Personal Characteristics of a Counselor

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Personal Characteristics Michael Youngberg Walden University The creation of a therapeutic alliance between a counselor and client begins the first time they interact on the phone (Laureate Education, Inc., 2012). From that first phone call, a counselor will work to create certain core conditions, which are necessary for a successful patient outcome. According to Gross and Capuzzi (2011), these conditions include an empathetic understanding, respect and positive regard, genuineness and congruence, concreteness, warmth, and immediacy. The creation of a strong therapeutic alliance, using these pieces, is a fundamental contributing factor to all effective psychotherapy theories (Laureate Education, Inc., 2012). Ultimately, the successful creation of a strong therapeutic alliance depends on the behavior, personal traits, and experience of the counselor (Gross & Capuzzi, 2011). Strengths According to Gross and Capuzzi (2011), a counselor’s empathetic understanding, which is the ability to “feel with clients as opposed to feeling for clients” or to “understand feelings, thoughts, and ideas, and experiences by viewing them from the client’s frame of reference,” can be enhanced by certain characteristics (p. 7). One such characteristic, a counselor’s “knowledge and awareness of one’s own feelings and emotional response patterns and how they manifest themselves in interactive patterns” (Gross & Capuzzi, 2011, p. 7). A counselor who demonstrates this characteristic is more likely to practice empathetic understanding successfully (Gross & Capuzzi, 2011). The demonstration of this trait and others could allow a significant improvement in the client outcome. As a counselor’s empathetic understanding improves, he or she gains the ability to relate to and communicate his or her client’s unsaid and/or buried feelings (Gross & Capuzzi, 2011). Challenges

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