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Activity 5 in the course guide is based around these ideas.
* What are the kinds of personal and moral qualities you think a counsellor should aspire to
* Post? examples here of? where you have had to demonstrate these qualities.
* What difference might there be between the context in which you drew on these and the counselling context
* How do these link to some of the personal qualities listed in the ethical framework: empathy; sincerity; integrity; resilience; respect; humility; competence; wisdom and courage.
Please remember to only post information to the?  forum that you feel comfortable with as this is a public setting and to keep in mind the anonymity of third parties.
Looking forward to hearing your responses.
Best Wishes
Michelle and Lesley
Hello,
In reading the BACP Ethical Framework, I tried to evaluate the framework against the questions posed here, and against my own personal values, as I believe that in order to be true to a client, one must be true to oneself!? I believe that the values and qualities we possess are ones which we would bring to any session with another person.
* What are the kinds of personal and moral qualities you think a counsellor should aspire to
Honesty, integrity, trust, patience, respect, sensitivity and professionalism are among the qualities a counsellor should aspire to, and achieve. There are probably many more!
* Post? examples here of? where you have had to demonstrate these qualities.
I have taught Irish dancing to children from 4 years of age up to adults of 50 something for over 25 years.
Honesty is paramount to win acceptance by children in a learning environment.
Integrity is essential to ensure mutual safety and offer tuition of the highest standard possible.
Trust is essential to gain parental confidence and support, but equally essential to ensure that children feel valued, unique and continue to attend, regardless of their technical level/ability.
Patience is required when working with children and adults, more so with adults,? I have found!
Mutual respect is something that is essential to ensure children develop within my dance class, both technically and personally. When they cease being brought to a class by parents, but come of their own free will, it is as that stage that I know that the years of respect building by both of us has come to fruition. They respect my ability to teach, educate, drive, decide, motivate and I respect their enthusiasm, effort, dedication and uniqueness as individuals.
Professionalism is required in that I am a member of an Irish Dance Teachers Organisation which carries a code of conduct and a child protection policy, among other things. I ensure my tuition is of the highest standard, and parents are aware that I conduct the class and class related activities in a professional manner, for which I charge a professional fee.
* What difference might there be between the context in which you drew on these and the counselling context
Environmental differences in the main. My teaching environment is generally a one-to-many relationship in teaching groups of children, in public, open setting. However, there is also one-to-one tuition within this environment. It can be difficult to establish confidentiality, but I also must ensure that I do not leave myself open to inferences or allegations of impropriety when working with young children, teenagers and young adults, by creating an environment where I am visible to all pupils at all times, and that no one-to-one tuition occurs in an inappropriate area. Likewise, all physical contact with a dancer must be clearly defined verbally, and done in a clear an unthreatening fashion.
When difficulties arise which impact upon a child??™s enjoyment or development at class (misbehaviour, external issues, family problems) I??™ve tried to be as honest, sensitive and confidential as the situation permits, and equally ensured that parents are involved when it is warranted.
I??™m somewhat fortunate in that experience has taught me how to judge appropriate responses depending on the circumstances. I believe that children, like adults, seek companionship, security, love and self-development and the lack of these contributes to personal difficulties.
From what I know of counselling so far, it should take place in a secure, private location. Listening skills would carry greater importance than teaching/directing skills in a counselling setting. However,
* How do these link to some of the personal qualities listed in the ethical framework: empathy; sincerity; integrity; resilience; respect; humility; competence; wisdom and courage
Carrying on from the prvious paragraph above…
From what I know of counselling so far, it should take place in a secure, private location. Listening skills would carry greater importance than teaching/directing skills in a counselling setting. However, as each client case is unique, it is important to note that different ???levels??? of skill sets may be required to each case.
* How do these link to some of the personal qualities listed in the ethical framework: empathy; sincerity; integrity; resilience; respect; humility; competence; wisdom and courage.
I find that many of the skills and qualities used link very closely in the ethical framework. I would add that these qualities are essential for positive human interaction, and not just in a counselling role. As a result, they should mirror all that we aspire to in terms of human connectedness! These qualities, when added to technical skills, professional knowledge and a genuine interest in assisting others in distress, feed into what I believe would make a highly skilled counsellor.
What struck me that many people on the course may be currently working to a code of conduct as you are Kevin as many professions now have one.?  I wonder if there are points of complimentarity or conflict between codes of other professions and counselling/psychotherapy. I agree with Kevins opening statement.?  To be an effective counsellor one has to be true to ones own values and perspective in life.
I have already read the last chapter in the course book and something struck a cord with me where it talked about life experience and how this experience can be used to help others.? ?  My values in life and the code by which I choose to live my life have changed somewhat over the years as life experience has, not changed me, but mellowed? me and broadened my perspectives.?  Like Kevin I place? great emphasis on honesty, integrity, placing others needs before my own, sharing, always having time for people, trying to see the other point of view etc.?  These are the skills I feel are important in counselling and skills that? I try to bring to my life and my? work every day.
I work in a school with teenagers in a pastoral? role? (non teaching).?  I am there to help and guide the students in what ever way is needed.?  Many of the students I see come from an enviornment? where they may lack a role model, lack structure and boundries, be home carers for parents, be exposed to alcoholism,? or drugs.? 
Michelle asked if there were any conflicts.?  Well for me there is one, that of confidentiality.?  I get over this by saying to any student that comes to see me to talk, that there are times when I cannot keep things confidential that I have to pass them on.?  Because I work in a school, any child protection issues, alchohol, drugs, underage sex etc have to be passed on.?  Sometimes this means a student will not disclose because of the fear of their parents finding out, or of? the consequences of their actions.?  Most young people are savvy enough to? already to aware of this? before they come to see me and quite often they are looking for someone to tell and someone to help them.?  Which, of course we do.
At other times I will be dealing with students who are experiencing anger issues which are causing disruption in lessons.?  I find the cognative behaviour approach works really well here as I can work with students on modifying their behaviour.?  Before I can do any work with any student I have to gain their respect and? trust.?  I can only do this by being there for them, listening, (this is the key skill), patience,? not judging them no matter what they say or do, being honest in anything I do say and always doing what I say I am going to do.? I am also happy to share some of my experiences with the students,? both as a young person growing up and from the perspective of a mum who has raised children and now grandchildren. ? Needless to say I dont always get it right and I am happy to admit this too.
In terms of the difference in context when I use these skills, the environment is not ideal, but? I do not really feel comfortable with? seeing myself a counsellor as I feel unadequate for the role, I am only just starting to investigate the possibility of training and feel the more I learn, the more I realise I have to learn.? 
Like Kevin I feel that together with a technical understanding of the role the ethical qualities would indeed make for a highly skilled counsellor.? 
I find that I need to draw on many of the qualities listed in the ethical framework every day and aspire to be able to achieve them all.? ?  A work in progress I guess.
Activity 8 Identifying Counselling Skills
Hi

This exercise was quite a bit like quick draw McGraw.?  The various examples of skills were coming fast and furious.?  My list got a bit muddled up but the paraphrasing started around 00.16 time slot and went on to 2.26 2.35 and 10.14
Asking open questions seemed to be about thew 0.30 start and went on to approximate timings of 3.36, 7.07, 9.07 and 11.28 for example
Requesting clarification had timings of 3.44, 5.33, 5.53 and perhaps 13.35
Providing summaries approximate times were 9.34, 10.14, 11.49 and 12.45.
An example of paraphrasing which was interesting was that the client felt white, but she did feel that there was almost a conflict between her `whiteness and her `indianess.?  The client often felt that she did not fit in, and needed to reconcile such differences so that she would fit in.
I was struck with the simplicity of the open questions a good example was `Where would the next step take you in this search for belonging.
A request for clarification could be like the example where the therapist seeks clarification about the story of life in Glastonbury and the wish that there were more `black families there which would have made the client feel more at home if there were more diverse ethnicities.
The summaries were good and covered the expectations relating to Peckham and the feeling of hope and disappointment and the wish to feel at home, the real need and desire to fit in somewhere yet the feeling of hopelessness about this.
This entire exercise was quite a challenge as a paraphrase can take on the elements of a mini summary and summaries interspersing paraphrases.?  Indeed even with the issue of requesting clarification can take on the ideology of a summary/paraphrase.?  Often and open question can link paraphrases and summaries its all rather confusing and interconnecting.
Counselling in Action Activity 6
I am now more enlivened with a more practical approach to this course.

I thought that the counsellor was helpful by giving a brif resume of what she and her client discussed at the previous session and summaried how the clients issues on racism must have felt like being in a buble.?  The therapist used good non-verbal communication with nodding, smilling, appropriate eye contact when the client looked up.?  The therapist was able to use a good range of open questions successfully, however some of the questions seemed to be like intermingled with her paraphrasing and sometimes this meant that you had a paraphrase which turned or ended in a question.?  Nevertheless the therapist was able to almost ask for affirmation of what she was understanding and in so doing confirmed that she was truly hearing what the client was saying, with congruence, and a resultant good ongoing interaction.?  The therapist was able to focus the client on a particular and perhaps alternative view whilst understanding the need to make sense of the clients need to reconcile the differences of feeling inside.?  The therapist used subtle gestures to conveny men and understanding.?  The silences, such as they were, were comfortable and not awkward and I am sure that the session helped the client to `talk about this.?  I feel that this session was on the lines of person-centred and ti helped that it seems that the therapist appeared also to be of minority ethnicity, but I might be mistaken.?  The ending was rather brief but at least the therapist offered a further one.
I so hope you are all getting on well with the course, Ive had a few struggles but I fancy Im getting to grips … I hope I am!
Thanks for kicking off this discussion Kate.?  You make an importtant point that the skills overalap,?  A paraphrase can also end with a question.?  A reflection can be a challenge depending on the tone of voice.
Any other thoughts on the DVDs and Skills anyone
Michelle

The first thing that strikes me about this session is the relaxed physical environment. They are in a bright comfortable, clearly private room and they are both in the same style chair so are on the same physical level. I think this would have much to do with making the client feel comfortable. The counsellor too, displays a very calm presence, with her relaxed posture and low tone of voice. I got the impression that this was their 2nd or perhaps 3rd session not only because the counsellor summarised a last time, but also because the client already seemed comfortable and open and happy enough to talk freely without being drawn on the clearly personal issue of race.
I thought the counsellor made great use of silences, both to allow her client to find the right words, but also to let her suggestions and ideas sink in; she used hypothetical situations a few times in order to help her client move forward with her thoughts. The client was able to talk for long periods of time, then the counsellor seemed to summarise clearly what had been said. I noted a very clear shift in the conversation flow form exploration of the issue to moving forward and encouraging discussion of future plans in order for the client to grow as a person.
I agree with Kate, I thought this session to be mainly person centred.
My observations on the session revolved around how the counsellor managed to control the session with minimal interruption.

Her language was measured, voice tone low but clear and deliberate. The counsellor showed good eye contact, and was really focussed throughout, being able to ask open questions which encouraged the client to expand and develop from her original standpoint. The counsellor also allowed the client to talk without interruption, facilitated silences and encouraged the client to answer from within in relation to her feelings, which ultimately led the client to adopt a different viewpoint by the end of the session. The counsellor adopted an ???open stance??? when seated, used positive head movements when the client was talking.

The session moved from an initial negative view where the client felt that she ???did not belong??? in either her current or previous environment to a very positive number of views where she felt enlightened, excited and positive towards what she needed to do in the future, and that the session had helped her clarify how she felt, and what she felt needed to be done next to develop these positive views. From an initially nervous and diffident manner at the start of the session, the client looked and sounded more relaxed and positive by the end of the session.

The use of silences to assist the client reflect upon the discussion also struck me. ? This enabled the counsellor encourage the client to reflect, and consider, where her thoughts lay as the session developed. The session used a ? person centred approach throughout.

I thought the session showed how a skilled counsellor can create an environment where a client can actually answer the questions that the session raises, THEMSELVES, rather than the counsellor providing the answers for the client. This to me, is a core skill of any counsellor ??“ the ability to draw out thoughts, feelings, ideas, opinions and ultimately, solutions from a client during a session.
Activity 7 Basic Counselling Skills
Hello All

For me this exercise was most helpful as it showed a good example of many skills.
Paraphrasing
There was good feedback or recall about life at university, the `white boyfriend, the problems relating to a potentially arranged marriage and that there would be big trouble if the family found out about the `white boyfriend.?  Indeed this part showed the therapist paraphrasing verbatim.

Open Questions
You can see that from the clip that there were relationship problems and communication.
A good open question went along the lines of `What would you like to happen which is not happying now and `If you actually did that what would you feel like.?  The reaction was good and you could see that the therapist and client were `on the same page and that the client benefitted from actually being hears.
The open questions allowed the client to talk openly and elucidate on her problems.
Requesting Clarification
The therapist was enabled though requesting clarification to understand the issue relating to work mundaneity and tedium at home.?  I have always tried to accept the importance of checking out and clarify what is being said and to ask questions and say what is being said and heard.?  This enables a continuing flow and relationship.
Summaries
The summary recounts the story in a complete way, not just snippets of bits, as you go through it gies a gooid resume of the whole session.?  It is an enhanced organised reflection wiht overall themes and feelings.?  The therapist understood in this instance that the clients news was unexpected with problems in feelings of damaged commitment and morals with the affair of her partner and that monogamy was very important for her.
Hello everyone!
Similar to Kates report above, I felt that the exercise above was useful to demonstrate how a counsellor can use the information supplied by a client to ensure a positive environment during a session, using the skills shown during this exercise.
If Kate has the wrong end of the stick, then so have I!!! So here goes!
Paraphrasing ??“

Clear paraphrasing, when used properly promotes a feeling of understanding between the client and counsellor, and also encourages the client to continue expressing themselves more fully as paraphrasing reinforces the fact that the client is being listened to by the counsellor! To an extent it is similar to summarising, but in a more immediate sense.

Use of open questions.
The use of Who, what, where, when, why and how questions encourage a response other than yes/no and the counsellors two ???what??? questions elicited information and enthusiasm from the client to expand upon her concerns during the session, thus helping the counsellor gain a greater understanding of the situation.

Requesting Clarification.

The use of this skill ensures clarity of thought by the client and also is a way of confirming to the client that the counsellor is listening to and fully attending to the client during the session. By requesting clarification, it enables the client to expand upon what they are saying, by adding to the information that they have already supplied, without the counsellor asking more forceful questions such as ???I don??™t understand you, can you tell me again??? ???I need more information on this, you haven??™t given me enough for me to work on here, can you think of anything else so that I can help you???, or such similar questions.


Summaries
The use of summary is useful to ensure that the counsellor has got the correct overall sense from where the client is coming. It ensures accuracy of information and facilitates the client to make and additional comments or amendments to what the counsellor has understood during a session. A good summary should be able to capture the main points of a session, and provide the starting point for a further session or be used to formulate recommendations for action, based on the summary.


Finally
Are these sessions played by actors In the Paraphrasing section the client was in college for two years, and going with a guy whom she could not marry, but by the Summary section, the client had lived with another girl for 4 years, having met her at college, but had lived with her whilst she had worked and achieved work related goals. ? That confused me a little bit!!

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