By Dr Renita Dsouza
Counsellor is one who is trained to help other person deal with emotional distress. A good counsellor possess certain qualities which make interaction effective and beneficial for the client. Since the beginning of mankind, counselling is used in some or other ways by different people like Teachers, Doctors, elders, friends, relatives etc. They were interested to help those in worries, fear, depression etc but were not trained and hence did not know how to guide them. Today, people who are interested, possessing well balanced personality and with certain academic qualification are trained with specific skills to become good counselors.
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Role of Counsellor
- Listens – A counselor listens to what the client is saying and wants to say. Listening is different from hearing. Listening helps the counsellor to understand the problem, its intensity and feelings of the client.
- Empathize – Empathizing is understanding a client by listening and not relating his situation with others. It is the ability to stand on other persons shoes to see the world as they see it.
- Unconditional positive regard – Here the counselor respect the clients feelings, thoughts and action without being judgmental. This shows true and deep care for the client.
- Warmth – Counselor being warm shows genuine interest in client. Warmth is shown being non judgmental, non possessive, no hidden desire for popularity and nothing selfish.
- Congruent – Congruent means genuineness. Here the counselor remains real and genuine. Expressing real feelings and being honest helps to have true communication with client.
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Qualities of Counsellor
- Can easily adapt to various activities
- Able to make effective decision
- Non judgmental
- Self awareness
- High intelligence
- Great level of imagination
- Great level of concentration
- Good memory
- Sense of humour
- High tolerance capacity
- Capable to develop effective relationship with others
- Broad culture and open mindedness
- Able to motivate others
- Accept the responsibility
- High self control
- High patience
- Good listener
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Myths and Facts
Myth – Counselor should not have personal problems
Fact – Counselor may have personal problem, but he is aware of it, accept it and develop some technique to prevent that problem interfering with their work. And the counselor who had personal problem and resolved it, would be highly capable of helping others with similar problem.
Myth – Counselor will not understand the clients problem unless he has gone through such situation in his personal life.
Fact – A trained counselor would be able to understand the clients problem, his feelings and thoughts. Counselors are trained to deal with various life crisis.