Discipline: Social Science
This research looks into the concepts and experiences of counseling among college students. Using social representations theory as a framework for understanding the reasons for seeking and not seeking counseling among students, the researcher examined the reasons among first and second year students that had not and had experienced counseling. Thematic analysis was used to examine the data. Based on written responses and discussions, four themes were generated on the concept and purpose of counseling as (1) counseling aims to guide students in decision-making; (2) counseling aims to help students with problems; (3) counseling is contributing to personality development; and (4) counseling is for handling discipline cases. On the reasons for seeking counseling, three themes were generated as due to (1) typical adolescent concerns and issues; (2) school-specific stress; and, (3) crises or serious problems. On the other hand, two themes were generated on the reasons for not seeking counseling as (1) having social support and (2) having personal resources. Furthermore, the findings show that while all the participants from both groups believed that there is really a need for counseling in the college level, the results of the study suggest that majority of the participants did not seek help from the counselor. Lastly, the study highlights the importance of counseling among college students.