Level 3 in Counselling skills and Theory
Unit 4
journey of self discovery
1.1 Most of us believe that self- development only happens when we are learning something new, and we forget that self-development is an ongoing process. A counsellor??™s own development must be a continual process of, growth and expansion. They must demonstrate an interest in self-awareness, self-counselling, work/life balance, focus, goal setting and other complementary areas of self-development. Through their own growth a counsellor will also pick up additional understanding and knowledge, which equips them with effective tools to use to help and support a client during the counselling process.

As an ethical practitioner and member of a professional association, a counsellor needs to continue developing her/his skills and knowledge. Most counsellors do this by attending short courses, seminars or workshops. Through supervised counselling sessions and consultations with other professionals, the counsellor will all so be able to explore their own self awareness and personal development. It will give them the opportunity to be continually open to personal, and career development which will help the counsellor fully t understand their values and self.

1.2 Many of our values, beliefs and behaviours are established during childhood. My own values and beliefs were originally developed through my parents, family and outside influences such as society and cultures. I believe that as a counsellor I may at some point be exposed to issues with my client, such as their lifestyle or behaviour etc that could bring into question my own beliefs and values. For example if my client has committed an act that was morally wrong, this may really challenge my values as honesty and integrity are values that are really important to me.

As a counsellor I will endeavour to accept the client for who they are, without prejudgments, and will aim to set agreed client boundaries that will not influence my issues I may have regarding the situation, by compromising the client counsellor relationship. I will encourage the client to to talk openly without prejudice. I would like to think as a counsellor I could put my values to one side, and help my client to attain personal growth and self ??“actualization.

1.3 Verbal and non-verbal feedback is a vital part for self-development as it provides you with honest information about your behaviour and performance; it can highlight both positive and negative areas. It??™s about improving your own growth and at the same time helping you to maintain good levels of work performance. Having feedback helps me to personally develop and appreciate my strengths and weaknesses; this allows me to grow as a person.

During my skills practice work as a student counsellor I have received useful, constructive feedback for example:
* Delivered a clear contract
* Used a warm and friendly approach within the session
* Good use of soler skills ??“ maintaining eye contact, open posture helping the client to relax.
* Attending skills- using non- verbal communication by smiling and nodding to encourage the client to talk
* Good summary ??“ showing an understanding of the issues discussed
* Reflection skills ??“used opening question to help prompted and encourage the client
I have also received feedback on areas for improvement for example:
* To slow down my pace when counselling the client
* To make sure I have less talking input during the session, as I didn??™t allow the client enough talk time.
I found all the feedback to be helpful, it gave me the opportunity to look at all the areas and make improvements where required. This will help to reinforce the successful use of my skills work, and make my counselling session even more effective.
1.4 With reference to the Johari Window, I found it to be a very useful tool when gaining self-awareness; it??™s allowed me more of an understanding of the interaction between myself and others. I have always be aware that this area (knowing all), is quite often like an open book, as I find I??™m ok with disclosing some personal information about myself, and my family are always telling me I??™m too open with others. Self- awareness and development of myself, is something I have always taken seriously especially in developing my communication skills and relationships with others, through work, courses, and workshops this enabled the ability to be more openly and effective Hopefully receiving feedback over the years and talking it onboard through all of these experiences has encouraged my blind spot to continually develop.

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