counseling services by unqualified counselors

Counseling is a type of psychological therapy that involves the exchange of ideas between the counselor and the client. This happens in a confidential place that is dependable to help a person to talk out the negative feeling and thoughts that he may be having in a free manner. This is done by a highly trained therapist who is called a counselor (Smiletiger, 2012).  The overall objective of counseling is to have an opportunity to explore problems and look at ways for solving them, help the client to make a decision and cope with a situation. This helps the client to develop personal insight and knowledge towards living a more satisfying and resourceful life (Gladding, 2004). This paper seeks to establish more differences between professional counselors and other professionals who offer similar therapeutic assistance. It also seeks to discuss the dangers associated with counseling services offered by unqualified counselors.

Counseling deals with personal growth, general wellness and also the pathological concerns of the client. The supporting counselor works in a relationship environment between the client and the family, the workplace or institutions of learning. In technical terms, counseling means an advisor. It may involve financial advice, the course to study or the type of investment do. It is also used to denote the relationship that exists between the counselor and a psychotherapist. Counseling targets the psychological problems that the clients may be facing. In psychiatry, it denotes the treatment that involves more focus on behavior. The counselor offers suggestions and advice to the client to enable him to make sound decisions or cope with the problems. He deals with healthy patients but who requires coping strategies with conditions such as the onset of a disease, bereavement, anger, relationship issues, and others.

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Psychotherapy is different from counseling in that it deals with more chronic physical and emotional problems. The patient’s supporter focuses on the thought process of the client and guides him on how to continue living rather than to solve the problem. The roles of the psychotherapist may overlap with that of the counselor. Psychotherapy is offered by a trained individual such as a psychiatrist, social worker or psychologist. A psychotherapist can offer counseling services Justas the counselor. The counselor, however, cannot give the psychotherapist services as he may no possess the same skills (Nancy, 2013).

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is also different from counseling. The client seeks assistance when he is involved in a situation that can make him feel hopeless and worthless. CBT helps the client to think more positively, cope with the situation and even start enjoying while in the same situation. I this way CBT helps the client to cope with conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, phobias, depression, eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder (NHS, 2011).

Unlike counseling, psychotherapy involves talking more about the previously faced problems.These help the client to deals with the current problems and solve them with ease. The therapy tends to last longer than counseling. It assists the client to have more understanding about him and hence improve his relationship with others to get the best out of life. People with long term problems can be assisted to solve them using psychotherapy y (NHS, 2011).

Other therapies include family therapies where the therapist involves all members of the family to get the source of the problem. Couple therapy involves spouses who have a misunderstanding, while group therapy involves at most twelve individuals with similar problems.They share out their problems to help each other know that they not alone in the problem.

Dangers of unqualified counselors to the clients.

The counselors deal with very delicate issues that should be maintained at the most confidential level possible. It, therefore, needs highly qualified personnel to deals with issues of relationship problems, depression, anxiety, addiction, and other psychological problems.  Many are times when the clients do not get the right therapy concerning their difficulties due to incompetent counselors. It poses a danger of distorting society by increasing the number of gay relationships. It was as a result of advice by an unqualified counselor that brought together a young gay couple between Larry and Jason. This was in the middle of a campaign that was against gay marriage (Taffet, 2011).

The unqualified counselors can also use this opportunity to make money by creating false stories. They can mislead their client to give false stories by convincing them that they are indeed in problems. As it happened in mercy ministries, the unqualified counselors made some little girls to believe that they were sexually harassed and abused. They later put these stories in magazines and newspapers and sold them to the public (Mercy, 2005).

Offering the wrong therapy to the clients poses great risk of failure to cope with the problems facing the client. The client may be in a more serious psychiatric condition that require specialized therapy .The unqualified counselor may not recognize this so as to refer the client as appropriate.


It is important to realize the best time when counseling is required. Debriefing done immediately after a disaster as many unqualified counselors would do posses a great risk to the people involved. Pinker (2010), said that when the victims involved in the disaster are encouraged to talk their experience more and more, it would exacerbate their problems. People involved in disastrous events may develop severe symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder which can be potentially harmful.

Taking advantage of the stressful moment of the client, is another danger of having unqualified counselor. The counselor may try to have sexual relationship with the client in an attempt to convince him or her that he cares. The clients who are in very desperate situation would give in very easily thereby ruing his or her life.

In conclusion, presence of unqualified counselors posses great risk to the society. They can lead to exacerbation of a condition instead of helping the client to solve his problems. Strict rule and regulations should be put in place so as to protect the vulnerable ones in the society. It can be done by licensing of professional counselors, and proper distinction of responsibilities of different professionals who offer similar services.








Smiletiger, 2012.Counselling. web Retrieved from: viewed on 26th Jan, 2014.

Gladding, S.T. ( 2004). Counseling: A Comprehensive Profession (5th edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall. P 6-7.

Nancy, 2013. Counseling or psychotherapy. Web retrieved from: Viewed o 16th Jan, 2014.

NHS, 2011.The type of therapy.web. Retrieved from: Viewed on 16th Jan 2014.

Drogheda, 2010.At risk. Unqualified counselors in the cork. Web. Retrieved from: Viewed on 16th Jan 2014

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