26 the counsellor and counselling the counsellor in

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2.6 The counsellor and counselling The counsellor in this context is a professionally trained teacher and therapist who should be working in the secondary school. The role of the teacher counsellor 15
revolved around employing new skills to aid the client/learner through the “dark entangled forest” (unknown) of his/her personality and society. Schools can help in terms of offering counselling or interpreting it in a broad way, by integrating it into the ethos of the school, and offer individual or group counselling. Lang (1993) agrees that for Secondary school, effectiveness in counselling depend on counselling being considered in its broad sense, and integrate it into a whole school approach. Whether integrated, group or individual, the counselling process should be handled sensitively and discreetly. Counselling aims at empowering the individual. The teacher-counsellor requires professional training to accomplish this task successfully. Castillo (1978) acknowledges that anyone who hopes a child to mature must first get to know and accept him for he is. Otherwise success will evade even his/her best affairs. Makewa (2008) concedes that it is important to understand the youth’s world as a counsellor. The counsellor is then able to help them better when they understand them and that boys and girls are easier to build than it is to mend men and woman. A counsellor should have an interest and consuming desire to relieve distress and assist people lead more fulfilling lives. The counsellor must go beyond mere interest in the subject and equip him or herself with the relevant knowledge. 26 Ndirangu (2000) concedes that the teacher- counsellor should be well grounded in clinical psychology where it is dictated by the maxim that all behavior is caused. The teacher-counsellor requires knowledge of some culture values and beliefs of most of the clientele he or she handles within the learning institution. This is crucial because cultural misinterpretation may mean long-term damage to the client. It is not a wonder then that the Map-Robinson Report (1987) comments that guidance and counselling for individuals has always formed part of the African strategy for combining personality problems and may be practiced by indigenous counsellors. The Witmer (1990) Report endorses this argument by remarking that counsellors should always be cognizant of the cultural conditions 16
and changes. Teacher-counsellor should design comprehensive guidance programmes, provide counselling service and use assessment procedures with a gender perspective. Lack of training of counsellors in gender analysis may lead many providers of guidance to render services and/or organize activities that may continue to maintain and enforce the already existing stereotype. Counselling skills are learned over time and should be practiced by a professional teacher- counsellor as much as possible. Counselling is a purposeful process which leads client to move understandings of themselves and other; the teacher – counsellor should therefore be conversant with the listening skill. Counselling is a process and theory

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