Essay on Self Care Strategies for Counselors

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Self-Care Strategies Essay

Which attributes of self care do you think are most important to success in the counseling relationship?

The success of a counseling relationships depends on the attributes of self care which must include the following; elements of self regulation, self-awareness and a good understanding between the counselor and the patient. These elements greatly influence the physical, psychological and spiritual wants of the parties involved in a counseling relationship. As noted by Delalmont (2009), these are the variables that affect the way people think and act in a counseling session. The connection between the counselor and the patient is determined by the mind, spirit and body.

The connection further determines counseling process factors such as bonding between the two parties, understanding of the counselor’s roles and those of the client, awareness of issues to be covered in the program, learning of new ways and modes of thinking, time of personal reflection, unconditional acceptance for the counselor, unclosed listening and lastly improvement through practice (Bozeman & Feeney, 2007).

The first attribute highlighted in this study is self regulation which is used to manage the anxieties, emotional impulses and drives. Regulation element in affects the way people interact both in professional and personal lives. Self regulation affects how both parties will relate especially for the counselor who provides the services.

Self awareness is the important device needed in regulation of behavior and activities that individuals undertake in every situation. It enables the counselor to handle every situation by first initiating inner assessment of abilities, fears, vulnerabilities, proclivities, conflicts and defense strategies.

This regard, the counselor should be able to acknowledge that achieving self awareness may difficult for the patient due to tensions and conflicts that emanate from the disparity between different desires and needs. Self awareness for the counselor is helpful for managing the emotional expressions that may be exhibited by the client. In the absence of self awareness, raw or non-processed feelings may be manifested by the counselor and hence poor counseling relationship (Dimitrov, 2011).

The attribute of good understanding emanates from the interaction of self regulation and self awareness. This attribute tends to create a balance in the soul, body and mind, to ensure, this individual need to acquire information on various issues and problems in life and consolidate their sense of being personally fit. It also involves being able to evaluate inner thoughts, feelings, values, dreams and ideas. An individual should also be able to compare these variables with the immediate individuals in the surrounding.

2. Discuss the concept of supervision/mentoring as applied to personal theory development. Do you agree that this is a necessary step? Why or why not?

The above concept as applied in personal theory development calls for step whereby there has to be a lucid engagement between the counselor and the client for the success of the program. This step requires the counselor to identify the needs of the client and the eminent interest, provision of close assistance to the client and evaluating the effectiveness of the supervision of mentoring program.

The counselor should have an open discussion with the client to which should also encompass the application of interviews, self evaluation, observations and questionnaires. The theory supposes that the counselor should be able to choose the most appropriate method which is deemed relevant depending on the choice of the patient. However, there are some cases whereby the sponsor of the client may force the counselor to use a specific tool such as written questionnaire. This may occur if the client is sponsored by the employer and thus limits the both the client and counselor to the predetermined method (Delalmont, 2009).

This step has been lauded for ensuring that there is an open agreement between the counselor and the client which is also vital for good relationship between the two parties. Both parties are able to establish the expectations and highlight the particular skills that the client should learn from the program. Important issues that pertain to confidentiality, the duration of the supervision and schedule of meetings between the individuals can be easily worked out.

In the light of the aforementioned positive observations, I therefore agree with the step of creating lucid engagement in mentoring/supervision. This program has also gained extensive acceptance from sects as this is indicated by Dimitrov (2011), who asserts the most important step in mentoring is to create a good engagement between the parties. Nevertheless, this step has inherent challenges should be eradicated for a successful mentoring or supervision program.

These challenges include confusion in the objectives especially if the counselor identifies other problems from the client during the program and in other cases, the client may not expose all the information pertaining to the problems affecting him or her which in turn may affect the engagement and the success of the mentorship or supervision program.

Discuss the personal qualities that contribute to the development of a “therapeutic-self.”

For development of therapeutic-self it is important the coach or counselor establishes reliable, confidential and consistent relationship where every activity or transaction is pursued within the ambits of the profession. As such, the counselor should exhibit desirable personal qualities that are deemed important for the development of a “therapeutic-self.” The coach or counselor should posses the following qualities; good communication skills, personal strengths, a good understanding of human behaviors, genuineness and positive regard (Emilsson, 2009).

Good communication skills

Good communication skills are imperative for the success of the therapeutic relationship. In this regard, the counselor should be able to communicate properly with the client, he or she should be loud enough to be heard and use terms that can be easily understood. The counselor should also watch the use of professional jargons during communication as this might interfere with the success of the communication process. The counselor should be a good listener, very patient and embraces courtesy and professional discipline when communicating with client. He or she should not hesitate to seek clarification from the client in case of there is point that is not properly communicated. Communication in this context should focus on the problem and its solutions (Delalmont, 2009)

Personal strength

Studies show that client’s personal strengths greatly motivate the client and may provide a faster lee way towards the problems. The counselor may highlight some of the strengths to the client and reveal how he or she attained them. There are circumstances whereby the problem affecting the client emanate from her or own personal weaknesses which on other hand are the counselors major strengths. In such case, it is important that the counselor assist the client in modeling the strategies to overcome the problems. The client should be to learn new skills of coping and alternative solutions to the problems (Dimitrov, 2011).

Good understanding of human behavior

The counselor should be able to understand human behavior by developing good social relationships with the people in the surrounding. Such relationships enable the counselor to identify human needs, characters and challenges. It is through social relationship that the counselor will able to identify other people’s perceptions and views, mutual needs, feelings and shared ideas (Emilsson, 2009).


Genuineness as a personal quality for development of a “therapeutic-self” requires the counselor to effectively use his or her qualification, experience and skills in delivering the desired services. The counselor should also adhere to the codes of the profession and ethics to ensure that relationship with the client and the services delivered are not comprised by other outside factors. The counselor should show the willingness to help and work the client to ensure delivery of the expected services. The client on the other hand is required to have a positive regard towards the counselor based on his or her skills. Positive regard is very important for the client to develop confidence and trust towards the counselor (Bozeman & Feeney, 2007).


The success of counseling relationship depends on the personal attributes of the counselor and the client. More over the most important element is to ensure a good understanding between the counselor and the client. The counselor should adopt good personal qualities for the development that are important for the development of therapeutic-self. Among the qualities, good communications skills coupled with adherence to professional ethics and codes of practice are highly important.


  1. Bozeman, B. and Feeney, M. (2007). toward a useful theory of mentoring: A conceptual analy- sis and critique. Administrative and Society39 (6): 719–73
  2. Delalmont, S. (2009).Supervising the PhD: A guide to success. Philadelphia, McGraw-Hill Education
  3. Dimitrov, N. (2011). Western
  4. Guide to Mentoring Graduate Students across Cultures. Teach-ing Support Centre Purple
  5. Emilsson, U. (2009). “Supervision of supervisors: on developing supervision in postgraduate education.”Higher Education Research & Development