2.1 Quite often, a counsellor’s role is to assess and refer clients on to more appropriate help. Sometimes a client needs specialist counselling or a different approach and it is up to the counsellor to make this transition as smooth as possible for the client and to manage the process as sensitively as possible. The counsellor needs to take responsibility for making all arrangements but the client should also be empowered.
SOURCES FOR REFERRAL
Its good practice for a counsellor to keep an up to date file of local and national agencies. A network of personal links is also important as it can help to instil a more human/caring element within a potentially anxiety provoking situation.
The procedure for referrals differs from agency to agency but possible ways of managing this are: * Contact the agency concerned and find out about referral and appointment procedures. Be clear in your own mind, possibly after conferring with the help-seeker, what information you will pass to the agency in any discussion that arises during a telephone call. * Contact the agency by telephone whilst the help-seeker is with you so that you can hand over to him to make the appointment after you have made the initial enquiry. * Write a referral letter to the agency. You could send a copy to the client so that he knows the letter has been sent to the agency. You might consider drafting the referral letter with the client so that he/she agrees the content
Whatever the process of referral it is a time of contemplation and reflection for all involved. Confidentiality, boundary issues, supervision and adherence to laws/codes of practice need to be taken into account.
2.3 When you suggest referral the help-seeker needs to understand that this is not a rejection. Many help-seekers have been passed from pillar to post and despair of genuine help being available, so they may feel cynical and/or