Counsellor/ Psychotherapist Qualities: If you are a perfectionist this profession is probably not for you. To be an effective Therapist it is vital that you acquire the correct skills and techniques but without the human personal qualities needed you will not develop as a rounded professional. The following are some of the qualities that are vital if one is to succeed in this profession. Tolerance: Counsellors need tolerance and a measure of self acceptance if they are going to be able to show it to others. Counsellors who like things to be neat and tidy will flounder, as people and personal problems do not usually fit into neat boxes. Clients and their behavior can challenge our own morals, attitudes and beliefs systems. It can be very tempting for the unaware therapist to make evaluations and judgments on the client as much as they attempt not to. The client will pick this up as time goes on the relationship can end up being just another destructive one for the client. The lack of structure and clarity that some client’s issues will bring to the session can be very confusing and frustrating for the therapist. It may not be clear what the client needs. The client’s issues can be so overwhelming that it is hard to know where to start and it might not be clear that you are on the right path at any given time. On the other hand we may be very clear that we are on the right path and the client is telling us that they feel lost and that the therapy is going nowhere. Architects, Artist, Carpenters and other creative professionals will see the end result of their work and feel satisfied with what they have achieved. Counselling can also be very rewarding when you see your client gain more control of their lives and move on. However counselling is full of ambiguity and the perfectionist who likes matters to be unambiguous will have a frustrating time. Counsellors need to be fairly balanced individuals, sufficiently relaxed in their own skin and able to tolerate their own contradictions, ambivalences and inner conflicts, not to have them all dealt with but to at least be aware of them. Self Knowledge: Before you can embark on listening to others it is important that you learn to listen to yourself. This learning curve starts with developing your listening skills. Self Care: Counseling can be very demanding on the therapist. Clients will discharge a lot of negative emotion in the therapist and it is vital that the therapist has a support network in which to off load these emotions otherwise they can be toxic and cause the therapist to burnout out. All counselors are required to be in ongoing supervision do best advised to be attending their own therapist on a regular basis.
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