Counsellorís efficiency and Ethical issues
In order to perceive the role of awareness in
counsellorís self- development some ethical issues are
evident in the ability to cause harm or good to an
individual, so justification to ethical enterprise is
formed in order for therapeutic practices which are
based on this set of ethical values, which is still
unclear ( Proctor 2002).
Without counsellorís awareness of the self, how
unethical and unprofessional it can be? Many times
researchers have tried to replicate and try to get as
close as possible to oneís truth to which it is
important in relation to ethics towards each individual,
thus unreachable since it is unique and many times
important to remain unique for its own worth.
During some counselling, coaching sessions and
trainings, it was presented ideas of self- development
through focusing separate areas in life, which
demonstrates to be similar to The Buddhism Mahayana and
in the well of life which there are areas important in
peoples life and important to be balanced and taken care
1. Spirituality- related to each and based on personal
practice based on individuals self believe and values.
2. Family Ė connected to how much time together with the
family the individual is, how the family system union
are organized and formed in relation to bring balance
and harmony between them.
3. Financially- the focus itís giving here in order to
balance out the outside necessities in life to their
inner self development and keeping healthy to a balanced
4. Community work- relates to any community involvement
sharing any type of ability or need from the community
chosen by the individual.
5. Professionally Ė showing how satisfied they
individuals are with their work. How they can improve
their perspective in relation to live well in accordance
to their professional field. Sometimes even a carrier
change has demonstrated to bring positive results to
6. Physical and mental health - Here what people do in
relation to gain or maintain their health? Participate
in activities which lead them to health style of life,
readings or any activity which based on individual self
belief to help bring them in to a healthy life style.
The idea from these areas is that they should be
balanced equally and that when one area is in need of
attention the others area will also automaticaly be
unbalance, the idea relates that some moments in life we
end up focusing more in one area than the others causing
unbalanced life consign mental and physical problems.
Also the order given from each area in life in this
article can be relative, in order to the fact that each
individual have their own level and values hierarch of
importance, it means that influences in life such as, if
someone has kids, age, marital status, past life
experiences, self abilities and many others variables
Pere (1997) demonstrated similar perspective relating to
self development model connecting to different areas in
individualís life. Through a Maori nativos ou
neozelandezes, point of view on holistic well-being
approaches in to sustainable development. The discussion
considers recent efforts to articulate a culturally
relevant, holistic development. It indicates some of the
problems and dilemmas they have confronted, for instance
how a holistic perspective can guide development
planning and decision-making, and conclude with some
implications for international efforts operationalize
Nonetheless, studies show that self-knowledge books can
be very helpful in individual improvement towards their
needs, for instance Craig (1991) related in a study
carried out with 64 participants who had experienced a
divorce or breakup.
According to his findings self- knowledge books were
equally positive to participants compared to counseling
sessions. Therefore the books had different styles and
formats which biased the information on the results
itself. For example Patterson (1989) observed that
self-awareness in individuals is a very difficult
concept to be described, since was different among
cultures, systems and among individuals.
However, when counsellorís demonstrate similar values
and believes to their clients show to have better
results in clients life. This idea was showed by Probst
(1980), in his studies with religious and non religious
counselors that similar level of self awareness towards
a specific topic, in this case towards their religion,
between client and counsellors or demonstrated a
correlation to clientsí improvement. It seems that when
exist respect and acceptance toward others,
automatically it demonstrates to be ethical and
improvements towards clients.
Although they are different things, it seems that
respect and acceptance of individuals as they are, also
is correlated to the existence of the empathy, feeling
between individual. Can people be neutral towards
someone, when there is existence of feelings? When a
counsellor shows self development, does exist feelings
or acceptance of it all?
Lambert and Cattani-Thompson (1996) have found that
self-development in clients can be likely to be
long-lasting. However there are no grounds to consider
that counseling will safeguard a person permanently from
difficulties in life. For instance, in a meta-analytic
study, concerned with whether follow-up evaluations
provided different evidence and conclusions than
post-treatment evaluations, Nicholson and Berman (1983)
found that treatment gains were maintained.
The most impressive review of this topic, is consistent
with the conclusion that counseling has relatively
lasting effects, with exceptions including substance
abuse, eating disorders, recurrent depression and, of
course, personality disorders. Also, maintenance of
treatment effects can be enhanced by efforts directed at
this goal (Stewart & Ware, 1992). However, I understand
that working with my clients as openly as I can,
transparent from my own set of values and beliefs
allowing the other to be who and where they are at the
moment of being, and also allowing that the change is
done through a passive and unnoticed way in which the
client is receiving what they came and asked for based
on themselves and not on me.
Therefore I believe that following and coaching clients
through their decision and next steps can be important
and part of the counseling session itself, since when
changes happens through short period of time in
counselling it can be confusing and unstable to give the
next step for future decisions which can be both
pleasurable or not related to each client perspective
and point of view.
Consequently research shows that there are some foregone
conclusion how effective and long lasting during
counselling sessions. The therapy role model cannot be a
safe guard for someoneís whole life. However support
from someone from a different perspective and trained to
cope with difficulties can improve their life quality
and also alleviate in the process of their mental life
disorder and improvement in clients tend to be lasting.
Looking by this perspective now, individuals are coming
to a conclusion that the answer is possibly inside us,
when in the past it was reach more outside in the eye of
other professionals and individuals who believed to have
the answers we are still searching for in an
Therefore the client and counsellors relationship
demonstrates in relation to the outcome, to be
correlated to many variables that come together with the
treatment itself, which includes cultural differences. I
see that individualís personal point of view vary
enormously, and the nature of the relations between
people demonstrates to be connected to the idea of each
individualís abilities to find the balance in
themselves, based on each personal and individual
experience, therefore through self- awareness which is
inside each one of us.
This final perspective explains the increase of
literature on auto ethnographic studies, a precise form
of autobiographical personal narrative exploring
individual experiences of life, increasing awareness in
counsellorís self-development, as shown in qualitative
studies (Denzin and Lincoln, 2000).
For instance it is like cooking, even though we can
follow a recipe, it will never be 100 % like the recipe
itself, since there are influences which correlates.
When it is decided to create a new dish, it is a task
which acquire personal abilities, and personal taste, a
task which demonstrates to be specific and unique to
each individual flavor and abilities to the field. That
means that each approach to the therapy and technique
used can demonstrate different results for each client,
also the problem or issue presented by the client is a
important variable for the final goal in counselling
The experience and study of the topic presented by the
client is very important, however, skills are developed
by their own personal and uniqueness ability, what will
bring the final resulting product. In this case the
results with clients in the counselling setting. In
addition to evidence that is accumulating on
demonstrating not empirical agreements in diagnostic
characteristics and what those diagnostics really are;
much more care should be addressed to those who are in
suffering without the whole awareness for luck of time
in experience and opportunities in life.
In Addition, be able to replicate and put across to
others individuals a final work result, being as close
as possible of the first and original thought and idea,
(in this case results with the clients and in our
personal life), can be a failure in tentative since
researches in counselling psychology have been trying to
do it for many years.
Finally, I perceive awareness in counsellorís
self-development is a matter that depends on each
individual experience and abilities, be supposed to be
accepted as it is. Another final point to consider in
the role of awareness in counsellors self- development.
Being here and now and just accepting things as they are
allows space for the change itself, it is a balance
between what to chance with accepting the present moment
as it is.
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Comparison of Self-Help Books for coping with loss:
Expectations and Attributions. Journal of Counseling
Psychology, 38 (4): 387-393.
Lambert, M, and Cattani-Thompson, K.(1996) Current
findings regarding the effectiveness of counselling:
implications for practice. Journal of counseling and
development JCD, (74): 601-608.
2. Nicholson, R. A., & Berman, J. S. (1983) Is follow-up
necessary in evaluating psychotherapy? Psychological
Bulletin, 93, 261-278.
3. Patterson, C.H. (1989) Values in Counselling and
Psychotherapy. Counseling and Values , 33, 164-176.
4. Pere, R. (1997) Te wheke: a celebration of infinite
wisdom (2nd ed.). Ao Ako Global Learning NewZealand:
5. Probst , L.R. (1980) The comparative efficacy of
religious and nonreligious imagery for the treatment of
mild depression in religious individuals . Cognitive
therapy and Research, (4): 167-178.
6. Proctor, G. (2002). The Dynamics of Power in
Counselling and psychotherapy: Ethics, Politics and
Practice. Ross-on-Wye, UK:PCC Books.
7. Stewart, A. L., & Ware, J. E. (1992). Measuring
functioning and well-being: The Medical Outcome Study
approach(pp. 345Ė371). Durham, NC: Duke University