Kathmandu University Central Campus, Dhulikhel premises has Guidance and Counseling Services under KU Guidance and Counseling Cell. We encourage the students to use the counseling opportunity and grow healthy, happy and productive.
What is counseling and what is not?
The word counseling is in vogue nowadays. We hear people suggesting counseling for almost any kind of human enterprise and suffering. Many business companies, manpower agencies, technical institutions, educational organizations claim to be offering counseling. However, from the perspective of counseling and clinical psychology, whatever services these organizations are offering is information sharing but not the counseling. Hence, first of all we need to be clear what is not counseling before understanding what counseling is.
What is not counseling?
- Mere sharing information on different subjects/ topics
- Giving suggestion
- Directing and commanding
- Preaching or teaching morality
- Fault finding
- Chasing clients and lecturing
- Solving problems for clients
- Pressurizing, coercing and dictating
- Or any other kind of imposing behavior from helper
What is counseling?
Counseling is dialogue between counselor and client. It is a special kind of dialogue because here counselor actively listens to clients' concerns, problems and suffering, nonjudgmentally, expressing empathy and fully accepting the client as he/she is in the present situation. At the same time counselor validates the client's emotion, behavior and thoughts. Listening, empathizing and validating are done in entirely confidential setting. In this safe and warm environment, client feels understood and validated. This very human connection prepares ground for change. This all does not happen overnight or in one or two sittings sometime it may take 5 or more sessions to build up a helping-relationship between counselor and client.
Alongside the listening and empathizing, there is an assessment process going on. The assessment includes observing client's behavior, expressed emotion and thoughts, getting them to do certain test-scales and thorough history taking. The assessment procedure helps to determine the kinds of strategies to be executed for the client. Hence, for counseling to happen we need to keep these things in mind.
- Counseling is about helping you understand yourself and your situation and make some changes if you feel ready to do so.
- Counseling takes place because you want it yourself or someone suggests that you need it. However, counseling works better when you take it on your own.
- Counseling takes place when you decide and number of sessions depends upon the complexity of your problem.
- Counseling helps at three levels: it helps you do better than you are doing now, it helps you prevent yourself from possible psychological hazards, and it helps solve problems if there are any. Hence, every individual can take counseling.
- Counseling is not chasing the clients and imposing upon them the counseling sessions, which can be rather counterproductive most of the time rather than helpful.
Major Counseling Strategies applied in KU Counseling Cell
(The choice of strategy depends upon the kind of problems, severity, intensity indicated by assessment)
1. Cognitive Strategy:
In this method, counselor conceptualizes client's problem resulted from thinking error and helps the client to think realistically through the process of cognitive restructuring. On the other hand, if the client's problems are not the result of erroneous cognition but are based on facts then the methods of systematic problem solving will be applied. This kind of help generally requires at least 12 sessions to realize a change.
2. Behavioral Strategy:
This helping strategy conceptualizes client's problem to be the result of faulty learning. It means these problem behaviors are understood as classically conditioned, instrumentally conditioned or modeled. Then, the client is trained to unlearn the learned problematic behavior. The unlearning process follows exposure, contingency management and skill training etc. The cognitive and behavioral strategies often take place conjointly; hence, it is cognitive behavioral therapy. A client requires at least 10 to 12 sessions to realize change.
3. Interpersonal Strategy:
This way of helping understands the client's problems to be the consequences of interpersonal deficit due to loss, conflict, alienation and role transition. Here, client is helped to correct deficit in any of these areas through the training in problems solving. The goal of the help is to make client skillful in interpersonal context. This helping modality requires client to complete 8 to 10 sessions to realize change.
4. Relaxation Strategy:
This helping strategy conceptualizes the problem to be the failure of 'relax response'. Hence, to get relax, the client is trained in deep breathing, muscle relaxation, mindful awareness of breathing and body sensation and physical exercises. The relaxation exercise requires at least 6 to 8 sessions.
Guidance helps the client to choose academic discipline, career and jobs etc that better suits his/her interest and aptitude. In guidance as well student is helped to explore the possibilities from his/her own perspective rather than mere suggesting alternatives. However, in guidance counselor helps client to access to better resources and decide independently. Guidance requires a client to complete at least 3-5 sessions.
What Counseling is for?
- Feeling low, lonely, helpless, hopeless and suicidal
- Low self esteem, confidence and poor self image
- Feeling stressed, anxious, irritated and overwhelmed
- Aggression, guilt, shame, and thought problems (negative thinking)
- Relationship concerns: conflicts, separation and adjustment problems
- Social isolation/ shyness/ fearfulness/ performance anxiety
- Substance use and dependency, behavioral problems
- Academic concern: poor study habit, low achievement and poor performance
- Career Concerns
- Sexual concerns
- Grief and loss
How Counseling Cell reaches the students?
- Direct observation and conversation in classes
- Recommendation by Department Heads, Subject Teachers
- Referral from Student Welfare Directorate
- Referral from Hostel Warden
- Recommendation by fellow students
- Recommendation by Guardians and Parents
What are the services available?
- Assessment and Screening
- Guidance on academic concerns and career issues
- Counseling for emotional, behavioral and relationship issues
Whom to Contact?
Mr. Madhav Khatiwada, Counselor and Lecturer, 9841725698, 9810043036
Guidance and Counseling Cell- Block No. 10, Central Campus Dhulikhel