Reflective working relationship with the people we meet. Although

Reflective
commentary 1

Corey
(2017) emphasises that the personal and interpersonal skills of the counsellor are
more critical than any technical expertise when building a therapeutic relationship
with a client. Through reflecting on my personal attributes and life experiences,
this essay will explore my potential strengths and weaknesses in becoming an
effective counsellor.

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A
personal attribute I consider to be a strength is that I am a highly empathetic
person, with a strong sense of social justice and I value the opportunity to assist in facilitating a positive outcome for people in need.
According to Corey (2017) effective therapists need to have a genuine interest
in the welfare of others.  I have recently
commenced a placement as a Child Protection Case Practitioner. The role
requires me to visit clients and undertake comprehensive risk assessments in order
to establish if a child is facing significant harm and is in need of
protection. Due to the sensitive nature of the role, genuinely caring about
others is essential in establishing an effective working relationship with the
people we meet.

Although my
empathetic nature is a strength, it is also a weakness. Corey (2017) states
that effective therapists maintain boundaries, and disconnect from their clients’
problems to avoid carrying the worries of others into their personal lives. Countertransference
is when the counsellor has an emotional reaction to a client, which has the
potential to affect the therapist’s ability to work effectively with the client
(Corey, 2017). Although we conduct debrief
sessions at work to lessen any emotional impact of issues that have surfaced, I
have found it difficult to stop thinking about the problems of the children I
have encountered when I return home. Similarly, another weakness is that I have
the tendency to ruminate on past confrontations with clients. According to
Corey (2017) effective therapists choose to live in the present instead of
being fixed in the past. Corey (2017) suggests engaging in our own personal
therapy can be helpful in managing countertransference reactions. During my
placement I will endeavour to learn how colleagues practice self-care
techniques, because this will assist in my personal and professional growth.

The
process of setting aside personal values and beliefs when working with a client
is known as “bracketing” (Corey, 2017). In child protection, we are involved
with clients during unfortunate circumstances.  Although it is imperative we keep an open mind
during investigations, often we do not agree with or share the same values as
the client.  According to Corey (2017)
effective therapists endeavour to create collaborative relationships with others
in order to work towards consensual goals. During this placement, I have discovered
that a strength of mine is the ability to put aside my own biases so that I can
build rapport and work collaboratively with clients in order to formulate a
plan that is in the best interest of the child.  

Reflecting
on my strengths and weaknesses has increased my self-awareness and offered
insight into the attributes that are required for me to become an effective counsellor.