Counselling for the Professions
Monash University Clayton
The purpose of this exercise was to implement learnt skills throughout the semester, and apply them into a real counseling situation with a client. By being able to record and watch our first counseling experience, it allows us to constructively criticize and analyze our counseling techniques. Additionally, this exercise also allows us to practice counseling ‘essentials’ such as SOLER, SOAP notes and treatment plans. At the conclusion of this assignment, students will be able to think about areas of counseling in which they may need to improve on and apply them to future situations.
The client who took part in this assessment had numerous presenting issues in which she requested to cover during counseling. The client is a 22-year-old female, and also completing her postgraduate course at university. Along with her studies, she also works part time however has decreased the amount of hours she does per week due to assignments. The client explained that she has a history with depression, and is still currently on anti-depressants. Her depression causes her to have both good and bad days. She describes her ‘bad days’ as feeling ‘zombie-like’, unmotivated and overall moody. However, she does find that she has her good days too, in which she doesn’t feel very anxious or stressed, and rather feels energized and sometimes even ‘hyper’. A re-occurring theme presented throughout the sessions with the client was found to be relationships.
The client describes her relationship with her father as ‘average’. She states that her father perceives her as ‘lazy’, as she is working less and focusing more on her studies. Her relationship with her mother had been better in the past, although the client feels that her mother is responsible with some of her life changes. For example, the client moved back home from living on campus, and therefore had to transfer to another closer university. Her relationship with her brother is similar to the relationship between her and her father’s. She explains that she sometimes feels intimidated by her brother and father. The family is involved in a family business, which involves mechanics and manual labor. She feels that because she had chosen a more ‘academic’ path, her father does not understand her and she feels left out. Lastly, the client is involved in a relatively new relationship with her boyfriend. She states that she has good days with him, but often feels insecure.
There were three sessions conducted with the client. Due to conflicting class timetables, only three were achievable. However, the client was open to discussion, she had a lot to discuss and therefore required less prompting to encourage discussion. At times it was difficult to engage in exercises as I found that the client would deter from the exercise and continue discussion about the issue at hand. The client also freely explored her emotions and coping strategies, without too much encouragement from myself. This may be because she has seen various counselors and psychologists previously.
Critical Evaluation of Performance as a Counselor
In order to be an effective counselor, there are numerous techniques that can be used in order to reach the client’s goals and steer them towards a solution to their problems. Throughout the student’s experience as a therapist, they used a variety of techniques sourcing from differing therapies. These included, Person Centered Therapy (PCT) and Solution Focused Therapy (SFT). Additionally, the counselor also utilized aspects of Gestalt Therapy in order for the client to view her issues from a ‘here and now’ perspective. The very first technique that the counselor applied to therapy was SOLER. The SOLER model was developed by Gerard Egan (2010) and should be used as an integral part of active listening. This model further explains the listening process...
References: Egan, G. (2010). The Skilled Helper: A Problem Management and Opportunity Development Approach to Helping. USA: Brookes/Cole, Cengage Learning.
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