Redefining the Broad Topic
The topic that has been chosen is professional counselling. This topic has to be redefined. This would be done by making a series of questions and answers that would help to convert the given topic into a narrower one. The idea is to shorten the amount of research one has to do in case of a broader topic. The following series of questions and answers would help in this regard:
Do you know what counselling is?
Counselling is about giving an advice to a person to solve his personal problem.
Do you know the meaning of profession?
Profession is a skill, which can be taught.
Do you know the kind of people who need counselling?
Anyone can make use of counselling.
Do you know people are trained to be counsellors?
Yes I do.
Where can you find a counsellor?
In a hospital or a social organization.
Do you know the kind of personal and social problems that are there?
An individual can be having problem in communicating and relating to others.
Have you ever had a personal problem like those mentioned by you?
Yes I have.
Are you ready to visit a counsellor if there is such a problem again?
I would not hesitate to do so.
Do you know any counsellor?
No I do not.
Are you willing to pay a counsellor for his services?
I am if the need arises.
The new topic is ‘Do we need professional counselling?’ The person to whom questions were put has a fair idea about what professional counselling is although the individual has never met a professional counsellor before. The individual knows that a professional counsellor is a trained one. The person is even aware of the personal problems. Thus the individual knows that people need a counsellor in this world.
The article that would result from this research is mainly targeted at youngsters attending school or college.
Identifying Sources of Information
One of the major sources that is used for gathering information relating to the given topic is online articles available on the internet. One major strength of this source is that the articles can be accessed at home or any other place by a computer or a mobile phone. Such articles are usually written by people who have knowledge about the given topic. They provide information in a concise and attractive manner. These articles are provided on certain websites that keep track of latest developments in the given area. On the other hand there are also online journal articles written by eminent people after lot of research which can be made use of. These articles might have been written in the last ten years. Over a period of time lot of research has been done on the topic professional counselling and on the internet these articles can be accessed using google scholar. There are articles by British, American and Australian authors. In certain cases abstracts of the entire researched article are given or in other cases the entire article is given. This kind of online research has become very popular. But not everyone has access to internet which also costs money and these articles are very short and detailed research cannot be carried out on the basis of only such articles.
Other source of information can be libraries which are owned by organizations which carry books relating to professional counselling. The charms and uses of hard copy information in the form of books and newspapers has not gone away. In fact the books provide detailed discussion on various issues relating to the topic in different chapters. Then there are newspapers which carry articles on the topic and in certain cases have printed questions and answer sessions with a real life counsellor professionally trained which can be a big help. But not everyone would like to actually carry a book and some prefer online sources for convenience.
More pieces of information can be the notes of people who are training to be professional counsellors. Such people are being taught the latest techniques of professional counselling and are also being told about the people who need such counselling. These people have enrolled in the course that intends to make them professional counsellors. They can be a mine of information regarding the topic. But some people would not rely on the information given by these interns as they have not become fully qualified counsellors.
Another piece of information can be movies and documentaries made on the subject of counselling. The compact discs might be available of these creations which can be bought or hired from a video library. There are certain videos available online which can be accessed. Then there are magazines also relating to medical science which have articles on professional counselling.
I was asked to do research on the topic professional counselling which was later changed to a more narrow topic whether we need professional counselling after a series of questions that were put to me which I answered with honesty and diligence. This question and answer session was a bit intimidating in the beginning but after a few answers, I felt at ease. This session helped me to become aware of my own knowledge about the topic professional counselling. I was not earlier knowing that I knew so much about counselling. I overcame my own fears and talked about counselling which many people do not want to talk about as it is considered to be needed by people who suffer from some sort of mental illness. After the question answer session I felt more relieved about the topic that finally was chosen and was the result of the questions and answers session. I found it to be a good technique to narrow the earlier topic. There was no harm but lot of good came out of this session.
Before the topic was redefined, I made use of the internet facility on my computer to search for information. I was aware of the use of the google scholar to find information relating to different topics like what is a profession, what is professional counselling and why we need professional counselling. I could find lot of articles some of which were complete and discussed about the kind of personal problems the people have in dealing with various issues like someone is afraid of flying by air or rail. Such problems can be treated by way of counselling and might not need any medication to be given to the person. In this case the counsellor might not be a doctor. Then a person might be having a problem in his marriage. This problem can be solved by counsellor having sessions with the person and the spouse. So all problems are not mental illnesses related it might just be a hesitation on the part of the person which can be treated through reasoning given to the troubled person. But in certain cases the problem with the person is so acute that the individual needs to be given medicine by a doctor and simple counsellor is not enough.
All the above information I got in various websites and there were also books in libraries which talked about serious patients who have to be treated for years through medication and counselling. I also read some interviews of professional counsellors in newspapers which I found in a library. These helped me to understand the depth of the knowledge these professional counsellors have. I could also meet a family friend who does some counselling work and I realized how calmly the person spoke to me about the need for more counsellors as social problems are increasing in the growing complex world of today.