I’ve taken a course on counselling psychology and have attended a counselling sessions myself. All the literature I’ve read has said counsellors should not give advice. My question is why is this possible?
I know when talking to a counsellor they think they’re being self-empowering by not “giving advice” or asking leading questions, but I don’t believe it’s possible to have a neutral conversation with someone where they have no effect over you. In a sense, is the way councillors/psychologists speaking to people actually underhanded as they try to dress-up advice as non-advice? I know at advance stages of counselling the counsellor is supposed to challenge the client’s incongruent views. Which views the councillor challenges are up to him, so that’s exerting change on the client. Wouldn't it be better for a councillor to clearly say what he thinks instead of trying to trick a client into thinking they came up with the idea? For example if a counsellor says “you’ve listed many bad qualities about your girlfriend” while this may be a fact, the councillor is trying to steer you in a certain direction. Wouldn’t it be more honest to say “you’ve listed many bad qualities about your girlfriend, maybe you should breakup with her?” even though the breaking up bit is considered advice?
UPDATE: I think I've finally found the words to express what I'm thinking. I know councilors are not supposed to give advice and act in a very "neutral way" as to allow the client to sort things out for them self, as this is seen as self empowering. It's been my observation that councilors (inadvertently) just find ways to mask what they are asserting as a question or a seemingly neutral statement. For example, client "my neighbor was parked in my drive way and it made me late for work", councilor "I could see how that would make a person mad" (this implies the correct response would be mad). client: "my date cancelled on me", councilor "do you feel let down?" (this is planting the idea in his head). Now wouldn't it be better if the councilor gave advice like "there are plenty of fish in the sea". I know councilors are not trained to ask leading questions or make leading comments, but as humans, I believe it is inevitable to do this, and it's much better just to say something directly than to (subconsciously) think up a way to hint at it.