Counseling is a generic term and much of what will be said here about marriage counseling will apply in equal measure to other forms of counseling. All counseling aims, at least theoretically, at developing insight into the nature of the problem and the causes or factors which produced it; and endeavors to give the counselee support, encouragement, reassurance, and new perspectives so that he may look upon himself as but one of many who face or have faced similar problems which can be solved under favorable circumstances. To some extent also all types of counseling use similar means to achieve their ends even though they may be quite different in their fundamental and basic theoretical approaches. At one time or another every counselor is called upon to give advice, information, and guidance.
Some will use these devices only as a last resort. Others will utilize these methods more freely because they feel that the counselee wants, needs, and is entitled to more direct and immediate help. They believe, moreover, that unless the counselee does get such help he will become discouraged and will discontinue the counseling. The damage to the counselee from discontinuance when he needs counseling, they feel, is bound to be much more injurious than giving such direct help.