Relationship counseling is the process of assisting the parties in a relationship in recognizing and managing their differences, stress, and other related problems that are happening in their association. The people involved could be family members, couples, friends, employees, or clients. The process of couple therapy is the standard form of the relationship counseling and differs from the other types because of the sensitivity and the duration it requires. The existence of unique personalities, character, values, and perceptions calls for diverse individuals and therefore, it is important to understand one another to build healthy relationships. This excerpt describes several aspects of relationship counseling in the United Kingdom.
The British Association of Counseling and Psychotherapy (BACP) defined the ethical standards that govern the operation of counselors while undertaking their duties to maintain the professional level required. The body allows only the registered and certified individuals to operate in line with their particular specialization. The ethical principles that define how relationship counselors should conduct their duties ensure the protection of the sensitive information they encounter daily concerning their clients. The practitioners are expected to respect the worth and dignity of humanity by promoting these essential values in their undertakings. By abiding by the social laws in their practice, the counselors are bound to recognize and respect the existence of diversity and uniqueness in humans. Moreover, the counselors are expected to maintain the highest professional responsibility and expertise during their work. The skills and knowledge should be improved and proper caution not to go beyond the reasonable limit should be embraced (Bond, 2000). The ethical requirement of relationship counseling revolves around the actions that pose the potential for compromising the sensitive values of integrity, competence, responsibility, and confidentiality of the engagements of the practitioners with clients. The BACP set mechanisms that guarantee ethical practices and defined the extent to which these aspects are considered to be violated. The counselors are expected not to exploit the clients financially, emotionally, or sexually. The process of counseling should be based on the agreement made by the practitioner and the customer. The level of dignity should be standard regardless of factors such as age, gender, belief, or origin (Gabriel, 2005). The confidentiality of the clients is vital and should be protected by the counselors unless under the platform of legal requirement. Those seeking relationship counseling services should be informed of the theoretical methods to be used, costs of the services, and the qualification of the counselor.
Also, the concept of reflexivity is an essential principle of relationship counseling. Reflection of a state of mind is an ongoing process that incorporates the notion of practice in line with the professional undertakings. The process allows the counselor to learn from the experiences of other and themselves to ensure that they explore the complicated scenarios they face during their sessions with clients (Jacobs, 2010). Reflexivity entails the building of new knowledge regarding the things one is aware of but does not know that he/she understands them. Besides, it involves the tussle to practice how to value the personal feeling and try to match them with the personal beliefs. The practitioners through reflexive professionalism can think, belief, value, feel, and understand the roles they play relating to relationship counseling and define their boundaries as identified in the ethical requirements. Reflexivity is important since it assist the counselors to change their context during counseling sessions that involve the things they cannot contain. The individuals seeking counseling services have different needs and experiencing diverse challenges (Culley & Bond, 2011). The counselors are forced to understand their perspective and focus on offering assistance even if it is corresponding to what they believe or esteem on own grounds. The integration of the ideas of the counselor with the perception of the client to offer the best alternative to conflict resolution is a complex process that entails patience and a deep consideration of the social, cultural, and political inclinations. The process of change and development takes time and commitment since it is complex and perplexing; however, for the relationship counseling, the practitioners will work if they allow change to rule their undertakings concerning their beliefs, values, and emotions built around personal deliberations.
Furthermore, the therapeutic relationship involves the activities and engagements with a client to ensure that he/she is assisted in strengthening the relationships through helpful interventions when one party is affected with inadequacy the in emotional perception of the affiliation (Green & Claringbull, 2010). Therapeutic relations call for the genuineness of the therapist within the relationship that does not limit the clients by shutting their opinions and the effects of their experiences. Whenever the clinician is faced with difficulty during a session then the incorporation of the experiences of the colleagues, come in handy to reinforce the achievement of the intended objectives. Empathy during helping relationships is essential to ensure that the counselor share in the challenges the client is going through. Integrating humor in the therapy session is essential and creates a familiar environment for active interaction with the customers. Therapeutic relationships are important in counseling because they involve three major components; the working alliance, the real affiliation, and the countertransference. The process of emotional support assists in building confidence amongst the clients that will enable them to face the feeling of inadequacy in relationships (Clarkson, 2003). The sharing of the counselor's experience with the customer will be a baseline for instilling the hope necessary for the emotional stability. Clients can only embrace the support offered through the counseling sessions if they are assured of a possible positive change that is depicted in the shared experiences. The change in perceptions and feelings concerning a critical issue is possible if therapeutic processes are incorporated in the sessions.
Additionally, supervision in counseling involves the process of assisting the less experienced counselors conduct their duties in a more competent and professional manner by incorporating experienced practitioners in monitoring and offering necessary advice. Supervision is necessary for relationship counseling because it provides the platform for the validation and support of the supervisee through the set mechanisms (Bond, 2005). The new counselors can gain expertise through supervision because their superiors through the monitoring techniques available inspire them. Active control encourages the creation of an environment that offer grounds and avenues for the challenge that promote an inherent desire to achieve, develop, and grow one's profession. The supervisee gain skills and knowledge that will be of the essence in developing theories, models, and deep understanding of the problems faced by clients. It is paramount to note that the process of supervision in counseling also assist the clients to get the expected experiences from the sessions they are referred to or attend (Davis & Arvey, 1978). In relationship counseling, techniques employed to foster supervision creates a firm support for the process by establishing a continuous learning culture. Lack of external support in clinical practitioners is associated with burnouts characteristics such as stress, disturbance, and distress inherited emotionally from the clients the counselor interacts in early stages of their counseling experiences.
Nevertheless, the notion of diversity and difference is important in counseling. The concept of human diversity and difference during counseling process is an essential idea to be embraced to allow a productive session with their clients. The onset of migration ensured the integrating of the diverse culture and beliefs. Experiences of individuals play a critical role in shaping their stand on matters affecting human life as well as the human encounters on their daily undertakings (Anastasi, 1990). Categorizing an individual based on identity is a complex process subjected to change. The factors such as race, gender, and traditional aspects of a client or a counselor influences the process of counseling. It is, therefore, important to incorporate the possibility of the challenges that could emanate from the elements of diversity and difference. The practitioners can achieve greater results if they associate flexibility with their profession and accommodate views of the significant others (Brady-Amoon, 2012). It is essential to understand that the counselors can only understand the perspective of the client after a thorough analysis of their personal inclination regarding the values, behavior, and biases. Once a succinct personal evaluation is conducted, the practitioners are in a position to accommodate diverse client cultures because they are in a position to justify their difference from their point of view.
In conclusion, counseling assists parties in a relationship in recognizing and managing their differences, stress, and other related problems that are happening in their association. The existence of unique personalities, character, values, and perceptions calls for diverse individuals and therefore, it is important to understand one another to build healthy relationships. The British Association of Counseling and Psychotherapy has defined the ethical standards that govern the operation of counselors while undertaking their duties to maintain the professional level required. The practitioners through reflexive professionalism can think, belief, value, feel, and understand the roles they play relating to relationship counseling and define their boundaries as identified in the ethical requirements. The process of incorporating diversity and difference in advice guarantees effectiveness. Moreover, supervision plays a vital role in nurturing young counselors. Besides, therapeutic relationships are important in counseling because they involve three major components; the working alliance, the real affiliation, and the countertransference.
Anastasi, A. (1990) Diversity and flexibility, The Counseling Psychologist, 18(2), pp. 258261. doi: 10.1177/0011000090182007
Bond, T. (2000) Standards and ethics for counselling in action. 2nd edn. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications
Bond, T. (2005) Standards and ethics for counselling in action. 3rd edn. Los Angeles: Sage Publications Ltd, United Kingdom
BRADY-AMOON, P. (2012) reaffirming the role of science and diversity in counseling: A Reply to Hansen, the Journal of Humanistic Counseling, 51(2), pp. 202205. doi: 10.1002/j.2161-1939.2012.00020.x
Clarkson, P. (2003) The therapeutic relationship in psychoanalysis, counselling psychology and psychotherapy. London: Singular Pub.
GroupCulley, S. and Bond, T. (2011) Integrative counselling skills in action. 3rd edn. Los Angeles:SAGE Publications
DAVIS, K. L. and ARVEY, H. H. (1978) Dual supervision: A model for counseling and supervision, Counselor Education and Supervision, 17(4), pp. 293299. doi: 10.1002/j.1556-6978.1978.tb01086.x
Gabriel, L. (2005) Speaking the unspeakable: The ethics of dual relationships in counselling and psychotherapy. London: Brunner-Routledge
Green, J. A. and Claringbull, N. (2010) Creating the t...
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