This help cannot be effective unless the teacher or counsellor knows the problems faced by each pupil and his characteristics, his abilities, and his desires. On the other hand, if the help offered is to be accepted by the individual, he must know himself, his limitations, and his strengths.
Successful guidance, like successful teaching, is predicted on the student’s is understood by the counsellor and by himself.
It would seem to be self-evident that effective counselling toward specific goals is impossible without a clear understanding of the individual by the counsellor, the teacher, and the parent and that guidance should not be attempted unless such understanding is present. But life is full of tragedies in home and in school because of the lack of such understanding.
Many parents try to determine the future of their children, especially that of their sons. If the family tradition for generations has been that the first-born son becomes a physician, a lawyer, a minister, then an attempt may be made to fit a boy into the tradition’ in regardless of his abilities or interests.
It is often said that what the student does, what courses he takes in school or college, what occupation he chooses, should be based on the needs that he, himself, feels.
There is no doubt that these are important, but the needs that one feels at any given time may not be based on a clear self-understanding.
We often feel a variety of needs at any given time, but some are quite superficial and relatively unimportant.
Assistance in making choices should be based on as thorough an understanding as is possible of the individual, of his basic needs, and of the real circumstances surrounding his decisions.