Learner Statement 1: 31/1/06 -
I am delighted to begin my path towards future mastery of counselling skills. I have already developed a strong background in mediation and psychology with numerous accreditations to my name. In undertaking my studies in counselling skills I seek to expand my repertoire of knowledge and understanding in the broad psychosocial arena, and add some useful new abilities to my professional ‘toolkit’.
The counselling concepts class is somewhat larger than on other courses I have attended, I had grown accustomed to working in small intimate groups. I hope to engender trust and friendship with the other students, however it can be difficult to do so when one has limited contact with others for a discussion or practice session of short duration.
Counselling is defined as is a set of psychological techniques intended to improve mental health, emotional or behavioral issues in individuals (who on a formal basis, would be called ‘clients’). These deletirious issues often make it hard for people to manage their lives and achieve their goals. Counselling (or the more professional term, Psychotherapy) is aimed at easing these problems, and attempts to solve them via the application of varying approaches - Merely being a listening ear for someone and their issues can often allow them to gain a clearer insight into the truth of their internal grievance, and so self-actualize a newfound clarity of awareness.
When discussing the term Counselling, it is important to make note of the dichotomy between professional Psychotherapy, and the informal use of counselling skills (sometimes described as “counselling with a small ‘c’”).
The term ‘counselling’ and the title ‘counsellor’ are often used to mean the practice of someone providing a person with extremely informal and unstructured moral support, along with advice on a perceived problem or issue, e.g. guidance counsellor, fashion counsellor. Of course, no true Counselling Professional would ever presume to offer advice, he is there merely to listen and facilitate the client’s catharsis. The Counselling Professional must also operate in a highly structured and secure environment, he does not have the ‘luxury’ of being able to step in and out of the process.
Thus there is, unfortunately, frequent confusion in the general public as to a Counselling Professional’s duties and responsibilities. Therefore a different terminology is used for users of counselling skills, who are not bona fide Counsellors. In lieu of Counsellors and Clients, one can say Helpers and Helpees. Examples of occupations in which Helpers might work include Police Officers, Clergy, Medics and Social Workers.
Introduction to Counselling Concepts
Learner Statement 2: 7/2/06 -
The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy is the largest and broadest counselling oriented associate body in Britain. It works with many other organisations on a guidance basis, and it’s Ethical Framework for counselling and psychotherapy is highly regarded and much referred to.
The BACP is seeking to amend the law, and require all Counsellors to have a professional qualification before they can practice, in order to ease concerns over quackery in the industry.
There is another body named CAMPAG (Counselling, Advice, Mediation), Psychotherapy and Guidance) which provides standards for academic achievement and qualification.
Certain qualities of character possessed by a practitioner of counselling skills are likely to expedite their labours. These may include maintaining open mindedness, having a calm and patient attitude, projecting a disarming demeanour, and having a genuine desire to offer support to others. Possessing a healthy understanding of the darker echelons of the human psyche can also be a boon.
Active listening is a structured way of listening and responding. It focuses attention on the speaker....