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Guidance and Counselling for Children (EDU 3107) are compulsory for every teacher
trainees in their seventh semester to expose them on guidance and counselling which is
aimed at helping the pupils to understand themselves and their environment so that they can
function effectively in the society.
For the first task which is Task A (Production), we are required to identify a pupil who is
having problems through a variety of methods such as observation, document analysis,
interviews, questionnaires and etc. Then, we are advised to plan and execute a counselling
session and apply appropriate counselling theory, counselling basic skills and counselling
intervention for children. For the next task, we are asked to provide a video recording (30-40
minutes) as well as the transcription of the counselling session.
For the second task which is Task B (Writing), we are assigned to produce and essay by
providing justification of the use of counselling theory, counselling basic skills and
counselling intervention in the sessions.
According to Geldard & Geldard (2006), they mentioned that “We handle counselling
session with adults by inviting them to sit and interact with us. If we use a similar strategy to
children, it is likely most of them would answer questions asked directly while ignoring
important issues. They also may indicate the reaction of bored or silent. If any of them are
talking, it is likely they will talk about other issues.” The general aim of counselling children is
to help the child change, and feel better, by working through their issues to achieve adaptive
functioning (Geldard & Geldard, 2008). This may include helping the child to explore and
develop a self-concept which is positive and preferred.
From both definitions given above, I believed that guidance and counselling is a planned
and organized work aimed at assisting teacher especially those undergoing their teaching
practices at school to understand themselves and their abilities to develop the potentialities
in order to solve problems and achieve psychological, social and educational. Guidance and
Counselling complement each other though there are some differences.

There are three major counselling theories that I have learned which are Behaviourist
Theory, Client-Centered Theory and Rational Emotive Theory. As for me, I have chosen
Client-Centered Theory as it is related to my counselling session that have been conducted
in my first task. The person-centred therapy is founded on the principles of attitudes, and
based on the three “core conditions” of congruence, empathy and unconditional positive
regard, which were reduced from the original six and which the counsellor alone brings to
the relationship (Carkhuff, 1969a, 1969b). Based on the definition given above, I believed
that with a good rapport between the therapist and the client with the appropriate therapy,
the client can make the right decision for himself or walking out from the session if he thinks
that the counselling would not work for them.
Another research has also been made by Chris Molyneux (2002) which says that “Clientcentered therapy, also known as person-centered therapy, is a non-directive form of talk
therapy that was developed by humanist psychologist Carl Rogers during the 1940s and
1950s. Today, it is one of the most widely used approaches in psychotherapy.” The personcentered approach, his own unique approach to understanding personality and human
relationships, found wide application in various domains such as psychotherapy and
counseling (client-centered therapy), education (student-centered learning), organisations,
and other group settings.
In my counselling session, I have attempted to apply this theory on my client by holding
the beliefs on what Carl Rogers have mentioned in this theory. Acceptance and respect are
very important conditions for counselling relationship. According to Mapfumo (2001:128),
respect is a condition when the counsellor puts aside time to listen to the client without
divided attention, listening to all issues raised by the client even if they may seem trivial. I
have shown empathy towards my client by trying to understand his feelings and the way he
thinks by putting myself in his situation. Empathy basically is the attempt by the helper to
enter the world of the client and really come to know it (Thorne, 1984). The helper therefore
in a sense enters into the ‘‘shoes’’ of the client. It is important for me to show empathy
towards my client to help him to feel more confident to talk more about himself. Apart from
that, I have shown some congruence towards my client by being transparent, real and
honest in order to gain his trust in talking more about his problems. Figure 1 shows how the
client begins to talk more about his problem.

Figure 1: Showing empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard
Consequently, even though it may not be an easy step to take initially, but at this
stage where unconditional positive regard was performed, I must be aware about his
problem by accepting him without seeking to his behaviour, but then I need to accept
him as a person of worth according to this condition which has been summarized: ‘‘to
the extent that the therapist finds himself experiencing a warm acceptance of each
aspect of a client’s experience as being a part of that client, he is experiencing
unconditional positive regard’’ (Rogers, 1957, p. 98).
By exhibiting these three characteristics, I believed that I can help my client to grow
psychologically, becoming more self-aware and changing his behaviour through selfdirection because when the client is being put in this environment, he will feel safe and
free from judgment. Apart from that, in this type of atmosphere, it allows my client to
develop a healthier view of the world and a less distorted view of himself.


It is important to understand that “both counselling and teaching are deeply concerned
with human relationships ... learning and learning processes are at the heart of counselling.
It is therefore a particularly proper activity for a teacher, provided that he/she is able to allow
pupils to learn and not simply instruct them in a rigid way” (Hamblin 1974:3). As we all aware
of, every pupil have their own personalities. The same thing goes to my client, as he is the
type who rarely speaks during the session and used his body language to answer the
questions asked by me.
According to Mansor Abu Talib (2010), as a counsellor, they have to keep a mind to
the following regulations to ensure that the rapport built up by the counsellor and the client
can be realised effectively. Some of the thing that he mentioned are that there must be
respect for the client's counsellor, to accept unconditionally, to keep on listening attentively,
and give proper support and know the limits of own ability. This can be done during the
counselling session is in the process as long as it did not create an uncomfortable
environment for the client. This is again is supported by Mansor Abu Talib (2010) that
counselling session can be conducted anywhere but in an enclosed area, comfortable and
without any interruption to create a therapeutic environment for counselling activities. As for
this, I have done my session with my client in the library, specifically at the corner where
pupils do not usually use because I want my client to know that the conversation done during
this session is confidential.
Not only that, the execution of basic counselling skills itself has enabled the
counsellor or guidance teacher to generate assessment of the possible factors that leads to
unwanted behaviour. One of the basic counselling skills that have been conveyed was
listening skill. According to Nelson-Jones (2012), “active listening consists of both skilled
interpersonal communication and skilled intrapersonal mental processing.” During the
session, it is important for the counsellor to be fully attentive at all time because this is the
only time that client will be honest with himself and also to the counsellor as the client will
convey his thoughts and feeling. At the beginning of the session, it is obvious that the client
was a bit hesitate to talk about his problem with me as he kept on skipping to another topic
just to distract me on the question that was asked to him.
Figure 2: Talking about another thing

However as the session went on,

started to give more response, although not as
much as I expected. In
process of listening, I have also listened and observed on the
pupil’s non-verbal body language
the movement of his eyes and


movement as a whole which portrays
himself as a bold person with low self-esteem but
trying to be outstanding in the
eyes of other people.
Next, it

important for the counsellor to explore as much as possible on the issues and concern that
the client is having before the counsellor can judge on the
Another basic counselling skill that I have used during the session is responding.
According to Martin (2003), “Responding, in a counselling environment, requires that the
counsellor’s attention is focused on the client’s feelings and verbal expression at all times.
There are many occasions when we respond – perhaps by offering a nod of the head –
without really listening to what is being said.” In a counselling situation a counsellor must pay
close attention and check that a client is not agreeing with a suggestion, without actually fully
comprehending what has been voiced. During the session was going on, some of the body
movement that I did were offering a nod of the head, an um-hmn or by encouraging the
client to continue speaking by saying ‘And then?’ had provided a further positive response,
which keep the comments flowing.
Apart from that, Ivey and Ivey (2007) have pointed out that “Attending behaviour
encourages the client to talk. You will want to use attending behaviour to help clients tell their
stories and to reduce interviewer talk.” I indeed agree with the statement given above
because by applying a few of the skills on attending behaviour, my client seemed to be more
opened up to talk about himself and sharing about his experience in the new school as a
new pupils.
Figure 3: Attending behaviour

Other than that, I have used questioning skill in the session to help me gather data
about my client’s problem and at the same time helping him to understand about himself.
Questions need to be appropriate to the situation and Armstrong (2006) offers ways of
applying different types of questioning such as open questions which encourage the client to
tell more and closed questions which demand on a one or two word response used to gain
factual information.

Figure 4: Open-ended question

According to Borck & Fawcett (1982), “Open-ended questions are exploratory. They
encourage a client to think about his or her feelings and thoughts. They are usually
answered with more than one or two words. Open-ended questions are designed to help a
client verbally explore and, it is hoped, clarify ideas and feelings that relate to his or her
problems.” Due to that, I have used question such as “What happened between you and
Fuad?” to guide my client to reflect on the incident happening to him when he moved to the
school as a new pupil which is what I wanted. I wanted him to explore how strongly he felt
about another person yelling and talking down to him.
Figure 5: Closed-ended question
In contrast, Borck & Fawcett (1982) also mentioned that “a closed-ended questions
usually asks for factual information and can often be answered with a ‘yes’, a ‘no’, or some
other one- or two-word answer”. Generally, closed-ended questions are appropriate for
obtaining specific information about the client. A closed question I used in the context of a
reflection was when my client talked about his problem and I used a small response to try to
get more clarity around his needs at this time not forgetting our short timeframe and how I
could best serve him, the reflection and question was ‘You don’t want to be his friend?” He
responded no to this together with a shake with his head which is what I needed to continue
to direct our session around this problem. Besides providing factual information, the answers
to closed-ended questions can tell the helper if his or her understanding of the content and
the feelings of the client’s verbal statements is correct.

We can use many types of therapy in helping small children to solve problems in their
daily lives. Some of them are play therapy, art therapy, story-telling, music therapy and
bibiotherapy which could be applied for encouraging children to speak openly in the
counselling sessions. Along the continuance of the session conducted, I have implemented

art therapy and also bibiotheraphy to guide my client in delivering his problem and concern
The first method used by me to encourage my client to speak openly in one of the
sessions I had with him is art therapy. For this therapy, I was focusing on a technique called
The House-Tree-Person (H-T-P). It is a projective technique developed by John Buck which
is used to assess intellectual functioning. He believed that through drawings, subjects
objectified unconscious difficulties by sketching the inner image of primary process. Through
the use of the “House-Tree-Person” exercise, the therapist is able to gather extensive
knowledge of the child’s true feelings. After the child draws the three pictures, the clinician
can gather further information about his or her views on the world. Also, this technique can
offer detailed insight into the child’s mind that he or she may not have to words to describe to
begin with (Buschel & Madsen, 2008).
The House-Tree-Person drawing was extracted from an intelligence test and used to
analyse someone’s feelings about their environment and themselves (Niolon, 2003). Each
one is to represent how the person feels and thinks about themselves in the world. After the
drawings are completed, there are questions that are usually asked to get more information
about the house, tree and person. Based on the drawing my client has done, I realised that
my client preferred to be around his family than his friends because at home, he feel loved
by everyone including his younger sister. The more he talked about his house, the more
excited he became because to him, his home is like heaven where there is only happiness
contained in the house.
Apart from that, another method that I have chosen which is bibliotherapy is a
method which uses books to help children to heal social, emotional or personal problems in
their life. When young children are experiencing difficulties in their daily lives, reading about
characters with similar problems can help them cope. By doing so, children will understand
better about things happening around them. Most of us do realise that by reading, we can
actually heal our soul. Thus, one of the reasons why bibliotherapy is useful to children is
because it can help them to overcome the emotional turmoil which is related to their real-life
problem by having them exposed to the literature on that topic.
The same goes to my client because when I offered a book entitled “The New Boy”
by May Choe, instead of letting me to read the book, he offered himself to read the book
because he told me that he can read English storybook. Adams and Pitre (2000) claim that
reading books give clients the chance to learn and relate to the experiences of other people.
Thus, I can say that reading help my client to cleanse his mind and soul, and at the same
time to have empathise towards other people as the same thing happened to him too.

Through the use of bibliotherapy, clients may become aware of their underlying unconscious
issues, and with the help of the counsellor is able to bring them to the conscious mind
(Legault & Boila, 2003).

After the counselling session being conducted with one of the Year 3 pupil from
Sekolah Kluster Kecemerlangan (SKK) Seremban 2A, I have come to a realisation that to
come out with different method and techniques in tackling pupils to speak openly about their
problem to the counsellor, I need to be equipped up with a wide knowledge and information
before I can do a session with the client. A number of different counselling skills used by me

to help the client gain clarity, tell his story and think of ways he can improve his life. It was
important for me to use these skills to check my understanding, define the problem the client
presented, communicate effectively professional and caring messages and help the client to
gain insight and think about his problem from a number of perspectives.
Unfortunately, some of the skills used by me were not as effective as others such as
the goal setting skill, while suggestions for improvement were provided. Although the
intervention has been implemented, the changes in his behaviour is just a minor one
because a few days after our last session, I saw him fighting with his classmate in the class
during the teaching and learning session which was conducted by me. I was quite
disappointed because I think I have tried my best to help him overcoming his fear and his
interpretation about his new school. All in all, no human can be shaped up in just a few
weeks. I am trying to look at the bright side that sooner or later, as he get used to the
environment of the school, he will be more comfortable to mix around with any friends in the

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