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Counseling Reflection Paper

Counseling Reflection Paper

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Published by Jessica Hayden

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Published by: Jessica Hayden on Dec 13, 2011
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11/08/2012

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Running head: COUNSELING REFLECTIONCounseling Reflection PaperClinical Mental Health CounselingJay Hayden
 
COUNSELING REFLECTION
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Counseling ReflectionBefore this experience, the longest counseling session I had taped was only 10 minuteslong. Therefore, after discovering that we would be taping a 30 minute session, I becameextremely anxious. A torrent of worries swept t
hrough my mind, “What if I say something
 
wrong? What if the client says nothing? What if the tape doesn’t work? And what can
we talk 
about for 30 minutes?”
But, as those worries sprang to life, I remembered some wise advice thathelped alleviate my anxiety.Within the assigned readings for my techniques class, I have learned that in order tosucceed you have to fail. As blunt as that sounds, it is an accurate statement in regards tobudding counselors. I will not instantly become a great counselor and I will inevitably fail andmake many mistakes during my training. But, these mistakes will help pave my way towardsbecoming a successful counselor. Prior to beginning my 30 minute counseling session, Irepeated this phrase over and over again while practicing some deep breathing to calm myself down. This mind set and relaxation process helped me appear calm and collected, even thoughon the inside I was a nervous mess.After pulling myself together, I began the counseling session by asking my client whatshe would like to discuss. She had concerns regarding her current finances and her futurefinancial stability. Furthermore, she believed that her counseling profession was grosslyunderappreciated and did not receive adequate compensation
. I practiced the “L.U.V”
techniqueof listening, understanding, and validating so she would realize she was truly being heard.Additionally, I maintained an attentive posture by leaning slightly forward in my seat and used aslow, softly toned voice to encourage her to tell me more.I think my voice is one of my greatest strengths as a counselor. I always try to speak in aslow, clear, soft, and tentative manner so that the client does not feel intimidated or pressured by
 
COUNSELING REFLECTION
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my comments. Similarly, this gentle demeanor helps my clients feel as if they are in safeenvironment in which they can freely speak their mind. Dr. McKee also commented on myvoice and said that it will be helpful to me later on and will allow me to perturb the client whilestill maintaining a non-threatening position.In addition to using the L.U.V technique, having an attentive body language, and a softvoice, I believe I also did well with my use of paralinguistic utterances. To encourage my clientto continue telling her story, I made a
subtle “mmmmmm” noise
when she finished a thought orduring an important segment in her narrative. Furthermore, I occasionally used paralinguisticutterances as a
response and “skipped a turn” instead of 
providing a direct feedback. This
 practice of “skipping turns” has been hard for me to employee but I’m starting to
understand itsimportance and how to use it.Specifically, social conversation dictates a 50/50 relationship in which one person speaksand one person listens with the roles continuously switching. However, in counseling, this socialnorm is severely skewed in that the counselor listens more and speaks significantly less. Hencethe expression of 
“skip
ping turns
,” be
cause the counselor is skipping his or her turn in whichthey were supposed to speak. Instead of speaking, the counselor inserts a paralinguistic utteranceor some anticipatory body language to encourage the client to keep speaking.
Aside for “skipping turns”,
it is imperative for a counselor to know how to appropriatelyask questions to his or her client. I also thought I also did well in this area, and asked openquestions that would probe her to more thoughtfully reflect upon her situation. For example, myclient spoke about the importance of getting validation for her profession. Thus, I asked what itwould mean to her if her area of study had that validation. This question lead to her

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