Directive Counselling- Process & Limitation

  1. Directive Counselling: The basic of directive counselling advocated by E.G. Wiliamson is that counselling is possible only when an individual is able to accumulate adequate data to form the basis for an analytic diagnosis of the problem.

The following are the characteristic of directive counselling.

  • The counsellor plays a prominent and leading role.

  • The possible solution to the problem is suggested by the counsellor himself.

  • The counsellor gives ‘direct’ advice, suggestions, explanations etc., to the counselee.

  • Persuasion of the counsellor through repeated explanation to convince counselee regarding the suitability of the suggested solution.

Phases of Activities:

In directive counselling the initiative for conducting the counselling is taken by the counsellor. In this process, the responsibility of the counsellor is to analyze the problem, find out the causes, make decisions, and suggest appropriate solutions to the counsellor for his implementation. The following are the steps for conducting directive counselling.

  • Starting the counselling session.

  • Analysis of the problem.

  • Synthesis of the problem.

  • Prescribing remedial measures.

  • Follow up.

The process:

The  counsellor, through his friendly and warm behaviour, must create a cordial atmosphere for the counselling session. This is done by a few pleasant introductory remarks such as ‘Hello, how are you? Make yourself comfortable.’ Etc.,

Collect the relevant information about the problem of the client from various sources. Sometimes certain  psychological tests may have to be  administered on the counselee. Through a process involving free personal talk in the form of a discussion, the counsellor must attempt to understand the various aspects of the problem. In doing there may be need for the use of variety of probing questions.

The next stage of the directive counselling process is the prognosis. The counsellor gives his prediction on the future outcome of the problem. The counsellor should avoid fearful language. The counselee should not be perturbed of hurt by any chance.

Now, the remedial phase of the counselling starts. Here the counsellor gives his advice as how to cope with the problems. Most of the time, the counsellor suggests a number of solutions to the counselee and asks him to choose the appropriate one. When the counselee is convinced about his future plan of action, the session is terminated.

Follow up is the final step of counselling process.  This is done in relations to two objectives. First, whatever prescription is given to the student, its effectiveness must be seen in practice. Therefore, the counsellor keeps a watch over the client’s behaviour. Secondly, recurrence of the original problem may require immediate counselling session. Therefore, follow-up of the counselling is of the utmost necessity.


In the counselling session the counselee may agree to the suggestions and solutions given by the counsellor but the former may face difficulty in implementing and practicing the same. This may be because the counsellor while suggesting solutions may not have considered all the issues and the influences on the counsellor. The counselee may also develop a tendency to become totally dependent on others for finding solutions to any problem, no matter how simple it is.  This comes in the way of the personality growth of the counselee.

Source taken from Rehabilitation Council of India.

The above content is helpful for the friends who are preparing for the RCI exam.


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