Counselor' is a term used to refer to an individual who counsels, guides and mentors a patient coping with a struggle or challenge. Psychiatrists, psychologists, or therapists are all considered counselors because they are guidance professionals in corporations and schools. The serious and intimate tone of the counselor-patient relationship ignites potential challenges to both the emotional and physical health of the professional. In this paper, I begin by offering a recap of my self-exploration in the counseling profession. The recap will also identify changes since beginning the course. I will also reflect on the challenges that may lie ahead in being a new counselor, new to the field.
Counseling is more of a natural response to individuals and circumstances. All the ideas of counseling I learned throughout the course have become more and more unrelated to me. People are unique, their issues, their backgrounds, and their level of education is different. Therefore, over the decades I have redefined counseling as a reaction to the needs of the counselee. Clients come to me with various emotional, social and behavior issues. Some come from dysfunctional family units, some have been molested by their family members or even by their dad, and some have run away from forced marriage or marriage to a senior person. Many patients come with different levels of psychological problems like suicidal tendencies, anxiety, behavior issues, and adjustment problems. The vital task is to make the patients comfortable in the current situation of the day. Another task is to cope with the patients' anxiety while attempts are being made for recovery. Making such patients feel comfortable and assisting them adjust is extremely difficult (Medeiros & and Prochaska, 1988).
Building rapport is the very first step of counseling and consumes a lot of time as the patients have experienced so many circumstances, making them not to trust anyone again. After a connection is designed, a significant part is to develop a support system for the individual and to assure a good future. Looking after the principal needs of these patients resolves a greater part of their problem. If one tries to advise the patients towards professional vocation or motivate them for education, the attempts fail terribly, as the patients may be disappointed that their principal needs of shelter, clothing, and food are not met. The consultant has to play a significant part of a facilitator trying to alter the behavior problems and outbursts so that the professional can gel with the patient. At times, the consultant is seen as a role model. I also have to look at my own actions and behaviors. Based on the setting, friends and family members also have a great impact. It is very necessary to fix faulty behavior and motivate beneficial behavior; this is done through behavior adjustment methods like providing beneficial punishments, strokes, or negative conditioning. Like any other patient, therapeutic patients also go through the same problems of relationships and sexuality. Assisting them to learn the facts and offering them the space to discuss and share independently and in a team helps the patients to come up with remedies (Lawson, & Venart, (n.d.).
Sometimes listening and enabling the patients to vent does all the work. Recognizing their emotions and assisting them to share their ideas helps them to be emotionally stable and allows them to set up connections that are more authentic. I also assume the role of an information provider. It allows them to know the facts of life whilst appreciating the available options. I also have to be updated to give proper details and be sincere to say 'I do not know.' I have to find out the details and bring it back to my patients. It assists me in two ways; one is being genuine with the patients, the relationship with them is improved, and two it allows me to build up my own knowledge. While working in the counseling profession, I am regularly reflecting on my own ideas and emotions. Sometimes, discussing my life circumstances allows them to understand and make right choices. While I am placing patients back in their homes or visiting family, intervention is warranted for reconciliation purposes. Encouraging the family visit and assisting patients to speak out openly with their families strengthens their bonds back home (Linton & O'Halloran, 2000).
As a counselor, I have learned to deal with the different roles expertly as well as individually. I have learned many times through trial and error. Sometimes, I also felt hopeless and helpless regardless of recurring efforts being put ahead, still a patient is not responding. Such situations strain me out, and I have felt the weight on me. It is so challenging to disengage myself from work that I carry everywhere I go. Lastly, when I have not been effective in getting across to the patient, I must admit that there are boundaries too, and I did my best, and I could do nothing further. Nevertheless, I have also learned to deal with my own stresses. I do recognize the tremendous liability I take on my role in both the organization and each patient's life as they battle to recollect their fragmented lives. This serves me with the motivation to continue in the field (Medeiros & and Prochaska, 1988).
In my view, counseling is itself a process of self-exploration and growth. It has helped me to learn more about myself by increasing my self-awareness and self-confidence, improving my relationships, aiding me in making good decisions, utilizing common sense, and making me aware of my surroundings at all times. In addition, it has supported my emotional, intellectual, physical, and spiritual well-being. Now, as I pursue my master's degree, it offers me consistent growth and an opportunity to serve and help others. I see that all my experience and all the hard work I have invested in my education and myself have made me who I am today.
When dealing with a client, a guidance counselor assumes a "second fiddle" status and lets their client drive the session. In this regard, counselors are regarded as active listeners; they listen with undivided attention, and see situations as clients express them rather than how they would expect or like them to be. Unlike most people, counselors have the ability to resist the urge to trigger words out of the client, reach premature conclusions, or read in expectations. Furthermore, counselors possess the "gifts" of remembering what their clients say, and being able to read the message "behind a client's words." Another fundamental strength is the ability to maintain calm and composure when faced with a client's distress or crisis.
This area is anchored in my observation and work with practitioners in training and my own challenges when I started practicing. I will recognize some of the significant problems that most of us experience, particularly during the novice levels of learning how to be practitioners. Some of these recurring styles of concerns, disputes, and problems offer the material of seminars in counseling. When consultant interns finish their official course work and start facing customers, they are subjected to the test of integrating and implementing what they have learned in the course. They soon realize that all they have to work with is themselves, their values, life experiences, and humankind. At that point, some actual issues occur about their adequacies as practitioners and as people and about what they can bring to the counseling relationship. The following section reflects on the challenges that may lie ahead in being a new counselor.
Being and Disclosing Ourselves
Because we are self-conscious and nervous when we start counseling, we are over engaged with what the books say and with the techniques of how we should continue. Inexperienced practitioners too often do not appreciate the values innately in being themselves. It is possible to err by going to extreme conditions in two different routes. At one end are counselors who reduce themselves to their fixed positions and cover up behind a professional facade. At the other end are practitioners who strive too hard to confirm that they are human beings. At either end of these posts, we are not ourselves. From the first glance, practitioners are bound in maintaining stereotyped expectations of their roles that little of them as a person is revealed (Lawson, & Venart, (n.d.).
Although practitioners do have role functions, it is possible to execute them responsibly without blurring our identification and getting lost in our roles. I think that the most vulnerable, uncertain, and terrified we are in our professional role, the more we will hang on to the protection provided by the position. The impractical anticipations that we must be superhuman results in becoming stagnant in fixed positions. At the other extreme practitioners, work at showing their humanness. These practitioners overreact and blur any difference between the assistant and the one who is assisted. They make the error of inappropriately burdening their customers with natural impressions they are having toward them. Specialist disclosures should have…