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troubleinharlem's avatar

Why would giving advice in a counseling session be wrong?

Asked by troubleinharlem (7978points) March 1st, 2011

I’m reading an assignment in my book for Social Work, and there’s a section about common concerns. One of the things in the “Exploring Self-Doubts and Fears” says “During a counseling session, I might find myself wanting to give advice”.

Why would that be wrong?

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9 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Because counseling is all about self-exploration. The counselor’s role is to facilitate the person’s growth.

iamthemob's avatar

In addition:

(1) You’re never going to have all the information necessary to give advice that could be deemed official.

(2) You never know all the implications of said advice.

(3) It would likely be considered official advice, and traceable back to the agency, which could thereafter be sued.

SuppRatings's avatar

In counselling, you are trying to help the person being cancelled by giving them the tools to fix themselves or their problem; not by being the one fixing them or their problems.

the100thmonkey's avatar

@SuppRatings – I’m not sure anyone is being “cancelled” when they seek professional help with their life issues. I guess it depends on problem and country!

incendiary_dan's avatar

There’s also the power factor; the counselor is perceived, rightly or wrongly, as being in a position of power and/or authority. Therefore, it can’t ever be simple advice.

skfinkel's avatar

Because even though you think you might know best, you really can’t know this for another person. A good counselor doesn’t tell a person what to do or how to act, she helps the person figure out from the person’s own personal life, what to do, or how to resolve conflict, or whatever is the issue. The gift of the counselor is a subtle one, and not every counselor is a good counselor.

flutherother's avatar

Because it is in the counselor’s interest to have the sessions continue indefinitely and giving good advice might bring them to a close.

LostInParadise's avatar

I think it would be acceptable to lead the person by using Socratic method. For example, if someone is taking drugs, you could get the person to examine the consequences and hopefully come to the conclusion that taking drugs is not a particularly good thing to do.

iamthemob's avatar

@LostInParadise – THANK YOU. Law school was irreplaceable for me simply for an introduction to a formal form of the Socratic method.

Love it.

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