The aim of this essay is to examine, discuss and analyse the characteristics and attributes of an effective and professional counsellor. This essay will examine the definition of counselling, determine the necessary skills needed in order to be effective, explore the counselling process and consider the ethics and values defined within the framework of professional therapy.
There has been an increase in the focus on training of counsellors in South Africa, whilst encouraging them to be professionally accredited with the HPCSA. This accreditation requires the counsellor to be professional and effective in what they do and ensures that they can be monitored.
2.1 Counselling ...view middle of the document...
The above mentioned aspects of counselling, as well as the timing of the counselling session all contribute greatly to the overall success of the counselling process (Cormier & Hackney;3). The counsellor needs to ensure that the safe space that he or she creates prevails throughout the entire counselling process in order to be consistent in ensuring the client’s comfort. This consistency is emphasized in the theory of Carl Rodgers’s propositions for counselling. The seventeenth proposition explains the conditions for facilitation and highlights the importance of creating a safe environment for counselling (Grobler & Schenck;14).
2.1.3 The counselling process
The counselling process involves a structured conversation between the client and the counsellor, as the counsellor has been trained to facilitate the client’s growth and development when working through his or her issues (Cormier & Hackney). Counselling is not a social conversation that takes place between friends, as it needs to be a process whereby the client is empowered to realise and work through his or her issues.
The aims of counselling are to sort out and clarify any problems the client may have. The counsellor is able to assist the client in identifying non-helpful or non-productive patterns, thus providing insight into the client’s life. The client is therefore able to work on correcting these types of behaviour by learning productive forms of problem solving. The client needs to know and understand what the problem is in order to come up with an effective solution (Grieve, van Deventer & Mojapelo-Batka;1). This also provides an opportunity for the client to grow and learn more helpful coping skills. The counselling process allows the client to learn a lot about him or herself through discussing his or her issues. The client can learn self-acceptance as they learn more about themselves. (page 3&4)
2.2 The characteristics of an effective counsellor
There are a number of important characteristics that an effective counsellor encompasses in their everyday lives. A counsellor needs to have an open mind when dealing with clients so as to show respect to the client and their individual situation (Grobler & Schenck;40).
It is important for the counsellor to understand towards the client and to express this understanding in the form of empathy and acceptance through unconditional positive regard.
A crucial aspect of caring for others is being able to care for yourself. The counsellor needs to have a good sense of self-awareness, as they need to understand themselves fully...