Does a Counsellor Give Advice?

My immediate answer to this is ‘no’ but I am going to qualify this.

A counsellor’s role is to help a client recognise his or her own thoughts and choices.  By using the skills of empathy, a counsellor picks up how the client is feeling and hears and understands (maybe more clearly than the client) what a client is inferring.  By making the client aware of what has been said, or by picking op on client body language, reluctance to speak etc., the skilled counsellor can make this information known to the client and bring it to the forefront of his or her thoughts.  The client then has a clearer idea of what is happening for them and can more clearly find a way forward.

With advice, the counsellor is no longer truly looking at the ‘person’ but presenting an idea which belongs to the counsellor.  Whilst doing so, the client may be ‘put off the scent’ of their own train of thought and feel that advice is indeed the way to go.

However, and I did say that I would qualify my response to such a question, advice could be given in the form of the location of a support group in the immediate area, if this is something that the client has intimated might be an angle to pursue.

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