Characteristics of an effective professional counselor include being empathetic, trustworthy and display good communication skills. The primary responsibility of licensed mental health counselors is to respect client dignity and promote client welfare (American Mental Health Counselor
b) Individuals using the service and their carers Effective communication is vital between carers and the residents. This enables you to build a relationship with the people you care for and will ensure they feel safe and trust you to look after them. Communication is also needed so the residents can tell you how they are feeling and what their needs and wishes are. Aiii Identify three ways of finding out the communication and language needs of an individual. For each method, describe how effective it is at establishing the needs of the individual.
Additionally, developing self-awareness helps the client to rediscover meaning in life. Some clients will, however, need a more structured therapy than is typical in a humanistic person-centered approach. One of the strengths of using a humanistic/person-centered approach when working with clients is the warmth and caring of the relationship that (hopefully) develops between counsellor and client. The counsellors active listening and full emotional availability will provide them with a healing environment within which they can explore their emotional experiences safely and without judgment. Central to the therapist's role in client-centred therapy is respecting the clients values as well as maintaining a therapeutic nonjudgmental attitude.
For many the relationship between client and counsellor is crucial to the success of the therapy and is based on trust and respect. Within counselling there are three main schools of influence namely the psychodynamic school, the humanistic school and the cognitive behaviour school (Nelson-Jones, 2011). The client or person-centred approach belongs to the humanistic school. Developed by Carl Rogers as an alternative to psychoanalyses and behaviourism during the 1950s, (McLeod, 2008, p170) he believed it would “help clients fulfil their unique potential” (Nelson-Jones 2011 p.83). He also attributed a certain mystical dimension to this form of counselling and emphasised the spiritual bond between client and counsellor (Nelson-Jones 2011).
For example it might be helpful to be a nurturing parent, who is responsive and reliable, and work to create the space for a cooperative relationship. I would be accessible for them in terms of giving feedback, and even appropriate affect and disclosure. I try to be sensitive to their feelings and, if appropriate, to not hide my fallibility. I mirror to them feeling positive about being with them. “A primary task in psychotherapy and counselling is the creation of a secure base in the reliability and consistency of the therapeutic relationship.
In addition I am going to explore how the client might feel in a session and the blocks, fears and uncertainties they may encounter. By way of background I will highlight person centred counselling which was pioneered by the eminent psychologist, Carl Rogers. Sincerity is key to being a good counsellor and the client needs to know that the counsellor has their best interests at heart, and are without a doubt sincere in what is said and what is professed. Courage in a counselling relationship is defined as acting in spite of known fears. Essentially, courage is strengthened with confidence in self and nothing can be achieved without courage.
It enables individual's to receive the care and support they need, in a person centred way and to be part of deciding the care that they will receive. Person centred care is good practice and helps to ensure that the correct and agreed care and support is given to each individual. No individual is the same and by having a person centred approach, it ensures that everyone is not treated the same, but in a way that respects their needs, wishes, preferences and values. Working to a person centred approach is essential in dementia care. It will help to maintain the individual's self-identity, self-respect and dignity.
Hawkins on the other hand presented a different yet equally as informative model. His concentric circles model was an excellent way of explaining the human personality. Additionally, the checklist seemed to be a handy tool for ensuring therapeutic progress. Hawkins seemed to place a greater emphasis on how to help a client achieve spiritual and psychological maturity. He explained that all parts of the human function are addressed in the healing journey.
McLeod also suggests that counselling skills can be used in a range of self help groups such as sliming groups or Alcohics Anonymous or in life coaching – although this focuses on the promotion of positive effectiveness or achievement. Users of counselling skills often have dual responsibilities both to the recipient of their skills and the organisation that they are operating within. (Stokes in Aldridge and Rigby). This can be a cause of conflict. Counsellors can avoid this conflict by starting the counselling relationship with a contract that ensures confidentiality and helps create a safe environment that supports a client by setting down guidelines for a working/ professional relationship that includes boundaries, conduct, timekeeping.
Also, an effective counselor implements compatibility and belief in their theory, along with competence and cognitive complexity in their theoretical approach (Neukrug, 2014). The nine characteristics are deeply intertwined into two common factors that result in a positive outcome in therapy (Neukrug, 2014). A strong working alliance and the theoretical approach of the counselor are essential when determining the effectiveness of counseling. Although, the counselor play a big role in the effectiveness of counseling the client as a responsibility as well when it comes to the attributes contributed to the outcome of treatment. The client must be ready for change, have psychological resources and social support in order to ensure a positive outcome in counseling (Neukrug, 2014).