Q & A One
Q1. Usually clients who seek help are in crisis, and their ability to make decisions is significantly impaired. Therefore, it is important that counsellors are comfortable with making important decisions on behalf of their clients.
A1: Counsellors need to avoid disempowering clients by making decisions for them and they should do this only in the most extreme circumstances.
Q2. The application of skills or techniques detracts from spontaneity.
A2: As one learns new strategies and techniques there may be a period of awkwardness and this may detract from spontaneity. With practice, learned skills become integrated.
Q3. Professional counsellors strive to be free of biases.
A3: Ideally this is true, but everyone has biases. Counsellors need be selfaware of their biases and they need to take steps to insure that they do not adversely affect their work.
Q4: Counsellors who have personal experience with the problem or issues that their clients are experiencing will be more effective.
A4: Personal experience may help counsellors understand some of the feelings and challenges that clients face. At the same time, personal experience can cloud objectivity, particularly if assumptions are made about what clients Amust@ be feeling. Counsellors who have the same experiences as clients may be less inclined to let clients Atell their story.@ They may also impose solutions based on what was best for them rather than on what is best for their clients.
Q5: Effective counselling involves blending the client’s needs with those of the counsellor so that everyone involved is satisfied.
A5: Counselling is not reciprocal. The work of counselling is structure to meet the needs of clients. Thus, the onus is on the counsellor to adapt to meet the unique style, values, and culture of the client.
Q6: The skills of counselling are also the skills of effective everyday communication.
A6: Effective listening and communication skills can enhance and deepen personal relationships.