The essential aspects of counseling and guidance are:
- the continual assessment of the consumer’s progress throughout the rehabilitation process;
- identifying the consumer’s rehabilitation needs and providing the consumer with information to meet those needs;
- helping the consumer develop compensatory strategies to reach a successful outcome;
- addressing issues as they arise; and
- assisting the consumer in learning the options and resources for dealing with various problems related to the consumer’s disabilities.
Counseling and guidance includes helping the consumer to:
- understand his or her disability and related impediments;
- understand physical and mental restoration procedures;
- get accurate information to make an informed choice;
- make informed choices from among alternative goals, objectives, services, and service providers;
- identify strengths on which to capitalize to achieve the goal,
- acquire new skills;
- develop a realistic action plan to address a problem;
- use rehabilitation technology;
- develop residual capabilities;
- identify and use community resources and relevant support services;
- resolve barriers impacting the consumer’s planned rehabilitation needs, such as resolving transportation issues, child care issues, or family issues;
- modify the consumer’s attitudes and behaviors;
- develop self-advocacy skills;
- cope successfully with disability related stressors; and/or
- maintain progress toward the rehabilitation goal.
Counseling and guidance helps consumers learn to identify and use their options and resources to handle problems related to their disabilities. Learning to adapt to personal limitations and capitalizing on individual strengths leads to an improvement in self-esteem. The counselor encourages the consumer by establishing a relationship of mutual respect within which the counselor can both support and challenge the consumer to develop the skills needed to achieve positive outcomes.