Selected chapters of the course book deal with a current topic on counseling. A good counseling usually starts with a relationship building between a counselor and a client. It comprises the battle for structure and the battle for initiative, respectively. An important aspect is a win-win situation for both parties. Perhaps the most crucial aspect to secure once established relationship with a client is counselor’s empathy. Psychologists often choose a specific model, called the SOLER model, as part of therapy. For the best results, a therapist strives to work as closely as possible with a client. First, their work begins with defining goals and an agenda. Then, mutual interaction can be started. During a relationship, a transference and countertransference communication can be present, too. Nonetheless, a vital phase of counseling is a closing session. It sums up previous phases and, definitely, motivates a client. However, some clients still need to seek for advice from the counselor when facing a difficult situation. In all cases, a positive ending is anticipated, regardless of who decides to terminate the relationship. The very last task for counselor is to have follow-up during a year.
Most important to me is counselor’s ability to work with a client by applying multifocused responding. More specifically, one of my interests lies in the way different people perceive and process information with the help of their senses. As we know, there are five traditional senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. If a counselor can adapt to clients’ different modes of perceiving the world, then she will succeed in forming a thorough understanding of her clients’ perceptions and behavior. Often, a client uses more than one or, sometimes, multiple senses to learn new information. This is why a counselor needs to choose the words carefully to convey the message. For example, an interesting aspect to me is a fact that therapists even try to vary their responses from time to time. By doing so, they seek a better understanding of clients’ inner world. Even using only common words that the clients can understand shows to be effective. Responding in a familiar language is a great mastery that helps in the process. Here, counselor’s job is to identify clients’ speech, which can be affective, behavioral, and cognitive in nature. And more, to successfully build a mutual relationship, certain factors exist, like the physical setting, an environment, and perceptions about one another.
Counseling as a profession is interesting indeed because it brings new insights into personalities of people. I found the text inspiring and full of facts and practical advices. From building of counseling relationships through working in them and finally closing these relationships, clients always play a central role. People, who are not involved in a process with counseling, usually perceive that going to a therapist and receiving a therapy is all about the process. However, the texts I have read pointed out many other difficulties both clients and counselors may experience. They included termination of a counseling session or counseling relationship, in general. I think that a choice to prematurely terminate therapy, sometimes, might be hard for both parties. I agree that before a closure clients should possess certain skills to problem solving in their future. My additional remark to information obtained is that counselor not only guides and advises her clients but also takes responsibility for their well-being during the session period. Normally, psychotherapy should not last for more than three months. However, when it takes on a longer period, client may become dependent on his counselor.
Information obtained from chapters revealed the way counselors can incorporate different vital skills for the benefit of clients. Firstly, by focusing them on the client, and, secondly, promoting self-insight for the counselor. I learned additionally that a follow-up is really important and useful as it demonstrates the achieved goals and the problem areas of the client that require more work yet.
Conyne, R.K., & Bemak, F. (2005). Journeys to Professional Excellence. Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.
Corey, M.S., & Corey, G. (2011). Becoming a Helper. 6th ed. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Gladding, S. T. (2013). Counseling: A Comprehensive Profession. 7th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.