, 2006). Soliciting client's self-report may be another helpful practice (Landry et al., 2009).
To deal with both attrition and ethnicity factors in conjunction with an adolescent or school-aged client, the counselor may be well advised to consider the fact that the client may better benefit from a school counselor's intervention rather than from her own. Studies (for instance Cummings, 2009) have shown that "schools may be the best setting in which to provide mental health services if the objective is to reduce the unmet need for mental health care among adolescents living in disadvantaged and/or ethnically diverse communities." (Cummings, 2009, 1).
At times, the counselor may have to deal with trauma-related matters. Since trauma may traverse several generations and is comprised of complex issues, Goodman and West-Olatuni (2008) recommend a transgenerational trauma recognition and assessment approach as well as historical and contextual knowledge of the trauma.
Of particular interest and significance to counselor is the recent differentiation between traits and pathology (Clark, 2007). Until now, personality disorder was largely integrated with personality (according to the Big Five model). Clark (2007) sees future directions as preferring dimension (i.e. intensity and stretch of dysfunction) to categorization (i.e. trait, or labeling of dysfunction). A counselor can do well to consider this emerging new model.
As an aside, and a further recommendation that can be helpful to the psychiatric field in general, is the suggestion for replacing psychological classical testing with computer-based techniques. Mental health measurement techniques can be tedious and time consuming; computer assisted technology can greatly reduce the burden of both patient and clinician, as well as facilitating creation of measures that supersede those of traditional questionnaires (Gibbons et al., 2008).
Biblical values and insights related to topic
Matthew has a beautiful saying related to the counseling professions:
Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)
The key instruction to counselors over here is to be 'gentle' to the client -- i.e., to be sensitive to his pain and to his challenges in accomplishing the necessary growth - whilst, likewise, being 'humble in heart' namely modest about one's accomplishments -- realizing that one is an instrument of God - and that one's success comes via God and the client. Humility also entails consistent augmentation of one's skills.
'Love your neighbor' is the crux of humanistic counseling, as is the injunction 'not to judge your fellow man until you are in his place'. In fact, the duality of God -- master Counselor -- may be the key to successful counseling. God constitutes Justice and Kindness. The counselor needs both to be efficacious: Justice in terms of establishing perimeters and obeying ethics. Kindness and compassion to the client, in terms of seeing him as an individual and meeting his needs to the best of one's abilities.
Personal reflections about topic and discussion of commitment to provide Biblically grounded, ethical and empirically-based counseling services
I think it is a privilege to be a counselor. I see this as imitating God on a minor scale: just as God comforts humans in His metaphysical manner, so do I on a more practical level. Yet, in order to be the most efficacious counselor that I can and in order to construct lives rather than to destruct them I would be well-advised to structure my services along the American Psychological Association's (APA) Ethical code (and/or the ethical code of my local counseling institution), as well as constantly maintaining Matthew's recommendations, namely to be humble and gentle.
There are many people out there who need counseling -- the need is greater and more diverse than I realized - and there are countless issues to be aware of. The research that I was involved with in this essay merely uncovered a few themes. It strikes me that to be as successful as I possibly can - and that for the good of others not for my monetary or status development -- it will be contingent on me to engage in ongoing research about counseling-related themes. One counselor cannot dealt with everything -- the spectrum is vast ranging from substance abuse, to school, to marriage, to adolescents, to foster-children (these are just several topics contained in this essay) and to everything in between). To be effective, therefore, I would have to carefully and thoroughly select my population, be aware of cultural issues that may necessarily be involved in this selected population, be open and flexible to change, and maintain a continuous learning curve with the intent of progressively developing my skills.
In conclusion, the Bible calls God counselor, to wit. "His name will be called wonderful Counselor..." (Isa. 9:6). Just as all humans are children of God, and God cares for each regardless of race, origin, physiological and intellectual features, and social factors, so should I endeavor to regard each and every one of my clients in an unbiased accepting manner. Only in this way will I come to deserve my honorific of counselor.
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Rhodes, K., Houry, D., Cerulli, C., Straus, H., Kaslow, N. & McNutt,…