It is in the nature of man to have different values and orientations. These values at times tend to conflict with the values held by other groups of people. This propagates the conflicts of values. More often than not, these conflicts can be hurdles in practicing some professions, such as counseling. Below is an explanation of how a conflict of values can affect the counseling profession.
Counseling Value Conflict
It is argued that counseling professionals should learn to distant their own feelings and values from a counseling session. They should try as much as possible to associate with the client and slip into the client’s boots. However, this is one of the things that are more easily said than done. There comes a time when conflict of values arises between counselor and client and the counselor cannot help this, simply because they are human after all. Below is an explanation of a value I think could affect my objectivity when counseling a patient.
I have a strict value for the sanctity of life, and believe that life begins at conception. As such, on the raging controversial debate over whether abortion should be legalized or not, I am inclined to the idea that it should not be legalized; this is because I would consider such an act to be murder. However, there are people who believe that abortion should be made legal under some circumstances. Besides the medical reasons, there are those who argue that it should be a woman’s choice as to whether to keep the child or not. This is done in line with the constitutional right of the freedom of choice. Well, to this point, I argue that everyone is entitled to their opinions.
With this situation in mind, I simulate a situation where a teenage or college girl comes for consultation on what to do. Her situation is that she is pregnant but not in a position to sustain the baby, and the father has denied responsibility. As such, she has made the decision to terminate the pregnancy and continue with her studies. She comes to me asking how she can cope with the emotional stress before and after the process. As a counselor, I am supposed to understand her position and advise her on what to deal with her emotions. This is because she has made her decision that she does not want the baby, and only needs advice on how to deal with her emotions.
Will, such a situation would definitely affect my objectivity in the counseling sessions. First of all, I am supposed to act normally and take everything as if it was nothing much. However, given my value about life, it is more likely I would be disappointed in her. Worse still, it is possible that I could develop a negative attitude towards her simply because she has broken one of the values that I hold dear in life. This would definitely disorient me from the task at hand; counseling her on her emotional stability. To some point, I might go to the extent of trying to persuade her not to go on with the plan. At this point, matters could get out of hand as the client is likely to think that I am being judgmental towards her. In a nutshell, this is one of the situations that can result from a value conflict in counseling.
In conclusion, I would assert the fact that counselors are also human and they have their values. In as much as the profession calls for alienating the self when handling situations, it is at times very difficult to do so. When there is such a clash of conflicts, I think it would be better if the counselor referred the case rather than offer substandard services due to the value conflict.