Intregity and professionalism of a Counselor

Topics: Family therapy, Marriage, Counseling Pages: 8 (3213 words) Published: December 9, 2013

Integrity and Professionalism of a Counselor
Characteristics of effect counseling

10/07/2013

Abstract
Therapists fill an essential role in society; they provide a formal emotional outlet in times of intense personal struggle. Because of the nature of this role, it is critical that therapists act professionally and uphold the integrity of their position, so as not to harm their relationship with a client, and by extension, the client’s relationships with others. Being professional and having integrity as a family and marriage counselor should be one’s main goal in their profession. Unfortunately, there are circumstances where professionals have breached the code of ethics, and caused trouble for the client as well as the therapist; serious breaches in ethics can potentially ruin a therapist’s career. In this type of field, as well as other fields in general, there is a line of professionalism and integrity that is involved in that work environment, and must not be crossed. Many therapists have a certain type of professional status that they must uphold in order for their practice to be successful and their clientele to stay with them.

In the past 100 years, therapy has evolved exponentially; there are different types of methods that are particularly in focus. As the therapy realm has evolved it is obvious that it has changed and "it is very much a twenty-first-century version of systems theory that is evident in these approaches, rather than earlier variants of systems theory that were more closely linked to the properties of inanimate systems." (Lebow, 2005) Therapy is continually being improved and expanded upon to better assist the ever changing world that we live in. Since the 1950's there has been dramatic progress in the field of theory. After World War II, "there were huge waiting lists at agencies and so seeing couples or families together, seemed a justifiable way to cut the patient backlog. Earlier roots of the family therapy movement existed in the child guidance movement, even though in child guidance clinics a psychiatrist usually saw the child while a social worker saw the parent, concurrently and not conjointly, and conjoint sessions would be the model in the emerging field of family therapy." (Wiley, 2004) This really helped families learn to work together and it was successful at getting them to learn to talk openly and listen openly to on e another. Even though this concept is recently new, it is one that is used in the counseling more often than not.

When talking about these different concepts and the way that counselors handle different situations, professionalism is highly important in the way that these counselors take on these types of concepts. When a family or married couples come in for counseling, the first impression of a counselor is highly important and allows the clients to immediately bond or not. A counselor must appear professional, but accessible to their clients, and the first impression is often the most critical step in opening up to someone. Just like a job interview, a good impression can lead to a pleasant partnership, while a poor impression can harm your chances for success. In modern society, appearance has become a very important part of one’s character, both in the personal and professional arenas. Therefore, a professional, courteous, and personable appearance are essential to a successful first impression and relationship with a client.

There are many different aspects to what professionalism for a counselor means. As was mentioned earlier, the outward appearance is always important, as well as their attitude and professional outlook. Integrity is another quality that is highly important. Integrity is defined as the quality of having strong moral principles, upright and honest. When one has integrity they are able to fully devote themselves to the client and knowing that they will be effective counselors because they have high...
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