Guidance services in educational institutions include college and career counseling, grief counseling, substance abuse counseling and mental health counseling. Professional licensed counselors are able to help individuals with topics that fall within these categories in the form of individual or group counseling sessions.
Students generally seek individual guidance counseling when they experience a traumatic event, such as the death of a loved one, their parents' divorce, a fight with a friend or a failing semester grade. During these sessions, the guidance counselor talks the matter over with the student and recommends behavioral changes or coping mechanisms that help the student work through the problem. Students can also seek guidance services when they are unsure of what classes to take or need help choosing a college or long-term career strategy.
Group guidance services are generally planned events that include members of a certain grade or individuals who share common everyday life challenges. Some examples of group guidance services include college and career planning seminars and freshman orientation seminars. Some group guidance services are problem specific, and they can address issues such as anger management, attention deficit disorder, bereavement, depression or chemical dependence. Emergency group guidance services are usually available to all students immediately following a tragic local event.