Counselling individuals and their families can be one of the most important ways to contribute to a community as a community services worker (CSW). CSWs may provide counselling to a variety of different clients, such as at-risk populations, those with mental health issues, and others addicted to drugs and alcohol. In order to effectively care for these clients, CSWs must have a good understanding of the counselling process, and techniques they can use to get clients to trust and open up to them.
If you are considering becoming a CSW, having a helpful overview of good counselling practices can give you an advantage during your studies and help you better understand the field you are about to enter. Read on to learn more.
There are Many Different Components in the Counselling Process
In order to be an effective counsellor during your career, it is important to have thorough knowledge of the process of counselling, which professionals commonly divide into six stages:
- Relationship building
- Assessment and diagnosis
- Formulation of counselling goals
- Intervention and problem solving
- Termination and follow-up
- Research and evaluation
How long the process is expected to last depends on each client and their own individual journey.
When CSWs begin counselling clients or families, they start by engaging with them in an attempt to understand their needs and concerns. The first stage of the counselling process is also a chance to create a space where clients can feel safe and free to express their feelings without fear of judgement.
Once a client has been assessed and clear goals have been set, CSWs may use many different approaches towards addressing their problems. This might involve getting clients to explore some of the formative experiences in their past – sometimes referred to as spheres of influence – and attempt to find ways to address how they may have influenced their current behaviours. CSWs may then explore different techniques, such as mindfulness, to help their clients break out of negative behavioural patterns. They can also help clients find a clear sense of direction, discover their passions, and set clear life goals.
Counselling is a Collaborative Process for Clients and CSWs
As such, the process of counselling is a collaborative effort between a client or family and a CSW. Throughout their sessions, a CSW can help clients better understand the sources of their problems by being active listeners and asking open ended questions.
Active listening may help CSWs to better locate the potential sources of a client’s issues by paying close attention to what they are saying. Open ended questions then allow clients to find ways to address their fears and anxieties by expressing their emotions and exploring the sources of those feelings. As clients might be upset or uncomfortable when discussing personal experiences, a CSW should always be patient, compassionate, and supportive to help alleviate their distress.
CSW Programs Can Teach Students Essential Counselling Techniques
A CSW program will give you the opportunity to learn some of the most effective counselling techniques used today. Gates College’s course, for instance, equips students with basic counselling skills, before moving on to more advanced techniques to better prepare graduates for some of the more challenging cases they may encounter during their careers.
Students also study essential communication skills, as well as behaviour modification, conflict resolution strategies, and solution-focused intervention techniques, all of which can be very important during the counselling process.