Open-endedquestions are well demonstrated. These are questions that a persondoes not have to answer with either yes or no but rather explain himor herself. In the recording that I am playing the role of counselor,I ask Natalie open-ended questions. A good example is where I askNatalie why she had come to see me. Open-ended questions areimportant in counseling because they allow the client to explore theissue in question without limiting herself to a short answer like yesor no. These questions lead to more information and betterinterrogation. Closed-ended questions can be troubling in counselingespecially when it is the first time the client and counselor aremeeting. In the recording where am playing the role of a counselor,Natalie opens up about her family history which would not have beenpossible if I used the closed-ended questions.
Ialso used reflective listening in the recording. Clients in mosttimes do not open up easily because they are not proud of themselves.It is, therefore, crucial to listen to them without judging. Throughreflective listening, the counselor can ask the right questionswithout making the client uncomfortable (InternationalCoalition for Addiction Studies Education, 2012).Thesequestions make the client realize what they are doing is wrong hencethe need to change is accelerated. A good example is when Nataliesays that her parents are concerned and I ask her the implication ofher drinking behavior. This question makes Natalie realize how muchshe has lost because of alcoholism and how much more she could loseif she continues drinking.
Unconditionalpositive regard is also well illustrated in the recordings.Unconditional positive regard is accepting and evaluating the clientwithout judgment. It entails being warm to a client regardlesswhether you like them or not. If a counselor exercises unconditionalpersonal regard, he respects the client and tries to understand hisor her struggle while accepting his views and beliefs. In the video,I listen to Natalie and understand that she has anger problems and Ipromise to help her look for a job that does not require a lot ofinteraction with people so that she can control her anger. Byoffering to help her look for a job, I am warm towards her and shecan open up.
Skillsthat need further working
Affirmationis not well illustrated. Affirmation involves recognizing thestrengths of the client. In most cases clients who come forcounseling are unsuccessful self-changers. This statement means thatthey tried to change their behavior and they are thereforedemoralized and feel that they incapable of doing something.Affirmations create rapports between the clients and counselors andhelp the client feel that change is possible and that they arecapable of something good. Affirmation, however, does not work if thecounselor is insincere because the client feels cheated(InternationalCoalition for Addiction Studies Education, 2012).Affirmationand genuineness go hand in hand and I will have to work on bothskills.
Theother skills I should work on are empathy and congruence. Empathy isputting yourself in another person`s world and this helps thecounselor to understand how the client is feeling without judging.Empathy can be developed by practicing with friends and family byparaphrasing what they say to check whether you understand what theyfeel. Poetry, music and novels can help the counselor describe afeeling. These two tasks improve the extent to which a counselor cancommunicate empathy to clients correctly. Congruence is sincerityduring counseling. If a client notices that a counselor is notsincere, the rapport between them will be broken and as a result, theclient will withhold some information.
Themock session was interesting. I was able to put what I have learnedinto practice. I have also realized the areas I am weak in and hencework on those areas. Without a mock session, we cannot appreciatewhat we have learned in class and it therefore a very vital part oflearning.
InternationalCoalition for Addiction Studies Education. (2012). Journalof teaching in the addictions: Official journal of the InternationalCoalition for Addiction Studies Education (INCASE).Binghamton, N.Y: Haworth Press, Inc.