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The counselling relationship Essay

An anti-oppressive approach to counselling is essential to establish and maintain an affective working relationship between counsellors and clients. Clients must feel that they can trust their counsellor and that they may share any information without fear of judgment for their opinions, beliefs and values. Anti-oppressive practice enables clients to make informed choices surrounding the direction they wish their therapy journey to take. This essay will explore four areas that are critical to incorporate into professional counselling practice that contribute to the anti-oppressive approach to the therapeutic relationship. The ethical aspects of counselling, the importance of contracting, the importance of informed consent and the role of self-awareness will be examined. These four areas contribute to anti-oppressive practice by ensuring clients rights are respected and upheld and contribute to ensuring that the counselling relationship is beneficial and a useful part of the self-exploration You must Login to view the entire essay.

If you are not a member yet, Sign Up for free process. Ethical guidelines are designed to encourage ethical behaviour and decision-making and they serve as safeguards to make sure high standards are adhered to by counsellors during the therapeutic sessions. They are guidelines which predominately refer to the rights and responsibilities of both the client and the counsellor during the therapeutic relationship. Ethics highlight the principles of appropriate conduct and behaviour to be adhered to by the counsellor. According to Summers (2011, p. 1), “ethical principles are the foundation of good human service practice” and it is essential that professionals understand ethical obligations and seek direction when they are unclear. Ethical principles are created to protect and prevent exploitation of clients, provide guidelines and to respect and offer protection for clients therefore contributing to anti-oppressive practice.

Counseling level 3 Assignment For this assignment I will be critically evaluating the person centered model of counseling in relation to homosexual people. I will be considering the importance of anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory practice when working with this client group. The person centered model of counseling has it’s origins within Humanistic psychology and the phenomenological approach. Carl Rogers (1902-1987) was the founder of the person centered method and he drew his ideas from the humanistic and phenomenological approaches that are also associated with Abraham Maslow (1908-1970). The phenomenological approach is a philosophical assessment of the individual it was developed by Husserl (1975); the focus is on the subjective experience.

The method involved requires the professional to suspend their assumptions and interpretation of the client’s world. The client is viewed as a unique person and is facilitated to interpret and explore their own experiences and thoughts. Criticism of the use of phenomenology by Roger’s as the basis for therapy is highlighted by Eysenck (1998), he states that it is a simplistic approach as ‘ much valuable information lies below the level of conscious awareness’ therefore the value of the subjective experience can be unreliable. Humanistic psychology has an optimistic perspective of human nature and the focus is on the whole person, the aim for the individual is to “become what he/she is capable of becoming” Rogers (1951) cited in Dryden et al (1989:10). This is also described as self-actualization, a term developed by Maslow to describe the motivating force enabling us to reach our full potential and peak experience.

The humanistic approach stresses the importance of the individual’s ability to direct their own life, and the counselor using the person centered method should allow the individual to choose their own pace of change and their own values and standards. However these values and beliefs may clash with those of the counselor’s and this can potentially lead to incongruity for e.g. a gay or lesbian person may be in a marriage and not disclose the fact that they are having homosexual feelings or relationship outside their marriage, to their heterosexual partner. In this situation it would be difficult for the counselor not to encourage the client to be honest with their spouse. Palmer and Laungani (1999) state that for effective communication it is essential that the counselor and client have a common set of assumptions and cultural ideology.

There are 3 core conditions that Rogers identified, which are essential to a successful relationship between counselor and client, and for a therapeutic change to be facilitated; these core conditions are congruence or genuiness, the acceptance of the client with out judgment or the provision of ‘unconditional positive regard’, and thirdly empathy. One of the core conditions that Rogers identifies is congruence or genuiness, congruence refers to the counselor’s capacity to be a real and genuine person in the counseling relationship. It also requires the counselor to be transparent so that the client can see straight through him/her. However this can be much more difficult than it seems on the surface. For e.g. if the client presents a situation where the professional does not agree with their action or beliefs, and may reserve these, it may be difficult to be honest in such a circumstance, and therefore maintain.


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