Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Top Ten Advice for an Intern Counselor

Communication is the underlying key to becoming a good counselor. It is talking and listening to the issues too and from the patient and finding the solution.

Chapman in his book Persona Counseling noted the following qualities or personal traits of a successful counselor: patient, perceptive and sensitive, likes people, non-threatening demeanor, sense-of-humor, desire to help, positive attitude, good listener, warm personality and a problem solver (Chapman, 1993).  Dr. Cheryl MacDonald of Health Psychology Center in her article How to Achieve Success with Counseling, concludes that individuals can attain and relate their success to interns in counseling.  Also to help overcome both the counselor and client’s life challenges, recover or bring empowerment, regain contentment in life, and practice a more flexible broader range of emotional maturity.  Counselors and their interns must be exploring behaviors, feelings, life’s difficulties and the remedy process then build on existing strengths of their clients (MacDonald, 2016).

Most counselors have different views about the ideal counselor based on our experience or maybe an image of each person. When counseling interns, they must be mentored (not only tell them how to counsel because personality is a big factor in counseling) and be given the goal of doing the best to help and improve the wellness of every individual, couples, and families in the Senior Center as follows:

1. All counselors must show Empathy. Empathy and facilitation skills are critical for the successful leadership of nearly any enterprise. Employees at every level want to be respected, heard, and treated with dignity, and that is the very essence of the counseling relationship. These highly developed counseling skills are tremendous assets to the leader/manager of any enterprise, but especially a counseling organization (Herr, 2005).

2. Counsel on the right time and the right place. To have a successful counseling session, both parties need to be relaxed and comfortable so that communication is free and easy. It is most difficult to select a time that is ideal and pressure-free for both parties. When the chips are down, the counselor should make the significant adjustment. In other words, select the best time for the person being counseled because nothing will go right when the person who has the problem is on edge because the timing is wrong (Chapman, 1993, p 31).

3. Although most of the clients in this particular case are seniors, they are still diverse and have differences and so choose the right technique or be flexible in your manner of counseling. When it comes to counseling, methods are useful but simple ways of helping others reach elegant solutions to their problems or opportunities. Techniques are tools to facilitate communication. Dozens of methods make up the counseling process. Some will fit into your comfort zone. Others will not. When you have discovered and woven specific techniques into your behavior, you will have created your counseling style. It is the purpose of this book to assist you in doing this. Your counseling style will include everything from the tone of your voice to the process you follow— how you start, how you end, and how you lead the counselee to his or her solution. Whether your style becomes useful may not be measurable because a counselor can seldom get long-term feedback on the final results of the communication that took place. (Chapman, 1993, p 34).

4. Don’t overwork or take some time off and ensure that personal wellness is taking care of.

5. Seek advice from another counselor if it is needed especially if the client is starting to become unmanageable.

6. Maintain trust and integrity - always.

7. Have sincere desire to help at all time.

8. Have a sense of humor.

9. Constantly have a positive attitude.

10. Less talk and more ears. Always be a good listener.

Raabe, in Issues in Philosophical Counseling, asserts that (Counselor) must take time off from counseling practice for both professional development and personal well-being.  She has the responsibility to seek to counsel for herself if the need arises, and she must refuse to work with a client who is hostile, abusive, controlling, or manipulative, or who purposely sabotages the counseling process. The necessary element of trust in a counseling relationship means not only that the client must be able to trust that the counselor has the sincere desire to help, but also that the counselor must be able to believe that the client has the genuine want to be helped (Raabe, 2002).


Chapman, E. N. Personal Counseling: A Practical Guide That Teaches Basic Counseling Skills. Boston, MA. USA: Course Technology Crisp, 1993. p 18 and p 31. Retrieved on 14 November 2008 at: http://site.ebrary.com/lib/capella/Doc?id=10058858&ppg=24

Herr, E. L. Professional Counselor as Administrator: Perspectives on Leadership and Management of Counseling Services across Settings. Mahwah, NJ, USA: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Incorporated, 2005. p 325.

MacDonald, C. A. (2016). How to Achieve Success With Counseling.

Raabe, P. B. Issues in Philosophical Counseling.Westport, CT, USA: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated, 2002. p 218. http://site.ebrary.com/lib/capella/Doc?id=10040721&ppg=224

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