Throughout one’s life, the events and situations encountered will play an important role on the development of personal values. In turn, these developed values will influence people’s decisions on how they will go about in their day-to-day living. The acknowledgement of personal values, their commonalities and differences will be a convenient tool for counselling sessions. Understanding how they affect person-to-person interaction within Counselling Relationships is an important lesson for training a credible Counselling Psychologist. More importantly, we must be able to identify the role that culture plays in this relationship, including ethnicity.
The first and fundamental step in seeing the way how “values” influence our Counselling Relationships is acknowledging our own personal values. As Counsellors, if we fail to accept the existence of values, we will be unable to limit their influence. We must look into ourselves and notice the way we think about the world around us. By investigation into our emotional development throughout the course of our lives we will be best able to see the conceptual elements that make these values, and how they are developed.
Upon distinguishing the personal values, we can then ponder on their potential influences. For example, if a counsellor sees that a specific group of people holds the family system as a value, we may assume that everyone, in any human community, would hold this value system too. During a Counselling session, we may use this “assumed value” as basis for the client’s placation (appeasement).
However, if the value of the family system is not something that the client holds dear, more often than not this will be of little help to them. This means that though most human communities or “societies” have common understandings and shared values, there are still those that are endemic to a particular group, for example, one client is a devout family man while the other is an individualist and does not care little about it. Counsellors can perform better when equipped with an awareness that not all values are held in commonality throughout the world, and some people come with their own values.
Another interesting case involving the influence of personal values in Counselling Relationships is the Counsellors unawareness of a client’s angst. Though “angst” is difficult to define, there are signs that some clients manifest in their preferences, like say, a client gives much value on material possessions. This value could be the reason behind their inability to be happy. On the contrary, if material possession is not something we place high in our own value system this may go unnoticed, thus would not cause unhappiness. A client may be told to give-up this value for material things, or divert his/her value somewhere more productive. This is how awareness on potential variations in human values can best help someone through counselling.
Location or geographic component spawns cultural diversity1. A Counselling Psychologist wishing to practice in our locality will demand a necessary awareness of “local values”. Some experts call this “local knowledge”. If Counsellors fail to see the distinct cultural values in a place, they will be unable to help a client from another cultural background. Different places spawn different cultures, and this is the general argument of cultural geographers. Therefore, Counsellors-in-training should assume that a locality may have its own set of values. This is called the “endemic” value systems of other cultures.
As general note, the Counsellor must not forget to see into him/herself. A Counsellor is also a human being, by nature, not detached from the inescapable web of values out there that are differing, shared or localized. As Psychologist, acknowledging one’s values will help prevent potential biases from “contaminating” the controlled interaction with clients. In turn, the Counsellor can check the client’s biases and ensure that they do not affect the process of treatment or therapy. Values are the backbone of human understanding and mental healing2.
1Crang, M. (1998). Cultural Geography. London : Routledge.
2Hilgard, E. R. (2001). Introduction to Psychology. New York : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
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The Influence Values in a Counselling Relationship. (2017, Mar 31). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/the-influence-values-in-a-counselling-relationship-essay