Counseling is a professional activity involving the use of interpersonal relationship to quicken understanding of oneself and to encourage changes in life choices. Counselors often employ particular counseling theories in their operation or may go eclectic.
There is the Client Centred approach which involves active listening and empathy, geared towards assisting clients to discover and grow. The Biopsychosocial theory emphasizes the human need for physical, intellectual, emotional, social, vocational, and spiritual satisfaction. The Strength-based theory focuses on life positive developments. The counselor may also subscribe to the theory of Learned Optimism or Positive Thinking. The Cognitive Behavioural Therapy asserts that there will be destructive consequence if a client’s evaluative belief of an activating effect is dysfunctional. Another theory is the Solution-focused therapy, where the present and the future rather than past becomes the focus of the counselor. The Existential approach is concerned with creating one’s identity and establishing meaningful relationships with people.
Formal counseling got a foothold in Nigeria following activities of Irish Reverend Sisters at St. Theresa’s College, Ibadan in 1959. Two years later, the Ibadan Careers Council was formed, which, consequent of its widening influence became the Nigeria Careers Council in 1967. A decade later, a national education policy establishing counseling as an educational service was issued.