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Hermansson (2009) assert that counselors play a very important role in the society. A counselor has a major goal mainly to facilitate. Contrary to the perception of many people, a counselor’s work is not solving problems but majorly encouraging the person through insights, questioning, and other counseling techniques to come up with answers and solutions on their own. Someone can get problems a try to find a solution over and over again but in vain, making them lose hope.
As such, a counselor can facilitate change only by helping them take a thorough and deep at their problem. It therefore involves a process where both the client and the counselor must work jointly to bring about viable ways to aid each unique individual better their life. A counselor therefore is expected to have some characteristics to comfortably discharge his/her duty to the clients. In this paper, I will compare and contrast my personal traits with commonly accepted counselor or "ideal" counselors’ characteristics.
My first personality characteristic is good listening skills. Good listening skill is very important to a professional counselor too. He or she is expected to listen to what I have to say and not say a thing. When a counselor listens to what I have to say, it makes it easier for me to open up and disclose what my problem is. The counselor therefore will be in a better position to understand my situation and offer or rather advice me on a solution to my problem. My good listening skills come in handy when he or she is talking to me for instance when advising me after he or she has heard and understood my situation (Smith & Campbell, 2006). The counselor should be keen to listen to words, body language, unspoken words and also attitudes. Listening should be effected whether the students are talking or not. In the process of listening, the counselor shows that he or she really cares.
I have a sense of humor and I will prefer if the counselor also has one. A counseling session should not be very serious, I mean there should be a way to break the tension and a sense of humor does the magic. When both parties are in a relaxed mood, they are able to give their best. Again, the client is able to open up and also at the same time the counselor will be in a good position to give the best options that will help the client (Hermansson, 2009).
I have empathy towards others. I can put myself in the place of others and actually sense how they feel. A counselor will be very effective if he or she can combine his listening skills and empathy. He or she should be able to go out of his way, put him/her in my shoes a try to figure out how best he or she can help me. This should be automatic because with the virtue of empathy he or she should be able to feel whatever I will be feeling at that particular moment as it relates to my situation (Smith & Campbell, 2006). Empathy and listening are attributes that go hand in hand a good counselor must be empathetic towards their clients. This is a demonstration of ability to step into ones feelings as though it was your own situation. .
I am a friendly character. I like meeting new people and therefore making new friends. I expect the counselor to also be friendly. This virtue ensures that the client feels at home. This atmosphere is good enough to ensure that the two parties have a peaceful atmosphere in which there will be fruitful discussions. It is easy to trust a friend as compared to a stranger. I will therefore be in a position to disclose my situation truthfully in the hope that the counselor as my friend will be able to assist me. I will trust him or her to be my confidant such that whatever I will share with him/her will not be disclosed to any other person.
I am open-minded and not judgmental. To that effect I am able to think outside the box. I can easily relate various aspects of my situation to what surrounds me with an objective of obtaining a solution. Being judgmental acts as a barrier towards getting a certain truth about a certain situation. I expect a counselor who shares the same traits to be patient with a particular situation instead of judging it. In many cases the judgment might be wrong and eventually the counseling process will not be fruitful. When a counselor makes judgments on a client, it means that he or she will not wait to hear or obtain the real truth in what that particular client is experiencing. It will mean that the counselor will not be keen to listen to what his or her client will be doing because he or she will have already made a decision which is related to the client (Smith & Campbell, 2006).
It is common knowledge that every person in this world has a personal experience, spirituality, culture and generally a world view. This may be different from one person to another. To avoid friction, contradictions or disagreements all the above named aspects should be treated with all the respect they deserve. In a counseling session I expect the counselor to respect my views as I in return will respect the views of the counselor. These views can be very vital on both parties. The views of the counselor can be used to indicate how knowledgeable he or she is. This is enough to detect how reliable he or she can be. On the other hand, the counselor can use the views of the clients to determine the root of his or her problem.
I am honest and genuine. A counselor who shares the same traits is in a better position to help me out with my situation. An honest and genuine counselor is reliable. I will be able to discover this from the way the counselor talks and listens. His or her body language will also show what he or she is really made up of. This condition is enough to make me open up and really explain how my situation is (Mack, 1996).
I have the ability to motivate people, a trait that I will prefer if the counselor also has. A counselor should be able to encourage me out of my situation through his personal experience and experiences of others including clients who have passed through his or her establishment. At the end of the counseling session I expect to feel motivated due to the drive that he has planted in me. I should feel replenished and therefore ready to tackle future challenges of life.
In many occasions in my life I have chosen to help others out of concern to help others and not to glorify myself. I have leant to be of assistance to both friends and enemies without discrimination and not expecting or even waiting for rewards at the end of it all. A good counselor is one who embraces this particular trait. It is common sense that I have preferred his services so that he can help me. Therefore he has no choice but to do his job. He should not do it for the glory of it since in the event that he does not get the glory he expects, and then he will not do his best to help me. Glory makes a person to be proud especially when he expects it and proud comes before a fall. This clearly represents a loosing situation on the side of both the client and the counselor therefore should be avoided (Smith & Campbell, 2006).
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