required, and more specialised help is needed, counselling at deeper levels becomes necessary. When the student is seriously disturbed, therapeutic counselling may be needed. Williamson feels that counselling is needed not only for helping individuals to gain insight into their emotional conflicts but also for helping them with problems stemming from lack of information, such as information about vocational aptitudes and interests or about work opportunities, so that they may conduct their future adjustments in such a way, that a ‘minimum of maladaptive repressions’ occur. It is generally accepted that rapport is a necessary precondition for counselling.
Rapport between counsellor and counselee is thought to be present when the counselee feels the need for help, when he comes to the counsellor willingly because he feels that the counsellor can help him, and when the counsellor is deeply understanding and sympathetic and has only one purpose—to be of assistance to the counselee. There seems to be a difference of opinion regarding the place of rapport in counselling. Some authorities feel the rapport is essential for counselling, that is, that it is necessary to establish rapport before counselling can function. If this is true, then the great majority of high-school students, being sent by teacher or principal, cannot have any counselling until rapport is established.
Establishing rapport is a function of counselling, therefore the counsellor’s effort to attain rapport is itself counselling.