Friday, 3 January 2014

Paper 8: Vocational Guidance and Counselling

Paper 8: Vocational Guidance and Counselling
Q.9. Highlight the major issues, discuss the important features of vocational guidance to adolescents as compared to the other population.
·         Taking into account adolescent development is of central importance when considering how to create career planning models for teens. This allows vocational guidance and counseling programme  to be more successful in their compatibility with teenagers’ wants and needs.

·         Cognitive shifts can be observed in how students make decisions; those in earlier grades consider themes at a concrete level whereas students in later grades have the ability to conceptualize themes and concepts. Students’ rationale for choosing occupations becomes more logical, realistic, and more deeply understood as they age.

·         Counsellors can attend to developmentally appropriate content and delivery of career information while encouraging career exploration as a means to assist with identity formation. For example, grade 12 students may benefit from brief proactive interventions on career and life planning, with less involvement from an adult, whereas counsellors for grade 9 students could focus on more intense, long-term involvement and more adult or peer attention.

·         Counsellors must ensure adolescent engagement with the career information that is developmentally appropriate. Engagement and relevance will help to build a strong sense of ownership or self confidence, especially for younger students. One way to establish relevance, specifically for a teenager, is to vary the delivery method (e. g., lectures, technology, or role play), use real-life situations, or use a group approach.

·         Counsellors must ensure continued interest in career information. Interest is maintained by keeping the tasks and discussions developmentally appropriate. In order to do this, younger adolescents must be allowed more exploration and more support as they need time to see what possibilities exist beyond school and to test their emerging identities. This allows students to progress to more advanced exploration as they age, which may allow for greater career skill development and employability skills.

·         Counsellors must seek the assistance of the most influential individuals in student’s career decision-making: their parents. Parental support is an overriding necessity of any school-based counseling career model made for adolescents. Parental involvement should include being kept up to date about what their child is doing regarding career planning (i.e., notes or newsletters sent home, open house formats to bring them into the school).

·         It is especially crucial for school counsellors to ensure that the methods and information used in career counselling are helpful for students. This may be the only opportunity for adolescents to receive career planning before they enter into the world of work.

·         As development affects things like what careers teens are interested in, how they think about their future, and what they need to maintain interest, it makes sense for vocational guidance models to take such cognitive changes into account.

Q.10. Write short notes:
Performs paraprofessional journey level work involved in the compilation of information for the determination of eligibility in accordance with local, state and federal program regulations and procedures for participation in County, State and Federal Job Training Partnership Act (J.T.P.A.) programs and work involved in the training of participants enrolled in the J.T.P.A. Programs.
1. Provides training in the interviewing of applicants to obtain appropriate information, the compilation of required forms in accordance with established procedures and regulations,
recording and evaluating of personal and financial data obtained from applicants and completing and determining initial eligibility based upon information collected for submittal to higher level of authority for approval. Performs aforementioned duties as required.
2. Conducts orientation, explains program procedures, process, and time frames to applicants. Conducts vocational and academic assessments. Conducts pre-assessments for pre-employment/work maturity. Evaluates and compiles assessment results.
3. Guides and instructs work experience trainees in appropriate office behaviour and dress. Teaches/counsels in life skills. Instructs in office procedures and provides office machine training.
4. Teaches participants to use various types of computers. Oversees and instructs and implements the Employability Development Plan as prescribed. As assigned, may teach math, reading, spelling, and language arts.
5. Assists participants in use of various types of computer software and audio/visual equipment.
6. Implements clerical curriculum as prescribed.
7. Conducts classes.
8. Performs outreach duties for program.
9. Maintains chronological case notes, charts, forms, folders, and other related documents notating and documenting accurate, up-to-date information of program activities and status of applicants and participants.
10. Performs a variety of clerical tasks to include but not limited to: scheduling appointments; answering phones; utilizing computer keyboard to perform such tasks as, but not limited to, inputting data and utilizing word processor; responding to or routing inquiries; referring and directing individuals, applicants and clients to appropriate agencies; assembling materials in preparation of interviews and investigations; completing and processing of forms and other documents; organizing information, records and other related documents; and filing.
11. Acts as a computer lab aide. Teaches participants to use the computer. Oversees and instructs basic education and other computer-assisted training.
12. May assist Vocational Counsellor Senior and in absence of same, may perform some of their duties and responsibilities as required.
13. Performs special assignments as requested.
14. Performs related work as required.

Psychometric testing in vocational counselling and guidance
Wherever an individual/student wants to make serious decisions about career choices – about choosing careers, changing careers, choosing higher education or training – psychometric tests are an objective measure of not just aptitude, but to a certain extent, of the likelihood of career satisfaction and success.   They help you to know yourself – not just what you’re good at but also to make you aware of those important areas that could use a little work, areas where you are not as strong as you could/should be.
In general, psychometric testing can help students by:
  1. Providing an objective measure of often hidden abilities and form a robust foundation for making career decisions.
  2. Highlighting strengths and weaknesses
  3. Helping to identify interests
  4. Identifying skills
  5. Providing an insight into personality
  6. Providing insights into aspects of work
 The majority of students in and 5th and 6th form (11th and 12th grade) secondary institutions and a large number of those in tertiary institutions often do not know what they want to do; they do not know if what they think they want to do is something that would suit them and even more importantly they have no idea of where to go for advice and counselling.  While this method of testing is helpful, students must remember that it’s just one of several tools available and that it must always be used in conjunction with competent professional guidance counselling especially when used for career guidance.   No one thing or instrument can provide the magical and complete answers.  There is no quick magical fix-it when determining what career you want to pursue.  The tests can assist you and provide insights that may have eluded you, but always be aware that psychometric testing 
  • WILL NOT make decisions for you
  • MUST be supported by adequate professional guidance and counselling
  • WILL NOT rule in or rule out careers
  • WILL NOT take into consideration the economic realities of your situation
  • WILL NOT remove the hard thinking required when making career decisions
The use of psychometric testing within the field of Career and Educational Guidance is therefore understandably on the increase.  This is partly because, when used correctly, psychometric testing is wholly consistent with the aim of providing a high quality, non-discriminatory, independent, and objective Career and Educational Guidance Service.  The use of psychometric tests (where appropriate) can bring benefits to both the client and the Guidance providers, but these benefits will only be derived if tests are used properly.
Ideally, this type of testing is administered in conjunction with consultation from professional guidance counsellors and should be readily and easily available for the majority of 5th and 6th form students. 
In short the career interest questionnaires help us to identify which categories of work the counselee is most interested in according to certain career themes, such as active, analytical, caring/social or artistic/creative. We are often able to help our clients to move forward, embarking on a new career after a decision to make a major change, or perhaps for the first time, if they are school or college leavers. We may be helping them to re-launch their careers if they are returners to work after child rearing or a long period out of work for some other reason.
Q.5. Define Professional Supervision. How is it used in training the counsellors?
Professional supervision is a positive and enabling process that offers the opportunity to bring an employee and a skilled supervisor together to reflect on work practice. It is the process by which a worker can review and evaluate their work through discussion, report and observation with another worker. Supervision aims to identify solutions to problems, improve practice and increase understanding of professional and clinical issues.
“Supervision is a process in which one worker is given responsibility to work with another worker(s) in order to meet certain or organisational, professional and personal activities. These objectives are competent, accountable performance, continuing professional development and personal support.” (Morrison 1993).
Working under supervision means that a counsellor or psychotherapist uses the services of another counsellor or psychotherapist to review their work with clients, their professional development, and often their personal development as well. Supervision is a professional service, rather than a managerial role, and for counsellors who work in institutions, supervision and management will normally be entirely separate. The supervisor acts not as a ‘boss’, but as a consultant.
Some counsellors also use group supervision, in which several therapists confer on each other’s work, although ordinarily this is used in addition to individual supervision, rather than as a replacement.
Use of Professional Supervision in training the counsellors:
Supervision exists for two reasons:
  1. to protect clients, and
  2. to improve the ability of counsellors to provide value to their clients.
Supervision protects clients by involving an impartial third party in the work of a counsellor and client, helping to reduce the risk of serious oversight and helping the counsellor concerned to reflect on their own feelings, thoughts, behaviour and general approach with the client.
These opportunities to reflect on how they relate to the client, as well as to garner insights from the perspective of another therapist, also help the counsellor to improve the value they are providing to their clients. In this respect, supervision is somewhat analogous to peer review in the publishing process: few professional scientists would expect to be able to publish their results without peer review, and the quality of the scientific literature is undoubtedly better than it would be without the positive influence of the peer review process.

Q.4. What is the role of a counsellor? What are the qualities required to be a good counsellor?
Role of a counsellor:
A counsellor is an individual who helps people, families or groups deal with difficult immediate or ongoing situations. Their role is to help people cope or resolve issues in a non-judgemental and productive manner. A counsellor does not necessarily need any medical training and subsequently may not be qualified to deal with any condition with a medical base or that could severely impact an individual’s personality.
Counsellors will employ a wide variety of techniques in order to resolve conflicts; however, they cannot offer any form of medical advice. Fundamental to almost all forms of counselling is establishing trust by listening attentively and non-judgementally. The role is also likely to involve asking open questions in order to help people understand why they feel a certain way.
Some of the roles of a counsellor are discussed below:
  • Meeting with patients or clients to listen and, where appropriate, discuss problems in a progressive and therapeutic way.
  • Providing assistance in resolving minor mental health issues and ensuring that individuals meet their full potential.
  • Advising on the best course of action/care for individuals, couples, families and/or clients to resolve issues.
  • Providing comprehensive and methodical analysis and notes to assist in the diagnosis or resolution of a problem.
  • Challenging the perceptions that clients may have of themselves or those around them in an empathetic and productive manner.
  • Referring clients to qualified medical professionals as and when necessary.
  • Supervising discussions between parties to help them resolve a situation in the most amicable means possible. This may involve acting as a formal mediator but is unlikely to include any form of binding arbitration.
  • Acting within the ethical bounds of the profession, maintaining client/ patient confidentiality and ensuring that emotional distress is minimised.
  • Keeping records of discussions.
Qualities of a good counsellor:
  • Paramount to becoming a successful counsellor are strong inter-personal and communication skills.
  • Being able to create an atmosphere of trust.
  • An empathetic and non-judgemental nature.
  • Tolerance and sensitivity.
  • Patience and tact.
  • An understanding of your own capabilities and when a client/ patient should be referred to a medical professional.
  • Being able to work with disturbed and emotional people without getting personally involved.
  • Ethics - counsellors need to have a well defined ethical philosophy as they are responsible for ensuring the mental and emotional health of individuals and groups who may be severely disadvantaged. It is imperative that you are able to remove yourself from the work environment and maintain a professional distance from the subject when appropriate.
  • Impartiality - counsellors working with groups or couples will need to maintain their independence and neutrality and display a strength of character to ensure that one individual does not dominate the discussion.
  • For careers focussing on the counselling of businesses or managers a solid knowledge of business practices and organizational behaviours is useful.
Q.8. Describe the details of the first interview in vocational counselling and guidance with suitable examples.
Following fifteen are the essential first interview components:
1) Opening the interview.
2) Assessing the reason for coming to counselling.
3) Assessing previous counselling experience.
4) Assessing client counselling expectations.
6) Describing the nature of confidentiality.
7) Searching for meaningful counselling content.
8) Assessing client ability to function.
9) Labelling what feelings are.
10) Determining a counselling structure.
11 ) Obtaining a commitment to counselling.
12) Working on goal-setting.
13) Summarising, reviewing, and evaluating.
14) Using psychological homework.
15) Closing the interview

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