Therapeutic Relationship Between Counselor and Client

The following sample essay on Therapeutic Relationship Between Counselor and Client covers the topic language misunderstandings between the consultant and the client.

Lago (2003: p54) states that ” Being misunderstood begets anger, frustration even hatred. By contrast, to be understood evokes trust, gratitude, exploration, love and aspiration. The use of language is absolutely central to the communication process and however much good intent there is, on both sides of a conversation, if misunderstandings persist then the potential for therapy is substantially diminished if not stopped altogether.

” Therefore, as well as a means of communication, language can form a boundary between two people, this is especially true in the therapeutic relationship.

This does not only occur when the client and counselor speak different first languages, but also when they use the same language. Accents and usage of language vary throughout the U.K.; this can lead to misunderstandings between the counselor and the client. In certain parts of the country and with certain ages, swearing is readily accepted and used everyday.

However, in other places and with other ages swearing is frowned upon. Language can also be a powerful weapon of oppression.

If a client feels insecure, and the counselor uses long and strange language, the client could feel intimidated and withdraw from the relationship. Therefore, language can be both freeing and constraining. Enabling because it allows us to express our feelings and opinions and communicate with others. Constraining because we cannot communicate with those who do not speak our language, it only allows the use of certain words for certain feelings.

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For example, the Eskimo’s have many different words for snow and sleet whereas in the U.K. we have just those two. Therefore, if a counselor has a client with a different first language, it could be that the English equivalent does not really mean the same thing in their language.

Differing Belief Systems

Belief systems are made up from many different parts of a persons psyche and can range from belief in religion to the belief in self. A person’s outlook on religion will alter the way that they view the world. For example, I do not believe in any god and so when things happen I say that is life.

However, in certain religions whichever god is being worshipped can be blamed or praised for the occurrence. In the counselling setting, the client’s belief systems will affect the relationship. The client may believe for example that it is wrong to talk about certain issues and so if the issues are not talked about openly the relationship will falter, as congruence and honesty are a main component in the person centered approach. The counselling relationship is there in many cases to change the client’s beliefs about their own self-image.

For example, a client may believe that they are useless or worthless; this negative self-image will, hopefully, be changed throughout the counselling process so that the client lives a more fulfilled life. McLeod (2003: p484) states that there has been lively interest in the idea that all effective counselors possess similar belief systems or ways of making sense of the world. The assumption is that counselors are able to help people because they see the client’s problems in a particular way. It could be then that as counselors not only do we have our own beliefs but also we have certain commonalities that make us good at what we do. It is important to remember that there are two people in the therapeutic relationship and that they are both as important as each other.

Family Patterns

All families no matter the size have patterns and positions. The family is affected not just by the size but the ages of its members and their genders. Adler looked more deeply into family patterns and found that those with different positions took on different roles and characteristics. Adler believed that a person’s birth position and gender would influence their development and personality.

For example, only children may be quite self-centered and unable to consider the needs of others unless reminded; middle children tend to feel squeezed out or sometimes held in, as they have neither the privileges of the eldest nor rights of a youngest. In addition, there is the difference in how we encourage our children according to their gender. For example, boys are encouraged to get dirty and go exploring and play a bit rough and big boys don’t cry, whereas girls are encouraged to play with dolls and play nicely and to be clean and tidy.

If a counselor understands these issues, it may be easier for him to help the client. The relationship could be affected if the counselor reminds the client of a member of their family that they did not get along with etc. this is also true of the counselor. By understanding these issues, the counselor could have more insight into the client and how the client’s self-concept was formed.

Family Life Experiences

The life experiences of the whole family will affect how a person develops and their outlook on life. For example, if a client moved house as a child and found the experience unsettling and uncomfortable the client could later on develop problems dealing with loss and change. If the move was pleasant and the client settled into their new house, it is more likely that they will cope with change in a better way. All families have shared life experiences, but each member of the family will remember different aspects of the event and be affected by it in different ways. For example a family may go on a holiday.

The parents want to visit all the local sights and there is a lot of driving involved. The parents enjoy the driving because they like the countryside, however, the kids cannot stand it because they are trapped in a car and prefer cities to the countryside. So even though all the family went to the same places and had the same experiences they all perceived the holiday in different ways. These events influence in later life and will affect all the relationships we have. Obviously, the relationship is one of the most important aspects in the P. C. approach to counselling.

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Therapeutic Relationship Between Counselor and Client
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