Monday, 03 September 2007
Personal Characteristics of Effective Counselors*:
- Effective counselors have an identify. They know who they are, what they are capable of becoming, what they want out of life, and what is essential.
- They respect and appreciate themselves. They can give help and love out of their own sense of self-worth and strength.
- They are able to recognize and accept their own power. They feel and equate with others and allow others to feel powerful with them.
- They are open to change. They exhibit a willingness and courage to leave the security of the known if they are not satisfied with what they have. They make decisions about how they would like to change, and they work toward becoming the person they would like to become.
- They are making choices that shape their lives. They are aware of early decisions they made about themselves, others, and the world. They are not the victims of these early decisions, for they are willing to revise them if necessary.
- They feel alive, and their choices are life-oriented. They are committed to living fully rather than settling for mere existence.
- They are authentic, sincere, and honest. They do not hid behind masks, defenses, sterile roles, and facades.
- They have a sense of humor. They are able to put the events of life in perspective. They have not forgotten how to laugh, especially at their own foibles and contradictions.
- They make mistakes and are willing to admit them. They do not dismiss their errors lightly, yet they do not choose to dwell on misery.
- They generally live in the present. They are not riveted to the past, nor are they fixated on the future. They are able to experience the “now” and be present with others in the now.
- They appreciate the influence of culture. They are aware of the ways in which their own culture affects them, and they respect the diversity of values espoused by other cultures. They are also sensitive to the unique differences arising out of social class, race, and gender.
- They have a sincere interest in the welfare of others. This concern is based on respect, care, trust, and a real valuing of others.
- They become deeply involved in their work and derive meaning from it. They can accept the rewards flowing from their work, yet they are not slaves to their work.
- They are able to maintain healthy boundaries. Although they strive to be fully present for their clients, they don’t carry the problems of their client around with them during leisure hours. They know how to say no, which allows them to keep a balance in their lives.
* adapted from Gerald Corey’s Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy 6th ed. Wadsworth publishing, 2001.