Use your work from P3 and analyse (consider in detail) it e. g. what are your strengths in counselling skills, why you think they are your strengths and where do you use them. What are your weaknesses, why do you think they are your weaknesses and what can you do to turn them into strengths.
For Egan’s first stage I think the strengths that I have in counselling would be that I explained to the client about the contract and confidentiality that is included into the contract that is kept between the counsellor and the client and so with this I was able to use this to be able to show the client that this is a professional relationship and so this is explains the guidelines of what is going to happen between the counsellor and client within the sessions and outside of sessions if contact is needed.
This is a strength because the client will think that I am professional because we need to go through the contract first before the starting of any sessions so then they know what is going to happen in the sessions that they are having.
It would also be a strength because if I did not explain the contracting at the start of the session then the client would not know what the counsellor does about contacting, name, address, and also if they have been referred here by their GP and explain to them if they need more specialised help and so they would explain at the start if the counsellor would have to refer their client onto someone more specialised so this would be a client that might have drinking or drugs problems and so they would need to explain first that they might refer later on in the sessions and the warning of sending them on.
I was also able to explain that confidentiality was also a strength because if the client didn’t know that the confidentiality during the sessions then they might not be open to telling me the counsellor about what their issue is and so then I might take the information that they have said already and be able to spread so I was able to explain the confidentiality so that they know that all they say will stay between me and the client unless they are at risk of harming themselves or others and so I would have to break confidentiality there and I would alarm them of that I am breaking confidentiality by informing others of what they have done.
This is a strength because I was able to explain all about confidentiality so that the client is able to know all the information they needed about what is going to happen in the counselling sessions. I would use confidentiality with every patient I am with because they will not trust me otherwise and I would not be able to help them with their issues and that they would want me to keep everything they said otherwise I might be putting them at risk of being harmed.
Another strength that I had was that I was able to give unbiased information which means that I was not adding any of my own opinion to the advice that I was giving the client. I think that this was a strength because I didn’t let myself give biased information which could lead me into trouble if they followed my advice, this would also cause the client issues if they were being abused and they followed my advice and I put them at harms way because I told them to make a decision about what their circumstance was and that I could potentially lead them into getting more hurt than they already was.
I would use this strength with all the clients that I am attending to because then I am not reliable to be subject to being prosecuted because I told them that they should do this and that and so this meant they might be homeless, severely hurt or even worse that they have lost everything because of one little thing that I have said to them and so unbiased information also protects me the professional from not being subjected to court because of seeing them in the sessions and providing this information to them.
Eye contact is a strength of mine because establishing eye contact with the clients that I have to work with allowed me to be able to show them that I was listening to what they have to say and so this made it so that I was not being rude to them because of not looking at them and so this meant they was able to express more to me because of me the professional able to pay attention and see the emotion they are expressing with what they have to say and if they are not saying anything then seeing the emotion that they are able to transpire by being quite but are wanting to express what they want to say without actually saying it.
I think this is a strength because they need eye contact to know who they are talking to especially if its couple or group counselling that is taking place. I would use this when being with my clients because they would need to be able to know that I am being assertive to them when they are expressing what they have bottled up for a long time and so this allows them to know that they can trust me.
During the session a strength that was pointed out what that I was able to reflect throughout the session and this is a strength because it showed that I am being assertive and being able to reflect back to the client everything they said and also expressing the same emotion that they told me back to them to show them what they are doing and so this shows them what emotion they are putting in with their words so that they know how they are feeling about a certain topic.
I think this is a strength because they are able to show that I am not only listening but also taking in the information if I am able to reflect it back to them with the same emotion they are using and so this helps for when I have to give them unbiased information that can relate to the presenting issue. I would use this with the clients I have in the counselling sessions to show that I am capable of helping them if I have the knowledge of what they have said to me and be able to transfer it back to them for the next session so that they are able to vent it all to me so then they can have help.
Summarising was also a strength that I was able to do in the counselling session because at the end of the session I was able to take in all the information that the client has discussed and summarise it so that they know I was able to do this by listening to everything they said. I think this is a strength because the client is going to trust me more and then we can start building a helping relationship by being able to make sure that everything that the client has said I take it into account even if it’s the smallest thing.
This would be used when I am with clients because showing them that I am able to summarise all what they have discussed shows that I want to help them with their presenting issue. Showing professionalism and exploration are a strength because I was able to represent myself that I am professional and not being personal so that the client can only see me as a professional and not someone who is being non-professional and so this is a strength because then they are not able to now personal things about me that are private and will only make the client confused of who is in the room my personal self or the professional side and that exploration I was able to find more information about the client by asking open questions so that I was able to help them with the presenting issue at hand. I would use this with the clients because then I am not letting them see my other side and sticking to professionalism and that exploring is an easier way to finding all the information the client has on that topic and so this means being able to help a lot faster and maybe even resolving the issue.
The weaknesses that occurred in the first stage was that at the start of the session I was not being focussed, this is a weakness because then I was not paying attention to the client and they might have said something important or urgent that needs attending to for example if they said they was going to kill their family and I ignored that then I could potentially making her family at risk of being hurt or even murdered because I was not paying attention. To turn this into a strength I need to be more focussed that means I need to be focussed as soon as they enter the room so that I do not miss anything they say or express on their face.
Another weakness was that I was also judgemental to the client with what they say and this is a weakness because I should not being judging them on what is going on with their life or how they look because I do not know them or their life so this could have been the way they was born and judging them only makes me feel guilty about what I am thinking about them and can lead me into getting distracted. I can turn this into a strength by making sure that no matter who my client is I am not allowed to judge because nobody is perfect and not all people have the same life as me and so that they may need more help.
Egan’s second stage I think that the strengths I have are that I was challenging the client by asking open questions so that they are forced to tell me more information and not just a simple yes or no answer and something that they would have to think about, this is a strength because it made them feel like I was caring because I was asking the open questions to be able to dig deep into the presenting issues and so this would help me be able to resolve the issue and help them with their life. I would use this to e able to tackle the client that have difficulty in expressing what they want to say because they are either scared, worried or terrified of what my reaction might be. Another strength I have is repeating the issue to the client to allow them to continue where they might have left off, I think this is a strength because it might be that they were heading is the right direction because this might be about the presenting issue that they have and so allowing me to repeat it to them to continue allows them more chance to get everything they’ve probably wanted to say off their chest.
I would use this with every client I see because at least I am showing them that I remember what they said and also allowing them to remember so they are able to express what they want.
The weaknesses that I occurred through the second stage was that I made the client feel uncomfortable by leaving awkward silences I think this is a weakness because if it’s a new client then this means I still am trying to know this person and they might not be happy that they would tell a complete stranger all about the secrets they have been hiding for years and so this meant I was waiting on them to answer one of my open questions or waiting for them to present an issue that I am able to help them with, the way I would turn this into a strength is that instead of waiting on them to answer me I could get them to do activities like drawing or ball game so that they are able to trust me and start the conversation going. Another weakness was that I introduced myself again and so this is a weakness because this could be passed on to the client as though I am forgetful of who my clients are so I need to introduce myself again and this could lead the client in not trusting me because if I have to do this then I probably can not remember the conversations that I am having with my clients and who they are. To turn this into a strength I need to not introduce myself again but make sure that they are aware that I am there as a professional and so the introduction needs to be happening at the start of a new client.
The strengths that occurred in the third stage was that that I was able to look back at the last session which is reflecting and this is a strength because I was more able to express all the emotion they had put into the conservations over time and so this means that I can help them more and they can see what emotion they are expressing to me when I mention a certain topic and develop on this because if a topic that they mentioned is a lot more expressed than another than this can help the client be able to think more about this topic and if it can resolve the presenting issue. I would use this with my client because they need to know that I am being aware of what they are saying to me and also the emotion they are putting into it.
Another strength was that I was able to recap on the SMART targets that were set in the second stage and so this is a strength because when recapping on these targets it can help the client be able to show me that they have achieved some of their targets and also review the ones that have not been met and see if we cant change it to make it smarter so that they don’t feel like they are unable to achieve it, I would use this strength with all my clients because being able to set SMART targets enables not only me but also the client to be focussed on what they want to do so this might mean setting a target such as if my client was pregnant and needed to tell the father than this means the target will be able to help her be able to tell him using the SMART example and that this might make her feel better because if she can do this then she will be able to set other targets than can do with this subject and if she cannot for fill the target for some reason then maybe we can change the target to ones that are easier. The weaknesses that occurred in the third stage was that I spoke too much to the client and this is a weakness because this meant that I was overloading the client with too much information that they might not be able to take it all in and so feel really confused with what I am saying and then feel like they are not able to ask again because I might say it all again and overload them.
I think that to turn this into a strength is that when I need to tell them information is too inform them first that I need to give them information and make it clear to them and then ask if they got everything I said and that they understand. Another weakness was that I was not focused again which meant that I didn’t turn it into a strength because I was able to do it again and this mean that this is a weakness because I didn’t listen to my own advice of being able to turn it into a strength and so this means that I need to be more focussed otherwise it can lead to consequences on the client and also me the professional. To turn this into a strength is that I need to stay focussed on every client that I see even if I don’t believe the client or that I know they are telling lies because they have changes their story from the previous session.