Reflective Essay on Counselling Session

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The feeling of being a client

As this is the first time I am attending a counseling session, I felt curious and excited during the first counseling session because I had only a brief idea of the counseling session which is clients have to express their feelings and problems of own to find a solution. After I attended counseling sessions, I found that counseling is not just about pouring emotions but taking it as a learning process to make life better. Some things I felt in the counseling session were openness and honesty about feelings. During the session, listening to my own reactions and feelings, and sharing them with the counselor and fellow clients made the session more insightful. I also experienced that counseling can give realistic expectations as it is not a quick fix for a problem, rather it is a process. With some effort from both parties, it can be a successful tool for resolving problems. I have studied in psychology that each person is unique in their personality and behavior.

As I was a client in a group counseling session I experienced the uniqueness of people. The counseling session I attended gave me the opportunity to know more about people and their different life experiences including good and bad which can be taken as an example to improve myself. The fellow clients in the session also gave me a new experience about exploring their past to make an example for my future as I had never heard anyone’s inspiring past story face to face except in books and social media. Being able to discuss their experiences during the counseling session, especially their perceptions about life, made me better understand and make sense of my own life. In other words, being able to engage in counseling experience provided opportunities for me to understand myself in a better perspective. I felt that evidence at that time that engaging in positive experiences makes people perceive a positive impact of the counseling services.

At the same time, I also experienced a meaningful conversation. I see this experience in this counseling as an opportunity to have another person listen to their stories. Being able to have another person listen to a story was a meaningful and relieved feeling moment for me. The feeling of relief created an opportunity to better understand the experiences fellow clients had previously gone through. I also experienced a team effort. If one does not take an active part in the session, there will be no space to find the counseling experience valuable. Next, I learned to properly think from both sides of the parties in a conflict situation to make a better decision. Despite reading theoretically in psychology textbooks, I found practically that it is important to maintain patience as a counselor in counseling sessions to understand fully a situation and to respect the client’s feelings.

Positive Characteristics of Counselor

One of the positive characteristics I found in the counselor is skillfulness. It was shown by helping in searching for a way out of an issue or situation that the clients have experienced. I noticed that the counselor was aware and knew how to help clients. For example, he was listening to our situation and being able to discuss a situation that I brought up in the session, and he was able to lift my spirits. He also has good communication skills. As I can see he has a natural ability to listen and be able to clearly explain ideas and thoughts to others. He keeps clients in counseling sessions by communicating to clients the feeling that the session will be worthwhile.

Another characteristic is patience. For example, I noticed that he goes to the next step of explanation or conversation only when the client has clearly understood the content of the information. In addition, he waits until the client stops explaining about a situation to give more chances for clients to talk more as inputs are taken only if the client finishes talking.

Apart from that, he is non-judgemental. The counselor hears all kinds of information and encounters all types of people in counseling sessions. He did his best to refrain from judgment and instead communicate positive regard to make the clients feel more to talk about.

Knowledgeable is another positive characteristic I found in the counselor. I thought he was doing something he wanted to do, and he was in the right field. The way he listened to the clients with proper eye contact, how he worked and focused on it, and how he made us make our own suggestions and advice for our own problems showed maturity of in counseling. His words used in conversation also was easy to understand as there were no complicated phrases used.

Negative Characteristics of Counselor

Across the counseling sessions I attended with my counselor, I could not find any negative characteristics in him except that only once at a point he had interrupted me to rephrase my conversation while I was talking.

counselor’s Skills

The counselor has applied some counseling skills during each counseling session. First, he used attending behavior skills. The counselor is orientated physically to indicate that he is aware of the client. Eye contact, nods, not moving around, mirroring, and body posture were used well by him during every counseling session to encourage clients to speak and to show that he is interested in hearing more from me and fellow clients. He has also captured and understood the verbal and nonverbal information communicated by me by observing skills. The counselor understands and interprets the information that we gave him correctly. He did that by showing attentiveness in non-verbal ways, such as summarizing and matching our body language and he also gave important facial expressions. He was also aware of what was specifically said and listened carefully for, not only what I said, but also the words, expressions, and patterns used, which able to give a deeper insight.

He also applied questioning skills well. He used many open questions in sessions to assist us in clarifying or exploring thoughts or feelings. At this point, the counselor is not requesting a particular information and not limiting the level of the response to only a yes or no, or very brief answer. After we answered, a good response was given by him in the entire session. He avoided asking too many questions at the same time to us. He follows a response to an open-ended question with a paraphrase or reflection which encourages us to share more and avoids repetitive patterns of question and answer.

He used focusing skills in sessions as well to direct the client’s conversational flow into some particular areas. He used it by actively listening to what the client was trying to say, and then choosing an area to focus on to talk. For example, when a client tells a long story, the counselor clears away some of the less important things and concentrates on the main issue of the story that the client is saying by prioritizing the issue.

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The counselor also used influencing skills by interpreting the client’s talking where the client is encouraged to accept his own experience in a more positive way. The counselor encourages this by asking alternative ways of viewing their experience from different clients in group counseling. For example, if a client feels down about staying far away from home in a hostel, the counselor could reframe the feelings to be accepted as an opportunity to experience new cultures, people, and things for better personal growth.

He has also used paraphrasing with the client’s keywords and ideas whereby he said the client’s information it back in a rephrased, and shortened form. The counselor used paraphrasing skills by listening and recalling. This technique showed us that the counselor is listening to our information and processing what have been telling him. He also used paraphrasing to clarify any misinformation that might have occurred. He listened carefully to the whole conversation to make sure he heard it and rephrased it right. He also used the expression of the ability to feel our conversation. He used this technique to show that he was fully aware of the feelings that we experienced. He did that by using the exact words and phrases that we were expressing to him.

In addition, the counselor used psycho-drama in the third counseling session. He asks the clients to express their problems by acting them out in front of him. The scenes clients acted in were past situations that they have faced. In a group setting, other clients play significant roles of significant and the remaining clients as the audience to watch it to get insights. The goals of psychodrama were achieved as we gained new insights and were able to resolve the problem.

Other than that, he also used cognitive-behavioral therapy. This helps us to understand the thoughts and feelings that influence the behaviors. Cognitive behavior therapy is used in sessions to focus on helping clients deal with a very specific problem which is stress because it is the main problem that has been spoken out in the session. During that session, clients learned how to identify and change disturbing thought patterns that have a negative influence on behavior and emotions.

Structuring

Based on my understanding, structuring is essential for consulting in order to establish a mutual understanding between the counselor and the client on the procedures, conditions, and how they would be implemented. The structuring helps me understand what is going to involve my counseling session, how long it will be, and what expectations are going to be expected.

Basically, the structuring of my counseling sessions went smoothly in order. Before the counseling session began, we were given a form to fill up some details about ourselves. The form is also to confirm for us to do whether group counseling or individual counseling. While we were filling up the form we were also given time to fix the day and time for our upcoming sessions as I chose to attend group counseling. After we made a decision together among clients we fixed it as our counseling appointment and told our counselor.

When we entered the first counseling session, the counselor discussed the agenda. This structuring method has allowed us to understand what is going to happen in sessions. We get used to the routine soon enough, and this creates comfort, confidence, and trust in counseling. It is planned to discuss the duration of sessions, how many times they will be carried out, and the responsibilities of clients and the counselor. After we introduced ourselves, the counselor discussed some rules in the session to follow across the sessions. The rule is set based on our agreement. After that, the counselor told us about the flow of sessions, the accurate time of starting the session, and also some confidentiality of the session for us to know briefly about the counseling session and be aware of our responsibility.

Formal verbal structuring has been done as necessary because some of us through group counseling lack the idea of what we are expected to do, and what is the actual role of a counselor. Generally, the conversation progresses more in structuring through the narrative of the client. The structuring often includes keeping to ourselves all the details that were shared in the sessions because everything we talk about stays in the counseling room itself ensuring that the client (me) understands that the privacy principle will help manage resistant clients.

Relationship with client

Warm and friendly is how I perceived the personal characteristics of the counselor towards me. The tone and way of speaking of the counselor is warm and friendly attitude. For example, he would say hello to us, he started to greet us before we said that to him. He showed his comfort with us. His style and character made me feel happy and feel comfortable to have counseling sessions with him. Being able to engage in the counseling session changed my perspective on sharing the story with another person. In other words, the warm and friendly attitude of the counselor created an opportunity for me to change my perspective on counseling services.

He has also explored the client’s understanding well to increase the bonding between us. He started the exploration process and began to understand us. He explored our past and evaluated our current concerns. He also demonstrated unconditional positive regard whereby he accepted who we are. Whereby we felt expressing respect. Counselor Self-Disclosure was also used as a general rule to follow to only share personal information that is beneficial to the therapeutic process. It was also used to help the counselor relate better with us.

Acceptance and respect is another significant thing shown by the counselor to improve the relationship with the client. I noticed how acceptance and respect promoted a feeling of comfort, which contributed to trust in the counselor. For example, I have noticed the nonverbal behavior of the counselor shows as an indicator of acceptance. The acceptance of the counselor created a feeling of ease during that session as he talked in a very relaxed way. Every time I met with my counselor, I noticed that he was always smiling, she was willing to talk with me. There was not a feeling of boredom in that session. Another element that made the relationship between counselor and client stronger is the involvement of the counselor. The involvement in searching for the way out of an issue made way to a better relationship. I noticed that involvement from the counselor made us share more stories about ourselves with him as I have also noticed my fellow clients. Other than that I noticed he has shown empathy to make the client-counselor relationship better. He was able to understand the feelings of others to put himself in clients’ situations and understand the situation from their point of view on both parties. He also made efforts to make a better relationship between him and us. For example, buying food for us before starting the counseling session and making sure that we are safely reached to class after the counseling session.

Ending session

The ending session of counseling went smoothly. He mostly used summarizing to finish the session. Reflecting on the important message in the last statement of the client, putting it back into the session's overall conversation, and then applying the overall technique he used to end the session. He also questions the client if they feel like having a question to end the session for the week. This technique has the ability to cover the entire session in an orderly and proper way. The ending session was also carried out by mutual agreement. After the discussion, if both parties (counselor and clients) have agreed to end the session it will be ended and at the same time make sure to meet on the upcoming session by telling the date. Once in a session, the counselor discussed the goals of the counseling to end the session before informing the next session. The counselor has discussed the approaches and methods developed during the session to ensure that we can focus on these techniques for a positive outcome in the future. He also has us check and see if there is anything that is important the client wants to know before the session is over. For example, he will ask whether is there anything more that we would like to add to our conversation. The way the counselor finishes a session shows that he portrays good time-management skills and effective communication abilities. Another indication of the end of the session is how he will steer the discussion back to the conversation by redirecting the client to the next talk-oriented conversation. For instance, he said that the current session is discussed with many insights by clients and he directs the conversation by pointing to the next session to share more talking by clients.

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Reflective Essay on Counselling Session. (2023, December 13). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 18, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/reflective-essay-on-counselling-session/
“Reflective Essay on Counselling Session.” Edubirdie, 13 Dec. 2023, edubirdie.com/examples/reflective-essay-on-counselling-session/
Reflective Essay on Counselling Session. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/reflective-essay-on-counselling-session/> [Accessed 18 Apr. 2024].
Reflective Essay on Counselling Session [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Dec 13 [cited 2024 Apr 18]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/reflective-essay-on-counselling-session/
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