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Professional guidance of the individual by use of standard psychological methods such as collecting case-history data, using various techniques of the personal interview, and testing interests and aptitudes. The counselor's goal is generally to orient the individual toward opportunities that can best guarantee fulfillment of his personal needs and aspirations. The counselor usually attempts to clarify the client's own thinking rather than to solve his problems. Professional counselors (such as educational guidance and career counselors) and counseling psychologists (such as marriage and bereavement counselors) are found in a wide variety of institutional settings and in private practice. See alsopsychotherapy.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on counseling, visit Britannica.com.