Counselling Tutor

By Ken Kelly and Rory Lees-Oakes

About this podcast   English    United States

Counselling Study Resources
79 episodes · since Feb, 2016
In this podcast
May 19, 2018
078 – Using Quotations in Assignments – When Clients Never Return – Getting Assignments Referred In episode 78 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, Ken Kelly and Rory Lees-Oakes offer tips on using quotations in assignments. ‘Practice Matters’ looks at reasons why clients may ‘disappear’. Last, the presenters discuss what it means to have an assignment referred. Free Download: When Clients DNAClick here to download your When Clients DNA handout Using Quotations in Assignments (starts at 2.18 mins) Tutors like to see students using quotes in assignments as this shows you have read around the subject. It is a way of backing up your own experience and views. Ken and Rory offer tips on finding and using quotes: Use the index of the book as a starting point, looking up the particular concepts you are focusing on. Don’t assume you understand a quote without setting it in context – look up where it has come from, and read what comes before and after. If you find quotes online, make sure they are from an authority source (e.g. Wikipedia is not a reliable source). Counselling Tutor is proud to announce a new quotes section on our website. There, we include quotes that we have checked out, and present each as an attractive graphic. Why not join the discussion on Facebook to let us know your favourite quote? Don’t forget to provide the full reference too, and we might use it on our website. When Clients Never Return (starts at 10.37 mins) It can be very concerning and frustrating for counselling students when clients ‘DNA’ (do not attend), but there are many reasons why this happens, for example: health reasons not being able to afford to take time off work not being able to pay the travel costs to get to counselling having to care for children or other dependants not being ready for counselling feeling fear and shame moving house experiencing transference (i.e. when you remind them of someone from their past) just not having the time. For some clients, one session is enough: simply having the opportunity to offload and feeling heard can be enough. If you are faced with a DNA, try to use the time constructively – for example, you could read, make notes or go for a walk, so supporting your learning and preparing you for your next client. Also, do try to retain unconditional positive regard for the client: we never know what is going on in other people’s lives. You can download a handout on this topic here, or it is also available in the Handouts Vault and Counselling Study Resource (CSR). Free Download: When Clients DNAClick here to download your When Clients DNA handout Getting Assignments Referred (starts at 14.29 mins) Ken and Rory both experienced getting assignments referred when they started counselling training. This can bring back difficult memories of receiving ‘fail’ marks at school, but a referral is not a failure: it simply means that you have not fully covered what is needed to meet the particular criterion. It is usually not a reflection on your intelligence or aptitude. A referral should always give pointers on where the gap is between what you have provided and what is required, so you’ll know exactly what you need to do to pass. When writing counselling assignments, the most important thing is to provide exactly what the awarding body is asking for. The first step is to understand the academic language used in the criteria. If you are a member of the CSR, you can listen to Rory’s lecture, ‘Cracking the Criteria’, which comes with its own slide pack and links. If you are working on your external portfolio for the ABC Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling – the final set of assignments for this popular qualification – you might find it useful to use our External Portfolio Key. Links and Resources Counselling Tutor Facebook group Counselling Tutor website Counselling Study Resource Counselling Tutor Handouts Vault Basic Counselling Skills: A Student Guide The post 078 – Counselling Assignment Referred appeared first on Counselling Tutor.
May 12, 2018
077 – Age of Counselling Students – Working within Your Competence – Fitness-to-Practise Letters In episode 77 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, Ken Kelly and Rory Lees-Oakes discuss whether age is a barrier to starting counselling training. ‘Practice Matters’ then looks at working within your competence as a counsellor. Finally, the presenters talk about getting signed off as fit to practise. Free Download: Working within Your CompetenceClick here to download your Working within Your Competence handout Age of Counselling Students (starts at 1.54 mins) Is it possible to be too old to train as a counsellor? Ken and Rory think not, and both entered the profession themselves after experience in other fields. Rory began training aged 42 with few formal qualifications, and was one of the younger members of his group. Learning is lifelong: we can always learn more, however old we are. Becoming a counsellor is a vocation, often attracting people who have come through difficult times themselves. It’s more about who you are than how old you are or how academic you were when at school. Not all learners prosper in the school environment – for example, as Ken points out based on his own experience, young people with dyslexia may be seen as lazy and incapable when really it’s simply that the learning style at school doesn’t suit them. So if you feel drawn to counselling training, go for it! And if you’d like to discuss this topic with other actual or potential students of counselling – and some qualified counsellors and counselling tutors – do visit our Facebook group and start a conversation. Working within Your Competence (starts at 9.48 mins) Working within your competence as a counsellor is vital whether you are qualified or a student. If you don’t have the right knowledge, skills and experience to help a potential client, it’s important to make an ethical referral. How do counselling students know whether or not they are working within their competence? It is not at all uncommon for students – and others – to experience feelings of incompetence (FOIs). In fact, Dave Mearns and Brian Thorne write about FOIs in their book Person-Centred Counselling in Action (Sage, 2013). Rory offers some tips to help you ensure you work within your competence as a student counsellor: Make sure you choose a placement where a qualified counsellor assesses all new clients before allocating them to counsellors (considering presenting issue, risk level and modality). Get yourself a good supervisor to support you and your learning. Seek out appropriate continuing professional development, e.g. on working with bereavement and working with trauma. Be familiar with the limits to confidentiality within your agency. Ensure you understand and work within the ethical framework of your professional body (e.g. the Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy). Be aware of your own process, e.g. any transference within the counselling room. Don’t be afraid to ask for support – doing so is neither wrong nor weak. You can download Rory’s handout on working within your competence here, or it is also available in the Handouts Vault and Counselling Study Resource (CSR). Free Download: Working within Your CompetenceClick here to download your Working within Your Competence handout Fitness-to-Practise Letters (starts at 27.07 mins) ‘Fitness to practise’ refers to being fit to go into practice in a placement, sit with clients there, and handle the material they bring. You are not expected to be a mature, seasoned professional at this stage. Above all, it ensures that students counsellors do no harm in placement (e.g. by providing advice to clients). Your college tutors assess whether you are fit to practise – usually by observing you in skills practice, or by listening to taped sessions with peers. When they feel you are fit to practise, they will give you a letter to show your prospective placement. Getting your fitness-to-practise letter is a real landmark in counselling training, and something to celebrate – though of course you will never stop learning! We have two articles available that might be helpful for you as you prepare to be assessed for your fitness to practise: ‘First Counselling Session – Overview for Student Counsellors’ ‘Three-Step Blueprint to Passing Your Skills Evaluation First Time’ Links and Resources Counselling Tutor Facebook group Counselling Tutor website Counselling Study Resource Counselling Tutor Handouts Vault Basic Counselling Skills: A Student Guide The post 077 – Fitness to Practice in Counselling appeared first on Counselling Tutor.
May 5, 2018
076 – Working with Clients’ Defences – Limits to Confidentiality – Key Principles of the Person-Centred Approach In episode 76 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, Ken Kelly and Rory Lees-Oakes discuss how to spot and work with clients’ defences. ‘Practice Matters’ then investigates the limits to confidentiality in counselling. Finally, the presenters discuss the key principles of the person-centred approach. Free Download: When to Break Confidentiality in CounsellingClick here to download your When to Break Confidentiality in Counselling handout Working with Clients’ Defences (starts at 2.20 mins) While we all know our own truth (unless our reality is altered – for example, by drugs, alcohol or psychosis), we sometimes defend ourselves from looking at this – perhaps for fear that it may be too painful or difficult. This ‘block’ can really feel like a brick wall. You may see this phenomenon in clients who say they want to change something, yet at the same time seem very resistant to actually doing so. It can be difficult to know how best to deal with this as a therapist: should we challenge, or should we simply wait for the client to become ready? The clue here lies in numbers 16 and 17 of Carl Rogers’ 19 propositions, which Rory decodes as follows: I may find an experience threatening if it is inconsistent with how I see myself in the world. The more experiences I find threatening, the more rigid my sense of self becomes, and the more tightly I cling to my viewpoint. If I feel accepted and understood, I may be able to look at experiences I had previously denied. When there is this lack of threat, I can begin to make sense of myself. In this way, I am healing myself. In other words, providing a threat-free environment is key to enabling the client to lower their defences. Rogers provides a ‘recipe’ for this in the form of the six necessary and sufficient conditions of therapeutic personality change. Defences may be serving as the client’s ‘life raft’, keeping them afloat. To deflate this could be both cruel and dangerous. The key is to be gentle, kind and patient. Limits to Confidentiality (starts at 11.58 mins) Confidentiality is key to offering a threat-free environment in the counselling room. However, confidentiality is not synonymous with secrecy, and always has its exceptions and limits, which are likely to vary between countries, with their different jurisdictions. The points here are specific to the UK. The counsellor must break confidentiality in three cases involving the law being broken: terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering. Rory explains these areas. Strangely, there is no legal requirement currently to report child abuse, though many counsellors include this as one of their reasons to break confidentiality. Additional limits on confidentiality may be set by individual agencies; it is important to understand your agency’s policy in this respect. The only people who can require the release of client notes are: a judge (with a court order) a coroner the client themselves It is important to make the limits to confidentiality clear in contracting, ideally in a written contract that is signed by both client and counsellor. Rory recommends a book by Peter Jenkins ­– Counselling, Psychotherapy and the Law (Sage, 2007). You can download Rory’s handout on the limits to confidentiality here, or it is also available in the Handouts Vault and Counselling Study Resource (CSR). Free Download: When to Break Confidentiality in CounsellingClick here to download your When to Break Confidentiality in Counselling handout Key Principles of the Person-Centred Approach (starts at 27.07 mins) Ken and Rory talk about key concepts in the person-centred approach to counselling, which is based on humanistic psychology. Introjected values (implanted in us by parents or teachers when we were young – or perhaps later by a boss at work, a partner or the media) lead to conditions of worth. For example, a girl may be taught that she must dress in a ‘feminine’ way, while a boy might be told that ‘big boys don’t cry’. Later, when she feels drawn to dress in a way that she feels doesn’t fit this definition, and when he is hurt and feels the tears pricking, both experience incongruence. Person-centred counsellors believe that everyone is born good (or perhaps ‘ethically neutral’, as Rory suggests). Counsellors in this modality aim to help clients accept themselves as they truly are: that is, to embrace their real (organismic) self, relying on their internal locus of evaluation. Links and Resources Counselling Tutor Facebook group Counselling Tutor website Counselling Study Resource Counselling Tutor Handouts Vault Basic Counselling Skills: A Student Guide The post 076 – When to Break Confidentiality in Counselling appeared first on Counselling Tutor.
April 28, 2018
075 – Psychodynamic Theory – Transference – Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs In episode 75 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, Ken Kelly and Rory Lees-Oakes talk about psychodynamic theory. ‘Practice Matters’ then delves into transference, before the presenters discuss Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Free Download: Working with TransferenceClick here to download your Working with Transference handout Psychodynamic Theory (starts at 1.36 mins) Psychodynamic theory was originally developed by Sigmund Freud, the father of talking therapies. This represented a move away from the traditional medical model of treating mental-health problems with medication. Freud’s work was based on the idea of drive theory (i.e. looking at what drives humans). Freud proposed a tripartite model of personality – comprising the id, ego and superego – in contrast to the humanistic model of an organismic whole. He believed that sexual drives and stages were important; he saw women as very different from men, even proposing the term ‘hysteria’ as female-specific. Those receiving therapy were often referred to as ‘patients’ or ‘analysands’ rather than as ‘clients’. Psychodynamic theory has informed other developments in psychotherapeutic theory, for example Eric Berne’s work on transactional analysis; he and Carl Jung always worked together before going their separate ways. It is in psychodynamic approaches that practitioners tend to be referred to as ‘psychotherapists’ rather than ‘counsellors’. While counselling focuses on resolving specific issues and tends to be fairly short-term, psychotherapy (which uses the technique of psychoanalysis) is often about sorting out the client’s whole life (involving bringing early memories back into the conscious mind). As such, it tends to require a much longer course of therapy. Transference (starts at 12.32 mins) The importance of transference – a subconscious reminder of a past relationship – in the counselling room can be underestimated. Rory describes an example of a student experiencing transference towards him, as he reminded her of her father. When this happens, there is a danger that the person experiencing transference discounts the other person, making assumptions about them that are based on past rather than present experience. Rory gives some pointers on clues that transference is occurring in the therapy room These include when the client becomes: angry at you childlike or coy in your company fearful (of either your physical presence or the idea that you might judge them). While these signs suggest that transference may be happening and be outside the awareness of the client, it can sometimes be overt. For example, the client might say: ‘You sound just like my dad.’ You can download Rory’s handout on transference here, or it is also available in the Handouts Vault and Counselling Study Resource (CSR). Free Download: Working with TransferenceClick here to download your Working with Transference handout Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (starts at 19.03 mins) The hierarchy of needs – sometimes known as ‘Maslow’s pyramid’ – is one of the key concepts in humanistic psychology (the third force in psychology, after psychodynamics and behaviourism. Rory explains the structure of the hierarchy, moving from physiological needs at the base to self-actualisation at the top. It is possible to move to the next level only once your needs at the lower level have been met. Abraham Maslow influenced the work of Carl Rogers, in particular in the seven stages of process (which track people’s development, including clients in counselling). You’ll find various resources on Maslow’s hierarchy on the Counselling Tutor website (you can use our new search facility). Given that lack of prejudice is an important part of self-actualisation, you might also find it useful to refer to episode 74 of the Counselling Tutor podcast on self-concept. Awareness of self is key to moving towards self-actualisation. Links and Resources Counselling Tutor Facebook group Counselling Tutor website Counselling Study Resource Counselling Tutor Handouts Vault Basic Counselling Skills: A Student Guide The post 075 – Psychodynamic Approach to Counselling appeared first on Counselling Tutor.
April 21, 2018
074 – Self-Concept – Attending – Unconditional Positive Regard In episode 74 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, Ken Kelly and Rory Lees-Oakes talk about self-concept, as written about by Carl Rogers. ‘Practice Matters’ examines attending. Last, the presenters discuss unconditional positive regard (UPR). Self-Concept (starts at 2.04 mins) Self-concept is an idea much discussed by both psychologists and sociologists. Carl Rogers describes his notion of self-concept in his well-known book On Becoming a Person, originally published in 1961. In his thinking on self, Rogers was influenced by Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard. Rogers believed that the self has three aspects: real self (who we truly are), ideal self (who we would like to be) and self-concept. The self-concept is all about how we view ourselves; it is like a lens through which we see the world. This lens – often invisible to us – may be warped by conditions of worth and introjects. This links to the idea of phenomenology – i.e. the study of subjective experience. It is really important for trainee counsellors to work on identifying and understanding their self-concept, because otherwise this invisible lens can mar the ability to offer clients the core conditions. Personal development is an important part of counselling training – for example, you will probably have personal development groups, personal therapy and exercises in increasing self-awareness (e.g. the Johari window). Attending (starts at 12.44 mins) Attending is a really important skill in counselling, which links to the core condition of UPR. Attending involves putting your client in the centre of your universe while you are working with them. It’s about not only listening to them, but really hearing them. This can be an unusual experience for a client who has not known unconditional love – or who has perhaps even been rejected by others. It is important to ensure that attending happens throughout the full course of therapy. It is also important to show the client that you are attending to them. Rory offers some tips on doing this: Make appropriate eye contact, remembering that what is appropriate may vary by culture. Sit with a relaxed and comfortable posture. Lean forward towards the client. Consider moving slightly closer when the client is describing difficult material. Be aware of the client’s body language and non-verbal communication. Ensure the room is both accessible to and comfortable for the client, avoiding any triggering objects. If possible, accommodate the client’s wishes with regard to the counselling environment. Pay attention to the ending of therapy, planning this in advance and taking time to help map support available to the client afterwards. You can download Rory’s handout on attending here, or it is also available in the Handouts Vault and Counselling Study Resource (CSR). Unconditional Positive Regard (starts at 21.25 mins) UPR is all about freeing clients from judgement: Carl Rogers used to refer to ‘prizing’ or ‘non-possessive warmth’. This is important in all modalities, not just the person-centred approach. Ken and Rory discuss the challenges of feeling UPR towards others outside the counselling room. There are differences between the counselling relationship and the way we need to relate to others outside this context; Rory suggests that we can choose to ‘adjust the volume’ on how we display the core conditions, turning this up or down in different contexts as appropriate. Links and Resources Counselling Tutor Facebook group Counselling Tutor website Counselling Study Resource Counselling Tutor Handouts Vault Basic Counselling Skills: A Student Guide   The post 074 – Self-Concept in Counselling appeared first on Counselling Tutor.
March 24, 2018
073 – Active Listening – The Caldicott Principles – Working with Simile and Metaphor in Counselling In episode 73 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, Ken Kelly and Rory Lees-Oakes discuss the skill of active listening. ‘Practice Matters’ follows, in which Rory explains the Caldicott principles and how these can support ethical multidisciplinary working. Finally, the presenters discuss the use of simile and metaphor in counselling. Free Download: Working in a Multidisciplinary Team Click here to download your Working in a Multidisciplinary Team handout Active Listening (starts at 2.12 mins) It was the Greek philosopher Epictetus who first pointed out that we have one mouth and two ears. In active listening, we must not just passively let the client’s words wash over us, but must see every word they speak as important, paying full attention to nuances. Active listening extends to their body language too: you can pick up a lot about how a client is feeling by observing this. Active listening is not just about listening – it’s also about ensuring that the client feels heard. To do this, we must also respond respectfully, for example using the skills of reflection and paraphrasing. Our own body language also helps with this – for example, we must use an open posture, make appropriate eye contact, and allow the right amount of personal space (depending on cultural norms and individual clients’ preferences). It is important to listen not only to the narrative (the story), but also to the meaning behind this – that is, the emotions and themes. Carl Rogers called this ‘the music beneath the words’. Minimal encouragers (e.g. ‘Mmm’, ‘Yes’, ‘Aha’ and ‘Oh right’) and facial expressions can be useful to show the client you are listening attentively, but do let these flow naturally so that they don’t sound contrived. The Caldicott Principles (starts at 11.53 mins) Counsellors often work as part of a multidisciplinary team, for example in a school. This raises challenges for confidentiality. Whether we are working in a paid or voluntary post, we must be guided by the organisational policy on confidentiality and limits to this. Most importantly, you should set out and explain in your contract what the limits of confidentiality are in the particular context – in other words, reflecting what might be asked of you by other professionals. The client can then make an informed decision on whether to go ahead on this basis. The murder of eight-year-old Victoria Climbié in 2000 by her guardians illustrates why information sharing can be important: many different authorities knew parts of what was going on, but none was aware of the full picture. In 1997, the UK government commissioned a review on the use of patient information in the NHS. The committee was chaired by psychiatrist Dame Fiona Caldicott. The resulting report highlighted six key principles, with a seventh added later, in 2012: Justify the purpose of using confidential information. Don’t use personal confidential information unless it is absolutely necessary. Use the minimum necessary personal confidential data. Access to personal confidential information should be on a strict need-to-know basis. Everyone with access to personal confidential information should be aware of their responsibilities. Comply with the law. The duty to share information can be as important as the duty to protect patient confidentiality. Rory explains each of these in detail in the podcast. You can also download Rory’s handout on working in a multidisciplinary team here, or it is also available in the Handouts Vault and Counselling Study Resource (CSR). Free Download: Working in a Multidisciplinary Team Click here to download your Working in a Multidisciplinary Team handout Working with Simile and Metaphor in Counselling (starts at 24.44 mins) Simile and metaphor are both types of imagery. While simile compares something to another thing (e.g. ‘I feel like I’m riding choppy seas’), metaphor suggests that something actually is another thing (e.g. ‘I have a knot in my stomach’). Many clients use imagery as a way to talk about difficult feelings using external points of reference, as it can be so painful to fully immerse oneself in emotions. When this happens, it is like they are opening a door for you, which you can then gently pass through and respectfully explore what lies within. Imagery is often culturally linked – for example, people in the UK have recently referred to ‘the beast from the East’ to mean the cold, snowy weather that hit the country from Siberia. We all understood what this meant, but people in other countries may not be familiar with the term. Caution therefore needs to be used if you introduce imagery yourself in the counselling room. Imagery uses a different part of the brain than does spoken language; this means it may reveal things are at the edge of the client’s awareness – and thus very rich learning material. Why not try speaking to your peers about the use of simile and metaphor, listen out for how other people use imagery, and explore your own use in your journal? This will help hone your skills in engaging with language. You might also like to read work by Eugene Gendlin, who wrote on focusing – which involves examining the felt sense and images that come out of this. If you are a member of the CSR, you can listen to a lecture on working with metaphor featuring expert Jonathan Lloyd. Links and Resources Counselling Tutor Facebook group Counselling Tutor website Counselling Study Resource Counselling Tutor Handouts Vault Basic Counselling Skills: A Student Guide   The post 073 – Metaphor in Counselling appeared first on Counselling Tutor.
March 17, 2018
072 – Empathy in Counselling – Stages of Counselling – Immediacy In episode 72 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, Ken Kelly and Rory Lees-Oakes discuss empathy in counselling. Continuing to ‘Practice Matters’, Rory explains the main stages of counselling. Last, the presenters discuss immediacy. Free Download: Stages in the Counselling RelationshipClick here to download your Stages in the Counselling Relationship handout Empathy in Counselling (starts at 1.58 mins) Empathy and sympathy are two very different things: sympathy involves feeling sorry for someone, and comes from your own frame of reference, while empathy involves trying to understand the other person’s situation and experience, putting yourself into their frame of reference as far as possible. Empathy is like walking in the other person’s shoes – but it’s really important to keep your socks on! In other words, the counsellor must be able to separate themselves from the client again at the end of the session. Another useful image here is that empathy is like entering the client’s room, but without forgetting where the door is so that you can return to your own world later. While in the client’s room, it’s important to go gently and tread lightly. Carl Rogers proposed that therapist empathy is one of the six necessary and sufficient conditions for therapeutic personality change. Empathy must be circular – in other words, for it to be real and effective, it must be fully perceived by the client. Being truly heard is often a huge relief for clients. To show empathy, it is important to use a number of counselling skills – in particular, attending, reflecting, paraphrasing and silence. When we talk about ‘idiosyncratic’ empathy, we mean that empathy is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ quality: it is unique and different for every client, just as they and their experiences are too. You can read more about empathy on the Counselling Tutor website, where we have published a special article on this topic. There, you can see a video featuring Carl Rogers talking about empathy, and also download a free handout on how to measure empathy in counselling. Stages of Counselling (starts at 13.41 mins) Rory describes and explains the key stages in counselling. These comprise the following: Contracting stage – the initial stage in counselling, when the counsellor explains to the client what is on offer and how they work; this stage is important to encourage a power balance between the two parties and to foster client autonomy. That is, the client can decide whether to go ahead with counselling based on what is discussed. Middle stage – it is in this stage of counselling that the therapeutic work takes place; this is likely to be the longest stage in counselling, as the therapeutic relationship gradually develops and deepens, and the client feels able to explore more and more of what has brought them to counselling. Preparation for ending – because it is important not to spring the ending onto a client, but instead to work together towards this, counsellors will regularly review how the process is going, and prepare the client for ending. This is especially important when there are a fixed number of sessions (e.g. in a charitable agency) – the counsellor may remind the client of how many are left to go. Ending – at the final stage of counselling, there will often be a last review of progress made and work done, as the counsellor ensures that the client is safe and ready to end therapy, at least for now. You can download Rory’s handout on this topic here, or it is also available in the Handouts Vault and Counselling Study Resource. Free Download: Stages in the Counselling RelationshipClick here to download your Stages in the Counselling Relationship handout Immediacy (starts at 20.51 mins) Immediacy is an interesting advanced skill in counselling. It can be used in various ways, but tends to involve the therapist investigating what is going on in the therapeutic relationship. Immediacy involves an element of risk-taking, and is therefore most useful both when the counsellor has a reasonable level of experience and when the therapeutic relationship has been established and is therefore fairly stable. It involves voicing a feeling that you have become aware of in yourself; this may often relate to boundary issues. It is based on curiosity rather than judgement, and must be couched as such. Another use of immediacy can be to point out apparent contradictions in the client – perhaps between different things they have said, or between their body language and words. Links and Resources Counselling Tutor Facebook group Counselling Tutor website Counselling Study Resource Counselling Tutor Handouts Vault Basic Counselling Skills: A Student Guide The post 072 – Empathy in Counselling appeared first on Counselling Tutor.
March 10, 2018
071 – Dual-Process Model of Bereavement – Hard-to-Help Clients – Dementia and Validation Therapy In episode 71 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, Ken Kelly and Rory Lees-Oakes talk about the dual-process model of bereavement. ‘Practice Matters’ focuses on hard-to-help clients. Finally, the presenters discuss working with clients with dementia, including using validation therapy. Free Download: Hard-to-Help ChecklistClick here to download your Hard-to-Help Checklist Dual-Process Model of Bereavement (starts at 2.26 mins) Loss is a theme that emerges frequently in the counselling room. This may be through death, or may involve the loss of other important parts of the client’s self and life, e.g. work, relationships or health. The dual-process model (illustrated below) was developed by researchers Margaret Stroebe and Henk Schut. It is an oscillation model, showing the natural movement between loss-oriented and restoration-oriented behaviours in bereaved people. Sometimes, people may get stuck in one or the other mode, or between the two modes. This causes them difficulty and means they are not grieving in an effective way. The model can help counsellors understand what is happening for a client, facilitating therapeutic work with them. Some clients may present with recent loss, while others may have been bereaved a long time ago but have not been able to deal with this properly until now. Clients may be experiencing practical problems as a result of their loss. It is common to see feelings of loss in drugs and alcohol services, where stopping using the substance often leads to a sense of bereavement. As a counsellor, you need to have looked at and worked through your own experiences of loss in order to be able to be there fully for bereaved clients. You can watch a lecture on loss and bereavement by Rory in the Counselling Study Resource (CSR). The following video shows another model of grief: that of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. Hard-to-Help Clients (starts at 11.33 mins) Rory believes that everyone has the capacity to change given the right conditions, but some clients can seem resistant to doing so or prone to demonstrate self-defeating behaviours. Possible reasons for this may stem from early life, for example: history of violence in the family protracted criticism in the past lack of emotional availability of carers as a child introjected values and conditions of worth unresolved issues relating to death and separation experiences of abandonment. All these things can make it hard for the person to trust the counsellor, and may have led to attachment issues. Other possible reasons for certain clients being hard to help are that they may have unrealistic expectations about what counselling is and can do, difficulty in relating to others socially, or neurodiversity (e.g. Asperger’s). Rory provides tips on working with hard-to-help clients, including the following: Be prepared to work hard to convince them that you are trustworthy. Take time to understand the client’s style. Contract carefully with the client about what is achievable. Look at yourself, asking whether you may be experiencing transference. Talk to your supervisor. Try hard to hang onto the idea that everyone can be helped. You can download Rory’s handout on this topic here, or it is also available in the Handouts Vault and CSR. Free Download: Hard-to-Help ChecklistClick here to download your Hard-to-Help Checklist Dementia and Validation Therapy (starts at 20.51 mins) Can we do meaningful counselling work with people who have dementia? To answer this, it’s necessary to look at what you understand by the word ‘meaningful’. Bear in mind that not everyone comes to counselling in order to make changes; there is value too in simply being heard. Carl Rogers’ six necessary and sufficient conditions for therapeutic personality change include a requirement for psychological contact; this may be difficult if the person is cognitively impaired. It is important to be sure that the client can give informed consent. Also, if you will need to liaise with medical staff, it is vital to cover this in contracting. Validation therapy – developed in 1982 by social worker Naomi Feil (who came from Munich but grew up in a family home for older people in Ohio) – avoids ignoring or stopping what might appear to be irrational or illogical behaviour. Instead, it focuses on listening and on the objective here and now. The idea behind it is that if older people can express painful feelings, these will reduce; conversely, if these feelings are ignored, the pain will increase. Links and Resources Counselling Tutor Facebook group Counselling Tutor website Counselling Study Resource Counselling Tutor Handouts Vault Basic Counselling Skills: A Student Guide The post 071 – Working with Grief and Loss appeared first on Counselling Tutor.
March 3, 2018
070 – Recording and Transcribing Sessions – Contracting in Counselling – Philosophy of the Cognitive-Behavioural Approach In episode 70 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, Ken Kelly and Rory Lees-Oakes offer tips on recording and transcribing counselling sessions. ‘Practice Matters’ discusses the important contents of a counselling contract. Last, the presenters discuss the philosophy that underlies cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). Free Download: Contracting in CounsellingClick here to download your Contracting in Counselling handout   Recording and Transcribing Sessions (starts at 2.05 mins) Students of counselling and psychotherapy are often required to record and transcribe skills sessions – and to add a commentary that explains your rationale for each response, whether the response was effective, and how you could improve it (if relevant). The task of transcribing can be very long-winded and time-consuming. Rory and Ken offer various tips on recording and transcribing counselling sessions: Make sure you use a reliable recording device; a solid-state recorder (such as a Zoom H1 or H2) is better than a dictaphone. Before you start transcribing, check your criteria carefully to make sure that you do exactly what’s required for the relevant assignment. You may be able to save time on transcription by using either an online service (e.g. Trint, which is done by machine; or Speechpad, which uses human transcribers) or software (e.g. Dragon). If you do use a transcribing service, think carefully about how this might jeopardise client confidentiality, and ensure you have addressed this fully in your contract. Bear in mind too that transcripts may be inaccurate, so you’ll still need to spend time going through them to make sure they’re right.   Contracting in Counselling (starts at 13.42 mins) Clause 32 of the Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions, published by the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (2015), states: ‘We will give careful consideration to how we reach agreement with clients and contract with them about the terms on which our services will be provided.’ It is important to have a contract so that the client has the information they need to make an informed choice, and to help balance the power dynamic in the therapist–client relationship. It is good practice for the contract to be in writing, and to give the client a copy of this to take away with them. Rory recommends that the contract should cover: modality to be used number of sessions on offer who you will discuss client work with limits of legal and agency confidentiality how to make a complaint if something goes wrong terms and conditions for payment (if relevant) cancellation policy. You can download Rory’s handout on this topic here, or it is also available in the Handouts Vault and Counselling Study Resource (CSR). Free Download: Contracting in CounsellingClick here to download your Contracting in Counselling handout   Philosophy of the Cognitive-Behavioural Approach (starts at 25.50 mins) It was Albert Ellis who originally developed rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT), which was a precursor of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), developed later by Aaron Beck. Ellis was strongly influenced by the Greek Stoic philosophers. One of these, Epictetus, was a Greek-born slave of Rome in the first century. He became a great philosopher and teacher, and was eventually granted his freedom. Although he didn’t write down his teachings, which are based in Stoic philosophy, others did. Epictetus is reported as having said: ‘Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them.’ This quote appeared (initially in Greek, then later in Latin) in the Enchiridion, which was written by Lucius Flavius Arrianus, a student of Epictetus. Stoicism taught the development of self-control and fortitude as a way of overcoming destructive emotions; the philosophy held that becoming a clear and unbiased thinker allowed people to understand universal reason. For the Stoic philosophers, ‘reason’ meant not only using logic, but also understanding natural processes. They believed that living according to reason and virtue was living in harmony with the divine order of the universe, in recognition of common reason and everyone’s essential value.     Links and Resources Counselling Tutor Facebook group Counselling Tutor website Counselling Study Resource Counselling Tutor Handouts Vault Basic Counselling Skills: A Student Guide Please Share :)The post 070 – Recording and Transcribing Sessions – Contracting in Counselling – Philosophy of the Cognitive-Behavioural Approach appeared first on Counselling Tutor.
Feb. 24, 2018
069 – Informing Clients of Your Student Status – Getting the Most from Your Placement – When Counsellors Have Clinical Depression In episode 69 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, Ken Kelly and Rory Lees-Oakes talk about whether you should tell clients that you are a student counsellor. ‘Practice Matters’ then looks at how to make the most of your counselling placement. Finally, the presenters discuss the dilemma of counsellors with clinical depression. Free Download: Making the Most of Your PlacementClick here to download your Making the Most of Your Placement handout   Informing Clients of Your Student Status (starts at 2.55 mins) When on placement, should you tell clients that you are a student? Sometimes, trainees fear being seen in a different way if they do so, and perhaps being rejected altogether by clients. However, it is really important that you are truthful about being in training. Clause 66 of the Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions, published by the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy, states: ‘Clients will usually be informed when they are receiving their services from a trainee’ (2015: 12). It is the responsibility of the organisation providing the placement to ensure that the clients they allocate to you are appropriate to your level of experience, and to explain to clients in advance that you are a student. You should also cover this in contracting, not least as you may need to take some (anonymised) aspect of your work with clients to peer groups in your educational establishment. The key point to bear in mind when explaining to clients that you are a student is that ‘student’ can mean very different things to different people. It is important to make it clear that you being in placement means you are at the very final stage of counsellor training. You might like to use the phrase ‘placement counsellor’ rather than ‘student counsellor’. Another important reason to tell clients is that you need to be congruent and transparent if you are to set a good example of how you would like the client to be during therapy sessions.   Getting the Most from Your Placement (starts at 13.50 mins) Your placement is an essential part of counsellor training; while its obvious function is to allow you to gather the practice experience you need to become qualified, it can also bring many other benefits if you follow these tips: Network with other counsellors and staff at the placement organisation – you could make valuable contacts for the future. Ask whether there are any funded or subsidised opportunities for additional training and continuing professional development. Make the most of any supervision opportunity offered, making sure that you check with your course tutor that this is appropriate. Consider joining any staff committees – this could help you understand more about how third-sector organisations work and give you access to service commissioners. Ask your manager for ideas for research projects that would help the agency. Get copies of the organisation’s policies and procedures if you can – these may be useful for your final assessment at college. You can download Rory’s handout on this topic here, or it is also available in the Handouts Vault and Counselling Study Resource (CSR). Free Download: Making the Most of Your PlacementClick here to download your Making the Most of Your Placement handout   When Counsellors Have Clinical Depression (starts at 23.50 mins) Can you work as a counsellor if you have clinical depression yourself? First of all, bear in mind that you are by no means alone: The Guardian (29 June 2017) reports that 64.7 million prescriptions were issued for antidepressants in 2016; this was an all-time high, up 3.7m on the previous year. There are no doubt many good counsellors who do take this medication on a regular basis. If you are struggling with depression, it’s really important that you speak to your counselling tutor. They can help you decide whether it’s OK to carry on in placement or whether you need to take a break for some self-care and perhaps personal counselling. It is vital to be honest with yourself too, using your self-awareness to work out whether you are able to be available for full psychological contact with your clients. If not, then you owe to your clients and yourself to have some time out.     Links and Resources Counselling Tutor Facebook group Counselling Tutor website Counselling Study Resource Counselling Tutor Handouts Vault Basic Counselling Skills: A Student Guide The post 069 – Informing Clients of Your Student Status – Getting the Most from Your Placement – When Counsellors Have Clinical Depression appeared first on Counselling Tutor.

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