In general I view myself as behaviorally and cognitively orientated however through the years within my professional experience I found myself being somehow an eclectic counselor. As I grow professionally and expand my knowledge, I find myself incorporating in my counseling style, various other techniques from other models of psychotherapy. I have administered many techniques from varying theories, thus, I believe it would be inaccurate for me at this point, to identify my style of counseling with one particular mode or theory.
Throughout my graduate work I often played in my mind the ways in which I would counsel others. It was of my understanding that I needed to "stick" with one theory. Luckily that wasn't the case. I allow various theoretical models to grow on me and as I applied them to clients and tested them out, I was able to make them my own.
The way I will approach this paper is to make some bullet points and elaborate was has brought be to choose certain models over others. •
What drives my behavior? Well, I always had a genuine interest in helping others. when I look back at my childhood, I can remember being concerned about the elderly, about the homeless, about people that were quiet and shy. I always carried this thought in the back of my head: " they just want (need) someone to talk to" and for some reason I always felt guilty for not approaching these people because I believed that person should have been me. Obviously I wasn't educated on theories at the time and didn't know what to say, but I had this interest in wanting to "be there" for them.
I can confidently say that my childhood experience has had a significant impact in the development of my philosophy of "helping"/counseling people and, on the other hand, education is what helped me be a better counselor. •
I will introduce the second bullet by stating a quote from Henry David Thoreau "Simplify the problem of life. When the mathematician solves a difficult problem, he first frees the equation of all encumbrances and reduces it to its simplest terms." Many times clients come to us because they believe they have no way out, that life is complicated and that nothing is "simple". I firmly believe that life is what we make of it. It's about perception, it's about how much importance we give to the things that happen to us. Their life is too crowded with other things that cloud their view. I read this book once from Benjamin Hoff "the Tao of Pooh", it mentions the "The Uncarved Block" which is the idea that “things in their original simplicity contain their own natural power”. All we need to do is scrape that block to its origin. I believe people have the answer within themselves, they have the ability to set their goal and meet them; my job is to help them figure out how. •
This brings me to the next bullet. My biggest interest is to help people identify what their problem is and help them figure out what they need to do to manage that problem or in other words, what they need to do to be happy and satisfied with their life. I like to help them meet that stage where they can feel comfortable in. •
As I look back to my recent professional experiences, I have noticed that
being comfortable with myself is a big element that I need to keep in mind. I like who I am and what I do and that gives me the confidence to be efficient to my client, I could never be a therapist and listen and be "helpful" to people if I am miserable, if i don't like myself or what I do in life.
I try to monitor myself on a regular basis, and try to avoid pushing my own dispositions onto others, particularly on those clients who are more susceptible. It amazes me how clients can "read" us. They can tell if something's wrong. My belief is that I am there for the client not vice-versa. My vision includes myself making a sincere effort to always remain open, reflective, self-evaluative, caring, and respectful to myself and to all my clients....
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