Ch 2: The counsellor: person and professional

  1. Counsellor as a therapeutic person
    • Demands a practitioner who is willing to be an authentic person in the therapeutic relationship.
    • It is within the context of a person-person connection that the client experiences growth.
    • Personal and interpersonal components are essential to effective psychotherapy, whereas techniques have relatively little effect on therapeutic outcome.
    • Contextual factors- the alliance, the relationship, the personal and interpersonal skills of the therapist, client agency, and extra therapeutic factors are the primary determinants of therapeutic outcome. 
    • Essential that the methods used support the therapeutic relationship being formed with the client.
  2. personal characteristics of effective counsellors
    • Have an identity: know who they are, what they are capable of becoming, what they want out of life and what is essential
    • Respect and appreciate themselves: can give and receive 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: Exhibit a willingness and courage to leave the security of the known if they are not satisfied with the way they are. 
    • Can make choices that are life oriented: 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. Committed to living fully.
    • Authentic, sincere and honest: they do not hide behind rigid roles or facades. Who they are in their personal life and in their professional work is congruent.
    • Have a sense of humour: 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: not riveted to the past, no fixated on the future. 
    • Appreciate the influence of culture: aware of the ways in which their own culture affects them, and respect the diversity of values espoused by other cultures. Sensitive to the unique differences arising out of social class, race, gender
    • Have a sincere interest in the welfare of others
    • Possess effective interpersonal skills: strive to create collaborative relationships with others. Readily entertain another person's perspective and can work together toward consensual goals.
    • Become deeply involved in their work and derive meaning from it: can accept rewards but are not slaves to their work.
    • Passionate: courage to pursue dreams and passions
    • Able to maintain healthy boundaries: 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.
  3. Personal therapy for the counsellor
    • Counsellors can benefit greatly from the experience of being clients at some time.
    • 1. personal therapy offers a model of therapeutic practice in which the trainee experiences the work of a more experienced therapist and learns experientially what is helpful or not helpful
    • 2. can enhance a therapist's interpersonal skills
    • 3. successful personal therapy can contribute to a therapist's ability to deal with the ongoing stresses associated with clinical work.

    • If we are not committed personally to the value of examining our own life, how can we inspire clients to examine their lives?
    • Learn what it feels like to deal with anxieties that are aroused by self disclosure and self-exploration and how to creatively facilitate deeper levels of self-exploration in clients.
    • Can learn what it feels like to both wanting to go farther and at the same time resisting change.
    • Study found that those who had personal therapy felt more confident and were more in agreement with their clients on the goals and tasks of treatment.
    • Avoid assuming a stance of superiority over others
  4. The role of values in counselling
    • Values: core beliefs that influence how we act
    • Personal values influence how we view counselling and the manner in which we interact with clients including the way we conduct client assessments, view of goals of counselling, the interventions we choose, the topics we select for discussion, how we evaluate progress and how we interpret clients' life situations.

    Ned to guard against the tendency to use our power to influence clients to accept our values

    Counselling task is to assist individuals in finding answers that are most congruent with their own values.

    • Your role is to provide a safe and inviting environment in which clients can explore the congruence between their values and their behaviour.
    • Your task is to help clients explore and clarify their beliefs and apply their values to solving their problems.
  5. Bracketing
    • Managing your personal values so that they do not contaminate the counselling process
    • Expected to set aside their personal beliefs and values
  6. Value imposition
    • Refers to counsellors directly attempting to define a client's values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviours.
    • Unethical
  7. The role of values in developing therapeutic goals
    • Largely the client's responsibility to decide upon goals
    • Counsellors have general goals- general goals of goals counsellors must be congruent with the personal goals of the client.
    • Client and the counsellor need to explore what they hope to obtain from the counselling relationships.
  8. Becoming an effective multicultural counsellor
    • Must learn how to recognise diversity issues and shaping one's counselling practice to fit the client's worldview.
    • It is an ethical obligation for counsellors to develop sensitivity to cultural differences if they hope to make interventions that are consistent with the values of their clients.
    • Need to recognise the ways in which cultural conditioning has influenced the directions you take with your clients.
    • Must take into account the impact of culture on the client's functioning, including the client's degree of acculturation.
  9. Culture
    • The values and behaviours shared by a group of individuals
    • Refers to more than ethnic or racial heritage; culture also includes factors such as age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, physical and mental ability and socioeconomic status.
  10. Acquiring competencies in multicultural counselling
    • Effective counsellors understand their own cultural conditioning, the cultural values of their clients, and the sociopolitical system of which they are a part.
    • Must be aware of the cultural origins of any values, biases and attitudes we may hold.
    • Must challenge the idea that the values we hold are automatically true for others.
  11. Conceptual framework for competencies and standards in multicultural counselling
    • Their dimensions of competency involve 3 areas- 1) beliefs and attitudes 2) knowledge 3) skills
    • Beliefs and attitudes: moved from being culturally unaware to ensuring that their personal biases, values or problems will not interfere with their ability to work with clients whoa re culturally different from them.
    • Aware of their positive and negative emotional reactions toward people form other racial and ethnic groups that may prove detrimental to establishing collaborative helping relationships.
    • Monitor their functioning through consultation, supervision and further training or education.

    • Knowledge: learn about the client's cultural background. Avoid stereotyping clients
    • Aware of the institutional barriers that prevent minorities from utilising the mental health services available in their communities.
    • Possess knowledge about the historical background, traditions and values of the client populations with whom they work.

    • Skills and intervention strategies: have acquired certain skills in working with culturally diverse populations.
    • Multicultural counselling is enhanced when practitioners use methods and strategies and define goals consistent with the life experiences and cultural values of their clients.
    • Modify and adapt their interventions to accommodate cultural differences.
  12. Practical guidelines in addressing culture
    • Learn more about how your own cultural background has influenced your thinking and behaving. take steps to increase your understanding of other cultures
    • Identify your basic assumptions, especially as they apply to diversity in culture, ethnicity, race, gender, class, spirituality, religion and sexual orientation. Think about how your assumptions are likely to affect your professional practice.
    • Examine where you obtained you knowledge about culture.
    • remain open to ongoing learning
    • Learn to pay attention to the common ground that exists among people of diverse backgrounds.
    • Be flexible in applying the methods you use with clients.
  13. Issues faced by beginning therapists
    • Dealing with anxiety: demonstrates that you are aware of uncertainties of the future with your clients and of your abilities to be there for them. Positive sign is the willingness to recognise and deal with them. Maybe openly discuss our self-doubts with a supervisor and peers.
    • Being yourself and self-disclosures: being authentic and genuine helps connect and establish relationship. Must be aware of our motivations for disclosing information.
    • Assess client's readiness to hear these.
    • revealing what we are thinking or feeling in the here and now with the client, but be careful to avoid pronouncing judgements about the client- can improve quality of relationship.
    • Avoiding perfectionism: self defeating, you will make mistakes
    • Being honest about your limitations: important to learn when and how to make a referral for clients when your limitations prevent you form helping.
    • Understanding silence: Client may be thinking about some things that were discussed earlier of evaluating some insight just acquired.
    • Client may be waiting for therapist to take the lead.
    • When silence occurs, acknowledge and explore with your client the meaning of the silence.
    • Dealing with demands from clients: clients may want to see you for longer, socially, demand you tell them what to do. Make your expectations and boundaries clear during the initial counselling sessions or in the disclosure statement.
    • Dealing with clients who lack commitment: eg. involuntary clients. Important to prepare them for the process
    • Tolerating ambiguity: anxiety of not seeing immediate results. Clients may seemingly get worse before they show therapeutic gains. Or may show after conclusion of therapy.
    • Becoming aware of your countertransference: gfhgjhj
    • Developing a sense of humour: can enrich relationship. Therapist needs to distinguish between humour that distracts and humour that enhances the situation.
    • Sharing responsibility with the client: not your role to assume full responsibility
    • Declining to give advice: if we solve problems for them, we would be fostering their dependence on us. 
    • Defining your role as a counsellor: help clients recognise their own strengths, discover what is preventing them from using their resources, and clarify what kind of life they want to live.
  14. Countertransference
    • Includes any of our projections that influence the way we perceive and react to a client.
    • This phenomenon occurs when we are triggered into emotional reactivity, when we respond defensively, or when we lose our ability to be present in a relationship because our own issues become involved.
Card Set
Ch 2: The counsellor: person and professional
PSY3120 Ch 2: The counsellor: person and professional