Interface between Individual and Group Counselling

Early Childhood Care and Education has given below several advantages of Group counselling :

(a) It is economical in many ways. In group counselling a large number of individuals are helped at the same time by a counsellor. This saves money and time.

(b) It helps individuals to socialise their attitudes, habits and judgements.

(c) It provides multiple stimuli for each member to work through and approximates real life situation.

By frankly and honestly sharing their thoughts and feelings members develop a feeling of group cohesiveness and singleness of purpose that helps them to progress. Discussions on matters of common concern help the members to appraise the adequacy of their interpersonal relations.

The group gives them a practice field in which they learn new, more flexible and more satisfying ways of relating to others. Moreover thegroup helps the individual to appraise his values and come to an increased appreciation of the importance of good human relations in his value system. Some individuals who cannot be reached through individual counselling can be reached through group counselling. In a group counselling situation feelings of depression, isolation is reduced and talking made easy. Apart from these, group counselling gives the counsellor an opportunity to study persons in an initial group setting.

Limitations: Group counselling is not suitable for all individuals. Some individuals find the group situation too threatening. Moreover some individuals have a very low level of tolerance and they will not be able to adopt their behaviour to the demands of the group. Similarly very personal and private problems cannot be discussed in the group situation. Apart from these the counsellor has less control over the situation in group counselling. As a result the counsellor may sometimes find himself seriously impeded in establishing good working relationship with members. Therefore, the counsellor has to take into consideration all these factors and decide whether go up counselling is suitable for particular individuals and type of problem.

Therefore, the counsellor has to take into consideration all these factors and decide whether group counselling is suitable for particular individuals and type of problem.

Individual versus Group Counselling:

Teacher Training has mentioned below the differences as well as similarities between individual counselling and group counselling.

Similarities :(a) the aims of both are the same viz. helping the counselee achieve self-understanding and become an integrated self-directed and responsible person. (b) The technique used are also similar, like clarification of feelings, restatement of contents etc. (c) The most important thing is the climate that is accepting, permissive and non-threatening. (d) Confidentiality and privacy are maintained. (e) The individuals who receive help in both are normal individuals who cope with stresses, frustrations, anxieties or other developmental problems.

Differences: (a) individual counselling is a one to one, face-to-face relationship where the counsellor interacts with only one counselee. But in group counselling the counsellor interacts with a number of individuals at the same time. (b) In individual counselling the counselee only receives help whereas in group counselling, the counselee also gives help to others. (c) In group counselling, the principles of group dynamics find a lot of application.