Posted On: Nov. 13, 2017
Evaluate the key requirements to be an effective counselor? Evaluate the conditions for which it would be appropriate to see a counsellor or a psychotherapist? Effective counsellor: Personal Qualities of an Effective Counsellor: All the counsellors are not alike. They differ in differnt ways. The personal characteristics of the counsellor, as well as, their personality differ quite considerably. A number of research organisations have tried to ascertain the personal qualities of a counsellor, which are necessity to bring about therapeutical transformation in another person (i.e. the client). Three researchers namely Carkuff, Truax & Carl Rogers came up with the under mentioned characteristics, which are as follows: a) Empathy: The empathic behaviour is the ability of a counsellor to stand in the shoes of the client i.e. to see the things from the point of view of the client. This empathy is a must quality for the counselling process to succeed. Empathy calls for 'forgetting oneself so that the counsellor surrenders himself completely towards the client. The process of empathisation is never total or complete, which leaves a lot to be desired, for the counselling process to succeed. Several empathy enhancing activities helps in enhancing the quality of empathy in a counsellor. b) Genuineness: Rogers as well as Truax considered genuineness, as a very important part of counselling. The employees of various public services are well trained to meet the public at large, in a very cordial and friendly manner. "Genuineness" is synonymous with good or honest intentions. A genuine interest in the client is a must for the counselling process to succeed. c) Warmth: Personal warmth or being warm is a controversial issue. There is a hairline difference between being warm or being dubbed as 'sickliness'. The quality of being warm refers to a situation, where a person shows interest in other individual/group. 'Cold' individuals rarely become good counsellors. A word of caution here, a too warm counsellor may lead towards the development of over-dependence on the part of the client. The ideal feeling of being warm is the one which demonstrates that the counsellor is non-judgmental and is honestly interested in his/her client. Care should be taken to see that the counsellor does not try to dominate the process of counselling. d) Concreteness: It can be termed as a type of skill. It is an ability to listen, to what is being said by the client, instead of what is being implied. Concreteness in counselling is essential, if the counselling process has to succeed. A counsellor possessing the skill of ‘concreteness' does not go for details (regarding psychological explanations) of what the client is speaking about, but instead tries to understand what the client is trying to express. Any quick, preconceived or initial judgment about what the client is saying will not be particularly helpful. In fact, it will be counterproductive. The concept of concreteness almost integrates all the important elements of the counselling process. A concrete counsellor, invariably, listens to and accepts what the client is saying and does not quickly make his judgments. e) Unconditional Positive Regard: Rogers came up with a term called, 'unconditional positive regard' to refer to 'necessary and sufficient conditions for therapeutic change' in the counselling relationship. Rogers emphasized that the counsellor's positive feeling for the client must never be conditional in nature. He further suggested that the counsellor should feel warmly disposed towards the client, irrespective of the client's feelings or emotions, which is almost impractical or unreal. This is impossible. Further, it is important that a counsellor is broad minded and initially non-judgmental. Also positive general disposition towards the client is a must for the counselling process to succeed. f) A Tragic Sense: In order to get involved with a client's problem a 'tragic sense of life' must be developed. All human beings have some limitations. A tragic sense helps the counsellor to remain humble. It also inducts a sense of humanity in him. Counsellors are not people with better brains, but are the people who readily listen to the problems of their clients. g) A Sense of Humour: A sense of humour comes quite handy, in rescuing most of the sensitive or delicate situations. It does not means that a counsellor should resort to a comedian's tactics. It also does not mean that a counsellor should start taking the conversation during counselling session lightly. But, it means to help a client to regain the sight of the larger picture of a problem. It helps in calming down the tense atmosphere, that builds up because the clients generally blow the things out of proportion. Even subjects dubbed as 'taboos', can be easily confronted with the help of a sense of humour. h) Self-awareness: It means to being aware of oneself i.e. to be aware of one's own limitations and strengths. It means to explore oneself. It is a realistic attempt of comparing oneself with other people. It means to explore one's own life situations. A MAN is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts. - James Allen in “As a Man Thinketh” A GOOD COUNSELLOR A GOOD COUNSELLOR is also: a positive influencer enthusiastic caring supportive trusting focussed goal-oriented knowledgeable attentive clear and concise patient observing responsive According to Walter B.Jones, the counsellor should have the following five personality traits: 1. Breadth of Interest: The counsellor should be interested in various types of poeple , jobs and organization. 2. Co-operation: The counsellor should cooperate with all the staff in a cheerful manner. 3. Refinement: The counsellor should not be over confident but, on the other hand, should be modest and humble towards the clients. 4. Magnetism: The counsellor would inspire confidence in others and put others at ease. 5. Considerateness: The counsellor should appreciate the difficulties of teachers, exhibit human understanind and possess real love for fellowmen. B. Training and Preparation. Myers says that the counsellor must have the following traits: 1. Good liberal education including knowledge of humanities such as sociology, psychology, economics, history, geography, etc. 2. Knowlegde of objectives, curriculum and methods of secondary schools. 3. Knowlegde of vocational activities. 4. Knowlegde of methods of occupational information. 5. Knowlegde of principles of guidance. 6. Knowlegde of psychological tests in guidance services. 7. Knowlegde of organization of guidance services. Counselling offers help to people going through a period of emotional or psychological distress and confusion which is hindering their normal capacity to arrange their lives more effectively.