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What is psychopedagogical counseling?

What is psychopedagogical counseling?

September 15, 2022

Psychopedagogical counseling is defined as an intervention from an external agent independent of the advisory body (the educational center and its professional components) in which a collaborative relationship is established between both parties in order to deal with possible problems that may arise. they may arise in the exercise of professional teaching practice, as in the global prevention of their future appearance.

Thus, in psycho-pedagogical counseling there are two main objectives: the clinical one, or "direct intervention" in real and current dysfunctional situations, and the one of "professional training", more related to the preventive aspect.


Main functions of psychopedagogical counseling

Cox, French and Loucks-Horsley (1987) made a list of the functions attributable to the advisory group, which were differentiated according to three different phases of development of the advisory intervention: initiation, development and institutionalization.

1. Initiation phase

With regard to the initiation phase, the advisory figure must assess the needs, capacities and resources presented by the educational center as well as the client with whom it collaborates and the group of final beneficiaries of the action. Further, must make an assessment of the type of practices that are applied in the center , as well as the preparation of the list of objectives and goals to achieve with the intervention.


In the same way, it should work on the creation of its proposal to improve the current practice of the center by providing training in new work strategies; organizing and assigning different functions to the teaching group; acting in the optimization of both material and non-material resources; and finally, facilitating the establishment of a positive and committed link of collaboration between the various parties involved in the intervention process.

2. Development phase

In the development phase the consultant should emphasize the offer of training in the solution of concrete problems existing in the educational practice of the center in question, as well as to follow up on the proposals of the suggested changes and carry out an evaluation of said process.

3. Institutionalization phase

In the final phase of institutionalization, the aim is to incorporate the set of actions carried out into the list of guidelines and curriculum of the intervened educational center. As well an evaluation and monitoring of the implemented program is carried out and the teacher training is continued (especially in case of new incorporations to the staff) and the allocation of resources to enable its continuity once the advisory group has finished its work in the educational center.


Characteristics of the psycho-pedagogical counseling service

Among the characteristics that define the psycho-pedagogical counseling service, it is important to point out that it is an indirect intervention, since the adviser works together with the professionals of the center (the client) so that the guidelines provided are finally reversed in the students (last users). Thus, could be defined as a "triadic relationship", in which a commitment is established between the advisory group and the client .

On the other hand, as previously mentioned, it is a cooperative, consensual and non-hierarchical relationship, in which both parties undertake to collaborate together as equals. Finally, as it consists of an independent body, the advisory group does not exercise any position of authority or control over its client, and therefore it is understood that its relationship is non-binding in nature.

Possible criticisms of the role of the psychopedagogical counselor

As stated by Hernández (1992), some of the criticisms regarding the role and intervention of the advisory figure in the educational center refer to the feeling reflected, on the part of the teaching professional team, of a decrease in one's autonomy in terms of to the performance of their daily work.

In addition, linked with this feeling of lack of freedom of action, The group of teachers can develop the idea that their task is confined to the performance of bureaucratic procedures , being limited its creative capacity to make possible innovative proposals. On the other hand, the fact of understanding the advisory group as a mediating agent between the administration and the education system can reduce the connotation of independence of the advisory figure.

Psychopedagogical counseling in the educational center

In the proposal made by Rodríguez Romero (1992, 1996a) on the general functions performed by the figure of pedagogical advice in the field of education, the following stand out: training, guidance, innovation, supervision and organization.

With the exception of the supervision function, the remaining four have been accepted and agreed upon without any theoretical-practical questioning. Regarding the supervision function, yes There is some discrepancy in that the intrinsic nature of the advisory function itself It is understood that the relationship established between the advisory body and the advisory body is one of cooperation, defined by a link between equal parts. Thus, the concept of supervision conflicts with this type of operation, since the latter term is associated with a connotation of asymmetry or hierarchy, meaning that the supervisory body is at a higher level, while the supervised body would be at a higher level. a lower level.

The Psychopedagogical Counseling Teams (EAP)

As indicated above, two are the main functions of the psycho-pedagogical counseling teams in the educational field :

The first is related to a purpose of solving real problems, already existing in the operation of daily teaching practice. This "remedial" function focuses on the problematic situation in itself and aims to offer a solution at a more precise level.

The second refers to a more preventive objective or "trainer" and is oriented to the advice given to the team of teachers in order to provide them with strategies and resources to favor the proper functioning of their professional practice and avoid future problems. Thus, the advice is not focused on the problematic situation, but on the intervention in the teaching staff to equip them with certain skills and competences to carry out in their teaching task in a general way.

This second option is the central function in the EAP teams, although they can also be used in a complementary way to the first one.

A significant consideration regarding the particularities of the EAP teams refers to their characterization as a highly professional and competent group in the field of educational counseling. This, makes associate with this figure a high connotation of collegiality in its area of ​​professional performance. Derived from the traditional generation of certain types of criticism related to the establishment of a clear and specific definition of what exactly is a psychopedagogical counseling team and what are its specific functions (role conflicts), an internal movement of self-reaffirmation has been generated in order to combat these criticisms coming from other external groups.

Bibliographic references:

  • Álvarez González M., Bisquerra Alzina, R. (2012): Educational Guidance. Wolters Kluwer. Madrid
  • Bisquerra, R. (1996). Origins and development of the counseling. Madrid: Narcea
  • Hervás Avilés, R.M. (2006). Guidance and Psychopedagogical Intervention and processes of change. Granada: University Editorial Group.

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