The Importance of Transferable Skills for the Counselling Psychologist

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The Importance of Transferable Skills for the Counselling Psychologist Counselling Psychologists work therapeutically with clients of all ages and backgrounds helping them to cope with and overcome problems and difficulties arising from everyday life. Therapy is an activity which takes place when someone who has problems allows another person to enter into a particular kind of relationship with them. A person seeks this relationship when they have encountered a problem in life which they cannot deal with themselves or through everyday resources. The client seeking counselling is looking for someone to provide them with the time and assistance they may need to overcome their problems (McLeod, 2007, p. 12). It is the role of a counselling psychologist to supportively assist the client by exploring the issues and underlying problems the client may have had or be currently dealing with. In order to assist the client in overcoming their problems it is essential for the counsellor to possess a broad range of skills; some of which may have been acquired though life experiences before becoming a counsellor. These skills are known as transferable skills and they are an important element to any career as these skills can be developed throughout life creating a more effective learner and a more skilled individual (University of Cambridge, 2010). However it is argued that the skills acquired throughout life differ from those that can be used in therapy. The skills used in therapy have to be identified, understood, learned and practiced repeatedly in order to help a client. It is important to remember that the skills gained by many professionals may be for their own benefit, for example, a sales person intending to win customers over. However the use of counselling skills is associated with therapy and the skills are used with means of helping and healing others and not with self-centred agendas (Palmer, 2000, p. 4). The transferable skills relevant to a counselling psychologist will now be explored in further depth with a demonstration of how the skills are relevant for the therapy the client receives and how it may be beneficial for the counsellor as well as the client. Counselling Psychologist whom are successful and competent at utilising these skills can help clients manage complex problems, situations and develop life enhancing opportunities for their clients (Egan, 2007, p. 83). According to Egan’s (2007) 3 stage model of helping communication would be a vital skill. Different communication skills are given at each stage of the model, for example, listening, empathising and probing are most relevant to the first stage whereas the second stage challenging communication skills are more dominant. Communication skills are developed throughout a lifetime and are further enhanced over time. It is imperative that the communication between the counsellor and client in therapy is clear, concise and on a professional level, so there are no misconceptions of what the therapy will entail for the client. This is important as the client may expect that the counsellor can personally make decisions for them or help them in ways in which may be considered unethical. As a diverse number of clients are dealt with, it is important to ensure there are no language barriers between the counsellor and the client (Nelson-Jones, 2002, p. 6). Another valuable skill for the role is the ability to actively listen. It is important to tune into what the client is saying by using all of the human senses to get the total message the client is displaying. In terms of therapy the counsellor would use their ears for listening to the words and tone of the voice, use their mind to listen to the underlying message and use their eyes to observe the body language and gestures of the client. Active accurate listening is vital throughout as this is constructive for the therapy to be successful and to understand the client’s perspective (Munro, Manthei & Small, 1988, p....
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