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Concept of Guidance and Counseling

Various authors have used the term “guidance” and “counseling” either to the mean differently things or to mean the same thing. Due to this, many texts use the term interchangeable. However, the general consensus amongst professionals in that guidance is an umbrella names for all the helping services. To a layperson, guidance simply means to guide or direct some one toward a certain goal but to the professional guidance counselor, it involves a much deeper meaning (Oladele, 1987).


Ipaye (1983) sees guidance as an umbrella term which covers all the means whereby an institution identifies and responds to the individual needs of students, thereby helping the individual to develop his/her maximum potentials.

Durojaiye (1972) view guidance as a complex process that encompasses the total needs of the individual student to be directed or guided. The, he said is available to the individual’s educational, emotional, vocational, health, social and physical needs as well as the individuals preparation for a suitable occupation or career.

Various authors, collectively view guidance as:

A concept (mental image) which connotes the utilization of a view to help an individual.

An educational construct (intellectual synthesis) refers to the provision of experiences that helps students understand themselves.

A service (action taken to meet a demand) involves the processes organized to achieve a helping situation.(Idowu, 1998)

Guidance is perceived as a process because it involves a series of actions or steps progressively moving towards a goal.

Help entails assisting to reduce human difficulties, “individuals” refers to students in a school setting or client, in a non – school setting.

Understanding of self and world menas coming to known who they are as individuals, becomes aware of their personal identity, perceive clearly the nature of their person and the person and the people with whom they interact. As individuals, they should be able to know what opportunities are open for them in their world.

The assumption is that individuals who understand themselves and their world will become more effective, more productive and happier human beings (Adams, 1998) through guidance individual achieve greater awareness not only of who they are but also of who they can become.

Guidance is no a haphazard activity but a planned and systematic approach towards helping the individuals to be able to make wise choices or decisions. Guidance aims at aiding the recipient to grow in his independence and ability to be responsible for himself. It is seen as a service that is universal, not confined to the school or family. It is found in all phase of life, in the business, industry, hospital, in homes, government and anywhere there are people who need help the central idea of these definition is that it does not dictate solution to the individuals. Realizing that with appropriate guidance the counselee direct himself.

Inferring from the definitions of guidance, it is clear that is purpose is to help students understand the totality of their personal experiences, the opportunities available as well as the choice open to them and also helping them to recognize, interpret and act upon their personal weaknesses, strengths and resources.

Understanding oneself can effectively lead to a student’s wise choice of curriculum options and appropriate occupational aspiration that would lead to the discovery and development of potentials for personal happiness first and then social usefulness.


Counseling involves a wide range of procedures including advice giving, support in times of need or trouble, information giving encouragement and test interpretation. Counseling is perceived as part of the guidance programme involving a more personalized process that involves a one – on – one relationship or small groups. Counseling deals more intensively wit personal and emotional issues, it is very private and confidential.

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