July 2, 2013
Professional Identity and Careers Paper
When one thinks of a counselor, what ideas come to mind? To advise, to instruct, to counsel? My reaction to counseling in my early days in the profession was to receive guidance from a professional when I did not have the answers myself or when I felt “stuck” with a problem in my personal life that I felt I could not solve. What did I wish to get from seeing a counselor? The question depends on what aspect you are seeking guidance or counsel in your life. The question changed when I began to pursue a career in counseling. The question became “Why do I want to be a counselor? Who do I want to serve? What is it about me that feels that I can be effective at helping people change their lives? The questions continue and Im still seeking my “identity” in terms of this profession. What are the characteristics of a counselor/ What are their varied roles? . This paper will explore the domains of the counselor and the paths I have chosen to pursue to further my interest in this dynamic field.
“Most counseling students, even the most skilled, must come to an understanding of the profession and the skills involved in being a counselor before they can actually become a counselor. For all of us, it is a lifelong process” (Journal of counseling and development, 2006 p. 116. Vol. 84). When thinking about the characteristics of a counselor, I think about the qualities I would seek in a person that I would like to have as a friend or confidant: Patience, empathy, a good listener; conversely, well versed and skilled in their area of expertise, life experience and ethics/values. Counselors work closely and intimately with individuals and have to maintain appropriate boundaries while balancing the ability to establish trust and empathy. “ An effective counselor is one who works with clients to produce a positive outcome, a positive change in the
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