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Chapter 2: the counselor: Person and Professional

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Raphael Angelo Medina

on 23 March 2016

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Transcript of Chapter 2: the counselor: Person and Professional

and Practice
of Counseling
and Psychotherapy

The Counselor’s Values
Begin therapy by exploring the
Issues Faced by Beginning Therapists
Dealing With Our
Staying Alive– It’s a
Chapter 2: The Counselor: Person and Professional

Theory and Practice of
Counseling and Psychotherapy
Chapter 2

What are the
personal characteristics

of effective counselors?

two major personal qualities
, or strengths, that you think will help you as a counselor? *

What one
life experience
do you believe has had the greatest influence on your ability as a therapist?

The Effective

The most important instrument
you have is

life experience, who you are,
how you struggle to live up to your potential
, are powerful tools

Be authentic
Serve as
models for our clients
Your own
can touch your clients
Be a therapeutic person and
be clear about who you are
Be willing to grow, to risk, to care, and to be involved
Effective counselors
Warm, accepting, caring

Respect themselves
Have an Identity
Open to change
Sincere, honest, & authentic
Invested, willing to take risks
Good boundaries
Live in the present
Sensitive to culture…………..more
Have an Identity
They know who they are, what they are capable of becoming, what they want out of life, and what is essential.
Respect and appreciate
They can give and receive help and love out of their own sense of self-worth and strength.
They feel adequate with others and allow others to feel powerful with them.
Open to change
They exhibit a willingness and courage to leave the security of the known if they are not satisfied with the way they are.
They make decisions about how they would like to change, and they work toward becoming the person they want to become.
Make choices that are life oriented
They are aware of early decisions they made about themselves, others, and the world.
They are not the victims of these early decisions, and they are willing to revise them if necessary.
They are committed to living fully rather than settling for mere existence.
Authentic, sincere, and honest
They do not hide behind masks, defenses, sterile roles, or facades.
Have a sense of humor

They have not forgotten how to laugh, especially at their own foibles and contradictions.
They are able to put the events of life in perspective.

Make mistakes and are
willing to admit them

They do not dismiss their errors lightly, yet they do not choose to dwell on misery.
Generally live in the present.
They are not riveted to the past, nor are they fixated on the future.
They are able to experience and be present with others in the “now.”
Appreciate the influence of culture
They are aware of the ways in which their own culture affects them, and they respect the diversity of values espoused by other cultures.
They are also sensitive to the unique differences arising out of social class, race, sexual orientation, and gender
Have a sincere interest in the welfare of others
This concern is based on respect, care, trust, and a real valuing of others.
Possess effective interpersonal skills
They are capable of entering the world of others without getting lost in this world, and they strive to create collaborative relationships with others.

They have the capacity to take another person’s position and work together toward consensual goals

Become deeply involved in their work and derive meaning from it.
They can accept the rewards flowing from their work, yet they are not slaves to their work
Are passionate
They have the courage to pursue their passions, and they are passionate about life and their work
Able to maintain
healthy boundaries
Although they strive to be fully present for their clients, they don’t carry the problems of their clients around with them during leisure hours.
They know how to say no, which enables them to maintain balance in their lives.
The Role of Values in Counseling
The degree to which counselors’ values should enter into a therapeutic relationship is a matter of debate

Yet we are simply not value-neutral, nor are we value-free
Our therapeutic interventions rest on core values. Even the choice of words we use expresses our value system.
Although our values do influence the way we practice, it is possible to maintain a sense of objectivity.
Your task is to assist individuals in finding answers that are most congruent with their own values
If clients acknowledge that what they are doing is not getting them what they want, it is appropriate to assist them in developing new ways of thinking and behaving to help them move closer to their goals
of how
influence your interventions
Recognize that you are
not value-neutral
Your job is to

clients in finding answers that are most congruent with their own values
Find ways to
manage value conflicts
between you and your clients
Value imposition
refers to counselors directly attempting to define a client’s values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors
American Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics (ACA, 2005)
Personal Values. Counselors are aware of their own values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors and avoid imposing values that are inconsistent with counseling goals and respect for the diversity of clients, trainees, and research participants. (A.4.b.)
A certain level of anxiety demonstrates that we are aware of the uncertainties of the future with our clients and of our abilities

That we have self-doubts is normal; it is how we deal with them that counts.

Being Ourselves and Disclosing Our Experience
If we are able to be ourselves in our therapeutic work, and appropriately disclose our experience in counseling sessions, we increase the chances of being authentic and present.
It is this level of genuineness and presence that enables us to connect with our clients and to establish an effective therapeutic relationship with them.
Avoiding Perfectionism
Perhaps one of the most common self-defeating beliefs with which we burden ourselves is that we must never make a mistake.
It takes courage to admit imperfections, but there is a value in being open about being less than perfect.
Understanding Silence
The silence may be refreshing, or the silence may be overwhelming.
The Role of Values in Developing Therapeutic Goals
It is critical that the general goals of counselors be congruent with the personal goals of the client.
Setting goals is inextricably related to values.
Perhaps the interaction has been on a surface level, and both persons have some fear or hesitancy about getting to a deeper level.
When silence occurs, acknowledge and explore with your client the meaning of the silence.
Dealing With Demands from Client
Therapists sometimes feel that they should extend themselves in being helpful, they often burden themselves with the unrealistic standard that they should give unselfishly regardless of how great the demands on them are.
To prevent this, make your expectations and boundaries clear during the initial counseling sessions or in the disclosure statement.
Dealing With Clients Who Lack Commitment
It is critical that therapists not promise what they cannot or will not deliver. It is good practice to make clear the limits of confidentiality as well as any other factors that may affect the course of therapy.
In working with involuntary clients it is especially important to prepare them for the process; doing so can go a long way toward lessening resistance.
Issues Faced by Beginning Therapists
Tolerating Ambiguity
Many beginning therapists experience the anxiety of not seeing immediate results.
Realize that clients may seemingly “get worse” before they show therapeutic gains
Developing a Sense of Humor
Therapy need not be deadly serious
It is important to recognize that laughter or humor does not mean that work is not being accomplished.
There are times, when laughter is used to cover up anxiety or to escape from the experience of facing threatening material
The therapist needs to distinguish between humor that distracts and humor that enhances the situation.
Sharing Responsibility With the Client

One mistake is to assume full responsibility for the direction and outcomes of therapy.
It could also increase the likelihood of your early burnout.
It is not your role to assume responsibility for directing your clients’ lives.
Best measure of effectiveness as counselors is the degree to which clients have found direction within ourselves
Declining to Give Advice
Therapists help clients discover their own solutions and recognize their own freedom to act.
Our task is to help clients make independent choices and accept the consequences of their choices.
Therapist should not foster dependence on them by clients
Defining Your Role as a Counselor
As future counselors, you may assume many different roles that are related to diverse theoretical orientation.
Keep in mind that the professional roles you assume are likely to be dependent on factors such as the client populations with whom you are working, the specific therapeutic services you are providing, the particular stage of counseling, and the setting in which you work
Learning to Use Techniques Appropriately
Staying Vital as a Person and as a Professional
Ideally, therapeutic techniques should evolve from the therapeutic relationship and the material presented, and they should enhance the client’s awareness or suggest possibilities for experimenting with new behavior.
Know the theoretical rationale for each technique you use, and be sure the techniques are appropriate for the goals of therapy.
This does not mean that you need to restrict yourself to drawing on procedures within a single model.
Prevent the condition known as professional burnout.
You cannot always control stressful events, but you do have a great deal of control over how you interpret and react to these events.
It is important to realize that you cannot continue to give and give while getting little in return.
There is a price to pay for always being available and for assuming responsibility over the lives and destinies of others.
Self-monitoring is a crucial first step in self-care.
If you’re not living the way you want decide what you are willing to actually do for change to occur
Developing Your Own Counseling Style
Your counseling style will be influenced by your teachers, therapists,and supervisors, but don’t blur your potential uniqueness by trying to imitate them.
Borrow from others, yet, at the same time, do it in a way that is distinctive to you.
What motivated you to be a counselor?
How would you respond if you were required to participate in personal psychotherapy as a basic part of your degree program?
Counseling for the Counselor
In your experience of being a client you can:
Be aware of and be assisted in managing the
Consider the motivation
for wanting to be a counselor
Understand the
feelings of being a client
Find support
as we struggle
to be a professional
Deal with personal issues
, increase your
, and know the
impacts for being a counselor
Therapists can help their client no further than they have been willing to go in their own life.
Can we be value-free in counseling?
What might you do if one of your values sharply contrasted with your client’s values?
What is an example of a belief, attitude, or assumption of yours that could
your effectiveness in working with diverse client populations?
What can you do
to increase your awareness and knowledge in the area of cultural diversity?
What do you see as your
major challenge
in becoming a culturally skilled counselor?
Multicultural Counseling
of your
biases and values
Attempt to understand the world
from your client’s standpoint
Gain a
of the
dynamics of oppression, racism, discrimination, and stereotyping
Study the historical
, traditions, and
values of your client
to learning from your client
Multicultural counseling Competence
Awareness of one’s own assumptions, values, and biases (awareness of self)
Understanding the worldview of culturally diverse clients (understand others)
Developing appropriate intervention strategies and techniques (appropriate Skills)
What are the common concerns or anxieties for a beginning counselor?
What are the common irrational standards for a beginning counselor?
What are the possible reasons when a client is silent?
Issues Faced by Beginning Therapists
Anxiety and self-doubts
Skills vs. being ourselves
Carry clients issues in our daily life
Unrealistic beliefs
no rooms for mistakes, I need to provide the “right” way to help (perfectionism)
Unselfishly giving (please others)
Worry no answers or solutions, fear of silence, fear of missing something (need in control)
Every client should get better (personalizing)
Be effective all the times (need to be valued)

Take care of your single most important instrument – YOU
Know what
Know how to
Know how to
Full transcript