My thoughts on counseling among other ideas are what you will discover as you delve into the various subjects throughout this paper. How I define counseling and the most essential characteristics of a helping relationship will be discussed in order to bring better understanding of the basics in the therapeutic process. The next step will be a thorough explanation of key elements that are salient to a new client during their first session, and why it must be covered. I will gladly share which theory of counseling, and two techniques, that I might specialize in and utilize in my own practice of counseling. My life experiences will certainly have an impact on how effectively I work with a diverse population of clients, as well as, how my experiences can hinder my ability to relate to a particular population of clients. Lastly, I will express how I feel about certain client populations; about which ones I can and cannot work with and why.
My Thoughts on Counseling
A Definition of Counseling and the Most Essential Characteristics of a Helping Relationship
According to the American Counseling Association (2011), "Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals." This is a very concise and accurate overview in defining the complex world of counseling. The crucial word in this definition is "empowers;" to empower an individual is to ensure the person has the power or authority to make informed decisions about his/her own life. This also means that the therapist in no way influences the client in what to say or do; guiding and directing is the mark of an effective counselor.
The counselor is the most effective therapeutic tool (Corey, 2009). Corey (2009) stresses the most important characteristics of an effective counselor are: to have her own identity, having openness to change, have self-respect and appreciation for self, making life-oriented choices, be honest and sincere, be authentic, maintain a sense of humor, be willing to make mistakes and admit to them, live life in the present instead of the past or future, have an appreciation for cultural influences, genuinely care about the health and welfare of others, retain effective interpersonal communication skills, receive meaning and purpose from her work, be passionate about her work and life, and maintain healthy boundaries (Corey,2009). I realize that no counselor is perfect, and may not have all of these qualities… Although, should strive to be well-rounded for the sake of the client, and themselves.
A helping relationship is based on mutual reciprocation of which is intended to assist each other in personal growth and development toward new levels of understanding to improve each others lives. Although this description can fit almost any relationship, it can also fit the congruent relationship between a counselor and client in that the mutual understanding promotes trust which is a vital aspect of therapy. The Theory or Theories of Counseling which I Will Seek to Learn More About and Use in My Own Practice of Counseling
I would really like to master several theories of counseling that I would be certain to use in the future for my counseling sessions, such as: Existential, and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT).
Existential therapy really makes you think and focus on the meaning of life. It helps the client understand that they have control over their destinies in spite of the current circumstances, and they can change it all by the choices they make from now on. I am happy to report that much progress has been made to integrate spirituality into this theory (Bartz, 2009). Yalom’s existentialism meshed with spirituality, allows therapists to respect client’s spiritual values in therapy so they can promote healing (Bartz, 2009). Yalom focused on four...