Developing Self-Awareness Is a Requirement for All Counselling Trainees. Why Might This Be so? Discuss the Benefits and Difficulties of This for the Trainee Practicing Skills in Triads.

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Developing self-awareness as a counsellor is considered “central to many of the mainstream theoretical approaches” (Mcleod, 2009, p624). I will argue that without the development of self-awareness neither a trainee nor qualified counsellor can meet the core conditions set out in most theoretical approaches to counselling, congruence, empathy and unconditional positive regard. I will also argue that counselling trainees need to experience the role of client themselves before they can take others on the same road to self discovery. To answer the benefits and difficulties of the counselling trainee developing self-awareness whilst practicing skills in triads I will argue the feedback received from fellow peers can be very beneficial to developing greater self-awareness, but only if triad members can develop trusting relationships with each other which by the very nature of triads may be hard to attain and maintain.

The core conditions, as outlined by Rogers in the 1960’s, are now generally accepted as central to the creation of a successful client/counsellor relationship to enable personal change. Firstly, with regard to congruence, Rogers believed “personal growth is facilitated when the counselor ... is genuine and without "front" or facade, openly being the feelings and attitudes which at that moment are flowing in him” (Rogers, 1962). A counsellor with limited knowledge of themselves is open to client’s stories evoking feelings to which they were previously unaware leaving them unable to differentiate between their own feelings and those of their clients. This “incongruence will almost surely be picked up by the person I am trying to help, possibly making me seem unauthentic or false” (Sanders, 2011, p65).

Secondly, a counsellor unable to separate their own, from their clients, feelings cannot show empathy and also undermines their confidence of judgment. Cross and Papadopoulous argue that “Self-knowledge or personal insight enables you to avoid



References: Cross, M.C. & Papadopoulos, L., 2001. Becoming a therapist: a manual for personal and professional development. London: Brunner-Routledge Dryden, W Geldard, K. & Geldard, D., 2008. Personal counselling skills: an integrative approach. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas Publisher Mcleod, J., 2009 Rogers, C., 1962. The Interpersonal Relationship: The Core of Guidance. Harvard Educational Review: Vol. 32, No. 4. Sanders, P., 2011. First steps in counselling: a students companion for introductory courses. 4th ed. Ross-on-Wye: PCCS Books Tolan, J Dryden, W. & Thorne, B., 1991. Training and supervision for counselling in action. London: Sage Geldard, K Johns, H., 1996. Personal development in counsellor training. London: Sage Mcleod, J., 2009 Rogers, C., 1961. On becoming a person: a therapist 's view of psychotherapy. London: Constable Rogers, C Rose, C., 2008. The personal development group: the student’s guide. London: Karnac Books Sanders, P., 2011 Tolan, J. & Lendrum, S., 1995. Case material and role play in counselling training. London: Routledge Wilkins, P

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