Therapists tips for assessing errors and becoming a better person/counselor in therapeutic sessions
Is it possible for counselors to keep their values out of their counseling sessions? What are the various views on this issue? Personal values and the influences that personal values have on ones professional work are inseparable. Views vary as to whether or not ones values influence professional work; however Corey, Corey, and Callanan (2003) caution that counselors need to assess their errors and become conscious of how their professional work will be influenced by their personal values.
The writers of Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions (Corey, et al, 2003) condition that it is now recognized that all therapeutic endeavors are value-laden processes because during sessions, therapists demonstrate non-verbal cues; therapist cannot avoid communicating her/his valueseven if not specifically shared; therapist pay attention to certain aspects of a clients dialogue; therapist may questions certain aspects based on the their values; and the direction of what the client should explore will also be chosen based on the therapist’s values. Corey, Corey, and Callanan (2003) state that there is a plethora of evidence that demonstrates and supports the claims that therapy is value laden. Also, there is evidence that the therapist and client usually have varying value systems. Therefore, it is not possible for counselors to not use his/her values during a counseling session, which explains the rationale for counselors to assess their error and their influences.
There is evidence that states that some counselors believe they can be professional and assist clients while not using their own values during the counseling session. Yet others are unclear of their abilities to keep their values out of the counseling arena. Furthermore, Corey, Corey, and Callanan (2003) point out that somewhere between these extremes are the mixing of values from client to therapist and therapist to client; some of these values may be similar and some may be different; however, the therapist needs to question whether they can function in a helpful manner. Thus, the varying views of value laden issues entering the counseling session cover the gamut from yes values do interfere to sometimes value laden issues arise to no values can be kept out of the counseling session. Constant assessment of therapeutic error and maintaining the demeanor of a enhanced counselor within the therapy session is imperative.
According to research, values influence counselors’ methods and values influence clients standing as well. The important point for a therapist to always consider is whether one feels that the work with the client will lead to positive results; and if value conflicts arise, professionals should consider referring the client to a more suitable therapist.
Corey, G., Corey, M.S., & Callanan, P. (2003). Issues & Ethics in the Helping
Profession. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.