When you give counsel or counsel someone, you give advice. If your neighbor is suing you because your dog keeps eating his begonias, you might seek the counsel of a dog trainer or, if that doesn't work, a lawyer.
You can get professional counsel — from a minister or psychiatrist or someone else trained in counseling — or you can get counsel from anyone you trust. You can ask your stylish friend to counsel you on your hairstyle, or you could write to Dear Abby for counsel on your lovelife. Counsel is also what you call a lawyer who represents you in court. In your begonia-eating dog case, your lawyer would be counsel for the defense.