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This report will focus on the skills that I have learned during the practice of the module and how I have applied these skills to facilitate my knowledge in the field of counselling. Counseling might be perceived as a communication process that requires listening skills and advising the person on how he/she needs to act, think, or feel by solving their dilemmas and problems, but it is more than just being there for the person and giving suggestions. With the help of videos, various elements of counselling will be evaluated and how various professional and personal skills help to engage, communicate, and satisfy the needs of the client. I will be sharing my views and critique on my learning from the module. The discussion will embed my abilities and approach to become a therapist (Lomas et al., 2020). The skills that I have showcased during the activity includes active listening, empathy, Paraphrasing of statements of the client, Reframing the main points from the discussion, Unpacking and exploring the situation and dilemmas of the client. The analysis will be backed up by BACP framework and psychology theories. I have put in my earnest efforts to demonstrate my learning of skills and how I will approach the skills that I am currently working on (Goss & Anthony, 2018). I have developed some crucial innate attributes during the course that I will discuss in this report.
The whole course has brought a significant change in my attributes and skills that I have reflected upon by watching videos and with its referral, I will critique my understanding about a skill and whether there is potential for improvement or I should work on the next skill. During each session, I have gained some useful insights about the psychological aspect of counseling. The first thing that I noticed in the video was making the client comfortable so that he/she can describe the situation more broadly (Lomas et al., 2020).
In video A, I have communicated the guidelines and procedure of the counseling session by stating the framework that will guide my deposition during the session and I assured my client about maintaining confidentiality to adhere to the norms of contracting in counseling. I asked her about any further queries but she denied. I wanted to make sure that we are open to each other and there is no ambiguity regarding the counseling session (Goss & Anthony, 2018). I attended her and listened carefully to her issues. The video was approximately 10 minutes long (the first part) and I ascertained the areas I needed to work on. The lady was extensively descriptive that helped to know the situation better and understand the underlying problem. I had good eye contact with the client which, I presume, is a great way to inculcate confidence in the client regarding the counselling session and my determination to counsel her well (Lomas et al., 2020). I felt a certain disconnection and disruption in the communication as it didn’t feel like a proper dialogue. I couldn’t be immediate with what I had processed and I took time to reassure myself that the situation was from the viewpoint of the client. But still my eye contact didn’t deter which helped me alot to engage the client. I felt her overwhelmness and I expressed my feelings to her to which she confessed that she felt comfortable with this communication. I was trying to stay clear and also stated what I was seeing in her disposition. I as she was feeling like crying and letting the stress off her shoulders. It is quite difficult to face challenges and keep up with the pace of learning and living life.
The lady was expressing her grievances regarding her inability to give attention to her partner and opened up about the reasons. I listened to her statements and confirmed the main thought by reframing the statement to which she showed consent and it looked like she was engaging in the communication which made me explore better as it was a sign of consent that she wanted to tell me about all aspects of the situation. I think the foremost thing in counseling is being non-judgemental, people can be very diverse, have curious thought processes and people might indulge in things that they don’t intend to do. In such cases, being empathetic is imperative because there is pressure from all parts of the society and we have no idea about what may subjugate one person’s conscience. People can have different perspectives because of environmental differences and differences in personal attributes that can produce an outcome which doesn’t fit in a situation and stress can arise (Jaladin, Simmonds, & Joseph, 2020). Situations can be dynamic and complex and we should keep our individual judgement aside and it's better if we don’t judge at all. When the client feels safe as the confidentiality is maintained, we can evaluate her/his thought process better. Here, the client was fulfilling responsibilities but she was unable to showcase her love explicitly. I tried to remain empathetic and made her believe that I was determined to help her by paraphrasing her statements and reconfirming the main elements of the discussion. Gradually she expressed her issue of being tired with the work, taking care of children, and studying that she just needs to rest and have a proper sleep. I was attentive to find some crucial information and assure her of finding a solution (Jaladin, Simmonds, & Joseph, 2020).
In the next video, I started the conversation and I kept my judgement aside to attend my client unbiasedly. I confirmed that he was feeling underpressure due to the competition around him and his pace of learning things and doing it for the sake of being the best. I conversed and actively listened to the client to explore the areas that put pressure in his mind regarding succeeding in life and to meet his demands and the life he desires. It has been hard for the client to become mature before time and spend his teenage years to meet the means and provide a good life for his younger sibling as a parent. I was being empathetic and attended him as a consoling friend so that he feels comfortable (Park, 2019). His inability to process information quickly stressed him and it's obvious that his focus might have been diverted by his responsibilities. I didn’t want to break eye contact as I perceive it to be the element that facilitates engagement. I summarized the whole situation and his dilemma to reconfirm the issue. My analysis was driven by the psychoanalytic theory of personality development that helped me to understand the preconceived notions that holded clients back or how their environment and duties reasoned their stress (Loughran, 2018). This theory helped me to understand the subconscious and conspicuous choices and desires of the client and how they are affected by internal elements such as conflicts and fears of the past. There was a lack of holistic investigation regarding the issue as not many questions were asked and the communication was limited to the information that was voluntarily shared by the client. It could be possible that exploring further would have helped me to get more information (Renshaw, 2018).
I think there is much more to counsel a person than to listen to his/her problems because we need to form a chain from the information to determine the underlying issue and find out the root cause of the pressure. I think I need to work on probing and challenging to make the sessions more lucrative (Park, 2019). I need to ask questions without deterring the comfort. The foremost thing that I think is imperative to probing is being unbiased with the client’s situations and his response to that certain situation. If I have a preconceived notion, the whole counselling will be biased and won’t be prolific to suggest best solutions or actions. I need to understand that to ask, I should know, ‘what to ask’. Probing is critical as it leads to complex situations and in-depth information that might push me to judge or draw a conclusion. But my aim should be to help the client in the best way possible and therefore I need to keep my individual perceptions aside about a certain situation (Renshaw, 2018). I should avoid making the client feel guilty or uncomfortable or indulge in self-pity as it can make the counseling session drive away from the main goal. Something I think I should work on is to draw a line between being empathetic and overly sensitive or become overwhelmed by listening to clients. A doctor can treat the patient only when he himself is detached from the problem, emotionally (Odaci De?erli, & Bolat, 2017). If I over-empathize with the client and he/she starts self-pitying or just feels unhappy to share his feelings and issues, counseling will go in vain. I need to be attentive and active to showcase my determination but should restrict myself from being emotionally driven by the problem as I might end up becoming part of the situation. As a counselor, I need to inculcate hope, strength, positivity in my client (Singla et al., 2020). To include challenging aspects in my counseling, I need to become positive regarding situations and highlight the good aspects of the situation. I need to make them realize that their challenges have made them stronger and resilient (Goss & Anthony, 2018). They might not find problems in areas where others are struggling. I should have appreciated the client for handling the situation in a matured manner and I was overwhelmed by each client’s story. Even if I am touched by their stories, I need not show it in front of my clients as it might make them vulnerable (Loughran, 2018). I need to motivate them and facilitate hope within them that things will get better and if I showcase my worry and my sensitivity, I might not help them. I remember when I needed help and I just wanted someone to pacify me but I was made to realize that I don’t need anyone’s consent and I achieve what I want to achieve. I need to be the driver of that kind of realization within those people who seek validation for the problem but actually need a solution. I cannot change their situations but guide them towards productivity, happiness, and peace (Odaci De?erli, & Bolat, 2017).
The above report encompasses my learning and reflection from the videos that highlighted my counseling sessions. I found myself to be attentive throughout all the videos and I was empathizing with my clients that helped me to have greater engagement from my clients. I was listening actively and reaffirmed the information shared by my clients. The only thing that I found to be missing in all the videos is probing. To explore more about the situation, I need to ask questions and understand the elements defining the situation or the issue of the client. I explicitly told my clients that I was conducting the session by adhering to guidelines of the BACP framework and respecting their privacy and information. I only reflected on my disposition and critiqued my understanding as a trainee counselor. I find myself too involved and attached to a situation that I become part of the problem. My main objective would be to stay detached and mint out the information to study the situation unbiasedly and tell the client about how as a team we can improve the situation or look at it from a brighter side. As a trainee counselor, I need to learn more skills and develop as a professional who can help clients to overcome stress and solve the problem. The report discusses how I try to remain unbiased and determined to attend to my clients and nurture empathy and kindness in myself for each of my clients.
Lomas, T., Roache, A., Rashid, T., & Jarden, A. (2020). Developing ethical guidelines for positive psychology practice: An on-going, iterative, collaborative endeavour. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 15(6), 716-721.
Park, S. J. S. B. (2019). The full listing of competences for humanistic counselling with children and young people is available online at www. bacp. co. uk.
Goss, S., & Anthony, K. E. (2018). The development of ethical guidelines for online counselling and psychotherapy. In Web-based behavioral therapies for mental disorders (pp. 212-240). IGI Global.
Renshaw, T. L. (2018). Probing the relative psychometric validity of three measures of psychological inflexibility. Journal of contextual behavioral science, 7, 47-54.
Jaladin, R. A. M., Simmonds, J. G., & Joseph, C. (2020). PROFESSIONAL COUNSELLORS’PERCEPTIONS AND EXPERIENCES OF MULTICULTURAL COUNSELLING IN MALAYSIA: A QUALITATIVE STUDY. Journal of Nusantara Studies (JONUS), 5(2), 261-281.
Loughran, H. (2018). Counselling skills for social workers. Routledge.
Odaci, H., De?erli, F. I., & Bolat, N. (2017). Emotional intelligence levels and counselling skills of prospective psychological counsellors. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 45(5), 622-631.
Singla, D. R., Ratjen, C., Krishna, R. N., Fuhr, D. C., & Patel, V. (2020). Peer supervision for assuring the quality of non-specialist provider delivered psychological intervention: Lessons from a trial for perinatal depression in Goa, India. Behaviour research and therapy, 130, 103533.
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