Counseling Degree. My Reasons Essay

Pages: 10 (3074 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Psychology

I played this exercise on myself recently, reflecting upon the narrative that I create about myself and my life when describing myself to others. Not only is part of it (perhaps a lot of it, admittedly) fantasy, but also, interestingly enough, most of it is that which I hope to achieve. This is the gap between the 'ideal' and the 'real'. The ideal is that which we hope to achieve, the 'real' reflects our actual actions and continued habits that due to psychological and other restrains cause us to continue in our ongoing behavior.

In an intriguing way, this gap between the 'real' and the 'ideal' can be addressed by using the model of the Johari Window that is also used in counseling, namely that others see me n ways that I don't and that their opinion can tell me more about my real self and help me develop it into something more of my 'ideal', This in turn will help me better able to counsel clients where the same construct/s situation applies. In other words, in the counseling session the counselor supplies shortcomings and insights that remain concealed or overlooked by the client (Nelson-Jones, 1983),

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Essay on Counseling Degree. My Reasons for Assignment

I look to think of myself as original and innovative. Applying that to the counseling field, I see my capacities as lying in research and using that for the expansion of my own skills and that of the field in general. Indeed. Counselors are advised to continuously upgrade and develop their knowledge and skills. The downside of my originality and dynamism is that I am apt to dislike authority and restraint, and a counselor is often required to work in a team format and to share communication and findings with others. This is particularly important if I work as part of an association instead of as an independent professional. I have also traveled extensively and enjoy interacting with different cultures and systems of people. This is a big help to a counselor since it is well-known that dealing with specific ethnic population can be quite challenging. Challenging characteristics that have been repeatedly correlated to immigrants seeking counseling and interfering in effective psychotherapy include the following: cultural barriers (e.g., stigma, and loss of face where counseling may be considered an embarrassment within one's culture), difficulty of communication (e.g., lack of language match and poor cross-cultural understanding), and immigrant's lack of awareness or understanding of services. I think I can address all of these factors by recognizing the existence of and working on these cultural barriers, augmenting the response of my service and relating to the immigrant client in the context of his or her particular culture / background. I have an interest in and appreciation for different others and this can be particularly valuable within the counseling framework.

Taking into consideration the requirement of active listening skills, I think I am a better listener now than I used to be. It helps me to image communication as a ball that is being flung from one individual to the other (I.e. from client to counselor and back). The other is trying to convey me his message to me. I need to 'catch' the 'ball' in all its nuances. Listening is an arduous task, for in order to catch that ball, I have to shutter my thoughts and zone in, in a laser-tight movement, on the other and on his precise words and actions. I have also realized that this catching the ball is a reciprocal act. I have to throw the ball back to the client and ascertain that he catches it in return. This, therefore, necessitates that I speak and act on the client's own level.

Confidentiality is no problem to me. It is logical and makes sense. I also understand and appreciate the strictures inherent in the counseling situation. The counselor is there to counsel. In order to do so effectively, a certain objectiveness and distance is necessitated.

Identify, describe, and apply relevant functional transferable skills

I enjoy writing. Writing necessitates self-reflection and acute psychological knowledge of others. Its connection to counseling is evident. I think aspects of my personality that are most congruent to the odyssey are my ability to keep up with applicable research, to ponder, to ask question, to tenaciously grasp onto motifs that puzzle me.

Aside from that, I possess the combined personality of being both extrovert and introvert. A counselor, it seems to me, needs both. The extroversion for enjoying people, reaching out to others, being interested in them, and curious about their world; the introversion for curving in upon oneself and for constant reflection.

Finally, but likely not conclusively, I see myself as somewhat of a scholar and enjoy reading (as well as many other hobbies). This scholarly bent is conducive to counseling in that it will enable me to expend and extend my knowledge and be able to communicate to and with a larger group of people.

Realistically project yourself into a postgraduate counseling setting and describe your professional duties

I have worked as volunteer counselor in the past in several diverse capacities and therefore, I am able to project myself into a postgraduate counseling setting with ease and envision my professional duties. The difficulty is that I cannot state with certainty what kind of job I will be performing, namely whether I will work with paroles, as it has once been my interest to do, whether with children in a schools setting, whether with elderly in a geriatric setting and so forth. My ideal vision is to eventually be independent, but I realize that practically speaking I may have to start off under the aegis and supervision of some sort of organization.

Obviously my job will involve taking in clients, recording the information and counseling them. This involves the introductory session, certain strategies that encourage them to continue with me, constant recording of notes, feedback with client, communication with colleagues so that they help me maneuver challenging instances, and- right at the end -- and with each client occurring at different times, closure. My tendency is more towards a practical syntheses of behaviorism and brief therapy (although I am eclectic), therefore, I do not see this closure as one that will occur after a lengthy duration of time, as happens with psychodynamics.

1. As another approach to answering this question, I see my professional duties as revolving around the directives of the APA. Beneficence and Nonmaleficence: since psychologists' scientific and professional judgments and actions inevitably affect the lives of others, they have to be "alert to and guard against personal, financial, social, organizational, or political factors that might lead to misuse of their influence" In this way, for instance, they abstain from accepting gifts from their clients or being in any way subjectively involved in their lives (outside of the sessions)

2. Fidelity and Responsibility. Psychologists have to maintain "professional standards of conduct, clarify their professional roles and obligations (for instance, in a contract before the session, in forms requesting permission to share relevant information with relevant parties during sessions), accept appropriate responsibility for their behavior, and seek to manage conflicts of interest that could lead to exploitation or harm"

3. Integrity "Psychologists seek to promote accuracy, honesty, and truthfulness in the science, teaching, and practice of psychology" for instance accurately quoting sources when writing articles or presenting their findings or theories.

4. Justice: psychologists have to "ensure that their potential biases, the boundaries of their competence, and the limitations of their expertise do not lead to or condone unjust practices." This is partially averted by seeking professional help when appropriate and by developing one's skills and knowledge by study, workshops, seminars, and so forth.

5. Respect for People's Rights and Dignity This is the crux of the counseling framework. The client always comes first, and the counselor endeavors to place the client's affairs before that of any other. In essence, the counselor should "respect the dignity and worth of all people, and the rights of individuals to privacy, confidentiality, and self-determination." Pains are taken to protect confidentiality. The APA code meticulously elaborates on this matter. (APA, 2010).


American Psychological Association (APA) (2010) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct.

American Counseling Association (ACA) (2005) ACA Code of Ethics.

Chater, N., & Oaksford, M. (2001). Human rationality and the psychology of reasoning: Where do we go from here? British Journal of Psychology, 92, 193-216.

Dawes, R. (1994). House of cards: Psychology and psychotherapy built on myth. New York: Free Press; Toronto: Maxwell Macmillan Canada; New York: Maxwell Macmillan International.

Duncan, B.L, & Miller, S.D (2000). The heroic client: Doing client-directed, outcome -informed therapy. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Hurvitz, N. (1971). Psychotherapy as a means of social control. British Journal of Psychology, 63, 395-400.

Mannheim, K. (1936). Man and society in an age of reconstruction: studies in modern social structure. (E. Shils, Trans.).… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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