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Skills Required for Counseling

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Health And Social Care
Wordcount: 1881 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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Counseling Skills

Counseling can be regarded as a tool that explores a matter that limits one’s happiness. The meddling can be an old pattern that seeks to achieve self-judgment, fulfillment, as well as comportment that keeps people from feeling about ourselves.Counseling can take various forms, but one of the most specific styles is known as the servant technique, which is characterized by special concepts of the approach to leading the session. In the counseling field of practice, it is essential to focus on building the community than just pursuing individual goals, which requires that one should aim at acting as a servant leader. The tenets of clarification, empathy, appreciating feeling, and other key competencies will mean that the focus will be on instilling courage in the client and stimulating them to learn how to develop and become better individuals while managing their stressors. It is on this basis that it is critical to analyze the various perspectives of counseling to understand the different event that occurs for a successful process. The paper will thus outline the utility, advantages, and disadvantages in the consideration of empathy, content reflection, feelings reflection, and clarification during a counseling session.

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A key intervention that is used in ensuring that the counseling session is effective is the element of demonstrating empathy. One of the best ways to practice empathy is listening to the others and showing compassion. Any counselor should pay attention to the client’s issues in an affectionate way. In fact, to become a better therapist, it is necessary to develop the skills to consider the needs of others first. The benefit will such an approach in counseling is that by following the principle, the therapist will learn the best way of considering and appreciating the opinions and claims of the others (Ng & James, 2013). Thus, apart from better listening skills, they have to enhance the sense of responsiveness to project their consciousness both mentally and emotionally into that of the others. Such practice will offer the chance to develop a better understanding instead of rejecting views presented by the client. It is thus important to enhance the sense of stewardship to be able to pay attention to the needs of the others instead of one’s own desires. The disadvantage associated with empathy is that while it is necessary to some extent, the demonstration of empathy is not a sufficient element of compassion. It follows that it cannot be relied upon when there is a need to alleviate suffering because it lacks the motivational component. The setback, therefore, is that one only feels like someone else and that is the end as they cannot intervention enabling them to overcome the challenge (Ng & James, 2013).

The other measure used in effective counseling is the reflection on the content that seeks to analyze a given issue from by using verbal or nonverbal cues and varied perspectives to provide for an upsurge self-awareness and to ease change in the individual’s life. The concept of reflecting on content during a counseling session is advantageous because it enables one to develop the impression of self-discovery and to explore the inner world for a therapist. It is common to find that majority of peoples intricate the reflection of content stage for the reason that they want to be more analytical in their assessment process. Counseling leaders are the ones responsible for reflecting on the content in the same perspective as the clientele. In addition to that, reflection on the subject tends to nurture the culture of participation, encourage talents through deliberating on one’s strengths, and ensure the development of an effective and motivated response by those that are being counseled, which contributes to achieving the success of the session. The challenge that is associated with reflecting on content is that there is a risk of confusing the approach to feelings because they are comparable and almost similar (Barrett, 2004). It is thus critical that the counselor tries to eliminate the element of feelings as it could act as a confounder in corroborating the specific counseling approach.

The counseling could also be in the form of the reflection on feelings. Counseling is a crucial process for those aiming to attain personal advancement because it enables one to perceive life that they live to the fullest as it enables the therapist to attain contentment and fulfillment. The theory of includes the idea that the clients can exist only when the selected groups are jointly liable for each other and act as a unit, which is the only possible way to perform their functions. The reflection of the feelings by the client is crucial in building positive relationships in counseling since it helps the counselor to learn about themselves as well as understand their clients. Moreover, the focus of the feelings is on areas that one cherishes most because they desire to learn more about environmental and situational influences that cause the problem that is being addressed by the counselor. The therapist should be attentive to all clues of feelings including issues relating to culture, gender, and lifestyle in defining one’s experience and concerns (Berven & Bezyak, 2015). The appreciation of feeling is a momentous achievement considering that the problems are commonly understood by understanding one’s mood. The advantage of feelings is that it ensures that there is increased self-awareness ad greater emotional well-being that translates to me inclusive solutions. The challenge has also been from the understanding that there is bias when the focus is on the expressive feelings (Ellis, 2012).

The other way one can develop professionally is that through clarifying to enable the understanding of an issue from a different perspective. The advantage of clarification is that it allows for more elaboration which ensures that the issue is understood fully which make it is possible to manage stress, anxiety, depression, expounding issues and working on challenges. The primary task of counseling leader is to motivate greatness in other people by ensuring that all issues are highlighted, and due to such reasoning, the session is expected to be a success. Furthermore, it is critical in reconciling with an issue that had not been clear in the past, hence enabling positive development by enabling one to gain more control of the subject, increasing coping skills, becoming more assertive, enhancing self-esteem and self-confidence, understanding one’s loved ones more profoundly. The risk that is associated with asking for clarification during a counseling session is that there is a chance that it would be misinterpreted by the therapist, which could result in a subjective response that could adversely affect the counseling session (Cromer & Loebe, 1978).

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Finally, the use of open-ended questions has enabled the consideration of solution-focused queries, which is a type of approach that centers on the achievements of individuals rather than their problems. The use of open-ended questions is a type of approach that aims at building one’s attitude by aiding participants to achieve specific desired outcomes by offering them a chance to express themselves. The approach can be implemented in the field dealing with mental health, school counseling, children and older people as the questions can be structured in multiple ways depending on the presenting case. The advantage of an open-ended question format is a method highly considered by practitioners to help in elucidating the primary stressors among people and societies. From this perspective, it is worthwhile to consider that the client is in a better position to express themselves in a way that is inclusive (Morrison, 2011). Meanwhile, the use of open-ended question is associated with the problem of being time-consuming because the therapist will have to consider the need to compile the questions, which could be tedious. Furthermore, the use of open-ended questions is that it can be challenging to provide liberal responses when the client is not familiar with the element of expressing their views.

In summary, the process of counseling requires the consideration of various skills to ensure that it is a success. The primary of these factors is the expression of empathy that allows the therapist to link with the client in an emotional way to enable them appreciate the challenge from the respondent’s perspective. It is also critical that the counseling factors the need for reflecting on the content that is being presented for better conceptualization of the whole subject. The consideration of content is, however, sometimes confused for the feelings part which means that the counselor reasons out with the client in an emotive manner. Another approach to effective counseling is the use of clarification options to provide for elaboration that a given issue is understood from varied perspectives. Finally, the apprehension of the role of open-ended questions enables the counselor to provide the client with an opportunity to express their pressures in a more expressive and liberal manner. It is apprehended that despite the presenting setbacks with each, the integration of the individual elements ensures that a counseling session is a success.


  • Barrett, L. F. (2004). Feelings or words? Understanding the content in self-report ratings of experienced emotion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87(2), 266–281. http://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.87.2.266
  • Berven, N. L., & Bezyak, J. L. (2015). Basic counseling skills. Counseling Theories and Techniques for Rehabilitation and Mental Health Professionals., 2nd Ed., 227–245. Retrieved from http://ovidsp.ovid.com/ovidweb.cgi?T=JS&PAGE=reference&D=psyc12&NEWS=N&AN=2014-06395-011
  • Cromer, J. L., & Loebe, A. C. (1978). Values Clarification—The Pros and Cons. NASSP Bulletin, 62(419), 64–73. http://doi.org/10.1177/019263657806241913
  • Ellis, J. L. (2012). The power of place: The emotional effects of specific buildings on those seeking bereavement counseling. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1350620850?accountid=10957%0Ahttp://www.redi-bw.de/links/unifm?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:dissertation&genre=dissertations+%26+theses&sid=ProQ:ProQuest+Dissertations+%26+Theses+Global&atitle=&tit
  • Morrison, S. (2011). Motivational interviewing: A collaborative path to change. American Nurse Today, 16–18.
  • Ng, C. T. C., & James, S. (2013). Counselor Empathy or “Having a Heart to Help”? An Ethnographic Investigation of Chinese Clients’ Experience of Counseling. Humanistic Psychologist, 41(4), 333–349. http://doi.org/10.1080/08873267.2013.779276


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