ThePerson of the Counselor
ThePerson of the Counselor
Thecounselor as a professional and as an individual are intricatelyintertwined. This is based on the fact that personal experiences andprofessional work life impacts on the counselor’s personality(Rogers, 2012).In fact, the disposition of a counselor depends greatly on theexperiences encountered, as well as, work ethics cultivated.Effective counselors possess traits that serve to facilitate themestablish and more so, maintain healthy working relationships withpatients.
Substanceabuse affects many people from all walks of life translating tohabitual usage of substances with mind altering capabilities(Rogers, 2012).Substance abuse counselors face significant challenges and arepresented with special issues when relating with clients. To overcomesuch challenges, there are traits that a counselor has to manifest toadequately offer needed attention to suffering individuals.
Asa substance abuse counselor, there are two attributes that I canbring on board when offering professional services to individualssuffering from different substance abuse problems. The first strengthis the exceptional knowledge of self. As such, I am able tocomprehensively identify my own personal problems, their differenthistories and how they may present outwards when working withclients. During therapeutic sessions with clients who report to havesuffered emotional, mental and physical abuse as children, I exhibitthe tendency to understand their deep emotional hurt and the mentalanguish they exhibit when discussing such issues. This is primarilybecause I have many childhood friends who encountered emotional,physical and mental abuse as we grew up and their characters werealways distant and perpetually anxious even during physical exercisesessions at school.
Thesecond strength is the ability to honestly access my memories,emotions and associations in therapeutic processes. I am anindividual who easily taps to my inner feelings especially afterwitnessing a childhood friend’s mother who died of a drug overdose.The young girl was left without a parent as her father had died whileon military duty. We housed her for some months before she was takenup by a distant relative. She always felt that her birth was thebeginning of the mother’s problem and was often her closestshoulder to lean on. Therefore, I really understand what it means torelate with clients who took to substance abuse to alleviate theirown suffering.
Asmuch as I possess strengths allowing me to bond with substanceabusers, I do suffer from two challenges. I regularly suffercounter-transference, which is the over-identification andover-involvement with my substance abuse patients. Secondly, I oftenbecome overly emotional during therapeutic sessions especially when ahusband or wife fails to understand that they may have a role in theother partner suffering from substance abuse. It is imperative tonote that being overly emotional may have some drawbacks incultivating a critical patient-counselor relationship especiallyinvolving drug abusers and their partners.
Itis highly understandable that I may face such challenges. To ensurethat I remain an effective and focused counselor, I have mechanismsaimed at overcoming these two challenges. The first mechanism toeliminating incidences of counter-transference, I introspectivelywork to evaluate and more so ensure healthy boundaries are realizedduring therapeutic sessions. To counter the second problem ofdifficult and unbearable marriage partners during substance abusecounseling sessions, I always seek to ensure that act ethically.Counseling ethics dictates that it is the role of the counselor toinfluence a substance abuse patient and not the other way around(Rogers, 2012).As such, I understand and embrace the fact that it is my role as asubstance abuse counselor to act in the best interests of all myclients.
Rogers,C. (2012). Onbecoming a person: A therapist`s view of psychotherapy.Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.