Counseling is a generic service of student’s personal work having a wide range of activities and includes faculty advising, counseling in psychological clinics, mental hygiene and other specialized types of counseling. It is a body of techniques which helps young individuals to grow up normally through guided learning. Counseling has proved to be very useful for the development of an individual student. Colleges and Universities, industries and business establishments are becoming increasingly interested in counseling and its potential for improving interpersonal relationships. “Counseling is a dynamic and purposeful relationship between the people in which procedures vary with the nature of the student’s needs, but in which there is always mutual participation by the counselor and the student with the focus up on self-classification and self-determination by the student. ”
Counseling is classified in to different types. This division is done based on the nature of the counseling process and the part of the counselor. There are three main types of counseling. They are directive, non-directive and eclectic counseling. In directive counseling counselor is active. In non-directive, counselor is passive.

Eclectic counseling is defined as the synthesis and combination of directive and non-directive counseling. It represents a middle status between the two extremes represented by the ‘non-directive’ technique on one hand and the ‘directive’ technique on the other. In eclectic counseling, the counselor is neither too active as in the directive counseling nor too passive as in the non-directive counseling. He just follows the middle path between these two.
The chief advocate of this type of counseling is Thorne. In eclectic counseling, the needs of a person and his personality are studied by the counselor. After this the counselor selects those techniques, which will be useful for the person. The main techniques used are reassurance giving information, case history, testing etc.
In eclectic counseling the counselor first takes into consideration the personality and need of the counselee. He selects the directive or non-directive technique that seems to serve the purpose best. The counselor may start with the directive technique. When the situation demands, he may switch over to the non-directive counseling and vice-versa. An attempt is made to adjust the technique to the requirements of the situation and the individual.

Steps in Eclectic counseling
The leading exponent of the Eclectic counseling Thorne, suggested the following in the process;
1) Diagnosis of the cause.
2) Analysis of the problem.
3) Preparation of a tentative plan for modifying factors.
4) Securing effective conditions for counseling.
5) Interviewing and stimulating the client to develop his own resources and to assume its responsibility for trying new modes of adjustment.
6) Proper handling of any related problems which may contribute to adjustment.

Assumptions of Eclectic Counseling
1) In general, passive methods should be used whenever possible.
2) Active methods may be used with specific indications.
3) In the early stages when the client is telling his story, passive techniques are usually the methods of choice. This permits emotional release.
4) Until simple methods have failed, complicated methods should not be attempted.
5) All counseling should be client centered.
6) Every client should be given an opportunity to resolve his problems indirectly. Inability of the client to progress through therapy as using passive methods alone is an indication for utilizing more directive methods.
7) Directive methods are usually indicated in situational mal adjustment where a solution cannot be achieved with out co-operation from other persons.

Characteristic of Eclectic Counseling
1) In this, objective and coordinating methods are used.
2) In the beginning of counseling, client-active methods are used and the counselor remains passive.
3) In this, more importance is assigned to the job efficiency and treatment.
4) In this, the principle of low expenditure is emphasized.
5) In such counseling, for the use of all the methods and techniques, the professional efficiency and skill of the counselor are must.
6) Keeping in mind the need of the client, it is decided whether directive method or non-directive methods should be used.
7) Making an opportunity available to the client is insisted so that he may find himself the solution of the problem.

Disadvantages of Eclectic Counseling
1) Some people are of the view that eclectic counseling is vague, opportunistic and superficial.
2) Both directive and non-directive counseling cannot be mixed together.
3) In this, the question arises how much freedom should be given to the client? For this there is non-definite rule.
4) The problem with an eclectic orientation is that counselors often do more harm than good if they have little or no understanding about what is helping the client.

Hierarchy of Eclectic Practices
McBride and Martin advocate a hierarchy of eclectic practices and discuss the importance of having a sound theoretical base as a guide. The lowest or first level of eclecticism is really syncretism – a sloppy unsystematic process of putting unrelated clinical concepts together. It is encouraged when graduate students are urged to formulate their own theories of counseling without first having experienced how tested models work. The second level of eclecticism is traditional. It incorporates “an orderly combination of compatible features from diverse sources harmonious whole“. Theories are examined in greater depth. On a third level, eclecticism is described as professional or theoretical or as theoretical integration.
This type requires that counselor master at least two theories before trying to make any combinations. A final level of eclecticism is called technical eclecticism. In this approach, procedures from different theories are selected and used in treatment.

F.C. Thorne, who is the exponent of this view, finds that it is possible for a counselor to alternate between directive and non-directive methods even in the same interview without disrupting the non-directive permissive relationship with the client. He selects the techniques according to the requirements of the situation and the individual. The counselor must be competent and proficient in the use of all available methods. The validity of the results is determined by the skill with which any method is used. The critical factor is not what method is used but rather the skill with which it is used.
(Notes in OHP Sheets)
Eclectic Counseling
– Synthetic and combination of directive and non-directive counseling
– Counselor is neither too active nor too passive
– Chief advocate: Thorne
– Counselor studies the personality and needs of client based on the need of client, eclectic counseling is used
-techniques used are:
· Reassurance
· Giving information
· Case history
· Testing
Counselor starts with directive technique, then switches on to the non-directive technique.

Steps in Eclectic Counseling
1) Diagnosis of the cause
2) Analysis of the problem
3) Preparing tentative plans for modifying factors.
4) Securing effective conditions for counseling
5) Stimulating the client to develop his own resources and trying new models of adjustment.
6) Proper handling of related problems which help in adjustment.

Assumptions of Eclectic counseling
1) Passive methods must be used whenever possible.
2) Active methods are used only with specific indications.
3) In the early stages when the client is telling his stories passive methods are used. It permits emotional release.
4) Complex methods are used only when simple methods fail.
5) Client-centered
6) Client is given opportunity to resolve his problems indirectly.
7) Directive methods are used where co-operations of other persons are needed for the solution.
Characteristics of Eclectic Counseling
1) Objective and coordinating methods are used.
2) In the beginning client active methods are used
3) Counselor remains passive.
4) Importance is given to job efficiency and treatment.
5) Principle of low expenditure.
6) Professional efficiency and skill of counselors are must.
7) Based on the need of client, directive and non-directive methods are used.
8) Provide opportunity to client to find solutions to his problems himself.
Disadvantages of Eclectic Counseling
1) It is vague, opportunistic and superficial.
2) Directive and non-directive cannot be mixed.
3) How much freedom should be given to the client?
4) Lack of skill of counselor can do more harm than good.
1) Guidance and Career Counseling (A.K Nayak., V.K Rao.)
2) Principle of Educational and Vocational Guidance (K .Sharma.)
3) Elementary Guidance and Counseling (Rashmi Agarwal)
4) Fundamentals of Guidance and Counseling (R.A. Sharma)
5) The Basic Essentials of Counseling (Indu Dave)
6) Guidance and Counseling (Indira Madhukas)

Categories: Education