Frequently Asked Questions About Effective Counseling

I wanted to become a counselor ever since I found out that my 15-year-old sister tried to end her life by ingesting all of Mom’s sleeping pills. My mother only realized that something’s wrong because she needed one that night, but the pill bottle was empty. The EMTs came on time, and they managed to save my sister, but that scene was deeply ingrained in my young mind.

When my sister woke up, she said she did it because her first boyfriend broke up with him. She believed that living without that boy was impossible, so she decided to take matters into her own hands. A psychologist eventually came and diagnosed my sister with depression, and she had been dealing with it ever since.


Realizing My Dream

Ever since that day, my dream expanded. Aside from becoming a counselor, I also wanted to be a licensed psychologist. I managed to achieve the latter almost two decades of studying later and began to practice in my city. I immediately got busy, considering there were not many psychologists in our area. My daily schedule was always full; sometimes, I would not even have time for lunch or five-minute breaks.

After a couple of years, though, I had the opportunity to apply for a counseling certification. Despite my success as a psychologist, I still wanted to offer counseling, mainly because I knew how much my patients struggled to go to the only counselor in the next city. If I became a licensed counselor, they would not have to go anywhere else for further help.

Learning About Effective Counseling

It was not challenging to find a school that offered a counseling program. What I found the trickiest was making sure that I embodied all the characteristics of an incredible counselor.

What are the characteristics of a counseling professional? 

A counseling professional is:

  • Aware of their thoughts and everything that comes out of their mouth
  • Sensitive about cultural practices
  • Flexible
  • Easy to trust
  • Hopeful

What is effective counseling? 

Counseling is considered adequate when the person manages to alter their negative thoughts and behaviors and develops a positive relationship with others and themselves.

What are the five counseling skills? 

  • Attending
  • Building rapport
  • Listening
  • Reflecting and paraphrasing
  • Summarizing

What type of person makes a good counselor? 

A good counselor is empathetic, compassionate, reasonable, optimistic, and knowledgeable about various counseling techniques. They also possess incredible listening skills and can offer solutions to practically any problem under the sun.

What are the objectives of counseling? 

  • To help people alter their negative behavior
  • To help individuals improve their interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships
  • To help people develop a positive and sustainable coping mechanism

What are the major elements of counseling? 

  • Developing a professional relationship between the client and the counselor
  • Making the problems or situation clear for both parties
  • Identifying the client’s goals and possible treatment approaches
  • Creating an intervention plan (to be approved by the client)
  • Planning how to conduct counseling and what happens when it ends

What are the principles of counseling? 

  • Autonomy
  • Justice
  • Beneficence
  • Nonmaleficence
  • Fidelity

What’s the importance of patient counseling? 

Patient counseling is essential because many patients are not knowledgeable about medical jargon and may be hesitant to take any medication they do not recognize. When the professional counsel them about the treatment, they will feel more inclined to follow the doctor’s orders.

What are Microcounseling skills? 

Micro-counseling skills refer to the foundation tools that counselors must possess to be able to provide counseling effectively. It includes building a rapport with the client, listening to them attentively and effectively, improving your posture to seem more approachable and welcoming, etc.

What are the three types of counseling? 

  • Event counseling
  • Performance counseling
  • Professional growth counseling

What are the steps of counseling? 

  • Data Gathering: The first step of counseling requires the counselor to gain as much information as possible about the person, including what they think their problem is and how it may be resolved.
  • Evaluation: The counselor assesses the symptoms that the person experiences, as well as their severity. Then, they try to figure out what causes such symptoms to appear and how ready the person is to receive counseling.
  • Feedback: This is when the counselor talks to the individual about their evaluation. The person will then decide if they will continue with the counseling or look for another treatment.
  • Counseling Agreement: Considering the individual decides to receive counseling, they need to discuss their goals and limits with the counselor to ensure that both parties are on the same page. Otherwise, counseling may never work.

How do you define counseling? 

Counseling is technically known as a professional relationship between a counselor and a troubled individual who wishes to achieve specific goals and improve their life.

How do you develop Counselling skills?

  • Develop small skills like talking clearly and positively, showing empathy, etc.
  • Remind yourself that receiving a master’s or doctoral degree is not the end of your studying days. You always need to update your knowledge about counseling to continue being an effective counselor.
  • Learn effectiveness strategies, including time management, goal-setting, emotional resilience, etc.
  • Ask another expert to be your mentor so that you can figure out if you are still doing things correctly or not.
  • Find a better way to understand what your clients are thinking or feeling. That’sThat’s how you can become an effective counselor.
  • Show some flexibility during a counseling session. For instance, even if your primary focus is depression, if the patient has family issues, you should also know how to touch on that to better help the individual.
  • Learn about various counseling techniques that you may apply if one approach does not work. For example, some people with addiction problems cannot see progress after taking therapy for a few months. In that case, you may offer cognitive-behavioral therapy or motivational interviewing.
  • Expand your clientele and influences through networking. The more organizations you are also affiliated with, the more you may get recognized in the industry.

Final Thoughts

I studied diligently to obtain my license and become a professional counselor. Less than a year after that, I finally got it. My clinic became more popular that I had to hire two more psychologists while I offered counseling. The bonus was that I could also guide my big sister as she continued to battle depression.

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Many studies have shown that our mental health can only be as good as our physical health.  We will only ever see an effect in our mental health if our physical health is also going through the same thing, which is why we must be taking care of our body as it can, in turn, take care of our mind.

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Not only that but it can also worsen your psychological state and maybe the reason why mental health illnesses like depression and anxiety will surface. It is indeed alarming.

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