MISCELLANEOUS PRACTICAL ISSUES.
A method needs to be followed in each session which can be done in the following sequence:
- Start with what were the happenings of the previous session.
- Discuss the outcome of the previous session.
- Discussion on the assignments conducted in the previous session.
- Setting the schedule for the current session as proceeding with it.
- Compile the details of the current session.
- Set assignments for the breaks during the sessions.
- Make schedule for the next session.
Most of the jobs of summarizing the sessions and setting the schedule for next session should be taken up by the client. In short, most of the talking should be done by the client.
What are Assignments?
Practical exercises set by the counsellor are the assignments that need to be conducted by the client during the breaks in between sessions. It is a process of self-analysis in which the client is told to think the seasons behind his inability to perform certain actions or control himself to not indulge in certain behaviors. Such activities or assignments can be performed in writing or orally. But written assignments are preferred as the responses are recorded and the client is able to work on them with clarity and conviction.
Assignments are of great importance as they provide valuable information. It forces the client to think out of the box and try implementing changes and also because they help in taking the therapy in the correct direction and maintains its continuity.
How Should the Contents of the Sessions be Recorded?
All the proceedings of the session are recorded briefly by the counsellor with the permission of the client.Care should be taken that the flow of the discussions is not interrupted. At the end of the session, a more detailed notes related to course of the event are recorded along with the agenda of the next session. The idea behind recording the proceedings is to judge the progress of the therapy and to decide on the future course of action.
Why do Dropouts Occur?
There can be variety of reasons for clients not turning up for sessions. Given below is a list of possible reasons for the dropouts.
- Unwillingness of the client to bring about changes in himself.
- Client feels that the session is not helping him or are inconvenient.
- Client feels that he has overcome his problems.
How Many Clients can a Counsellor Have at Any Given Point of Time?
It is advisable for a counsellor not to overload his appointment diary. Too many clients in a day may affect the efficiency and quality of the work. Thus, it is advised that 3-5 clients each ,day with a session with standard duration is more than sufficient. It would also not overburden the counsellor.
How Should Counselling be Supervised?
Counselling can be supervised by the following methods.
- The counsellor discusses his cases with his colleagues and superiors on session to session basis.
- A group discussion in the clinic on routine basK wherein all the counsellor are present.
This would enable the counsellor to have a second opinion on his course of therapy and if need be changes can be suggested by his colleagues and superiors. Also, if the client is not benefited the counsellor would feel less responsible and guilty as it would not be his sole decision to design the therapy sessions in a particular manner.
Can Counselling be Harmful to the Client?
One cannot rule out the fact that at times counselling can do more harm than it does any good. At time certain issues that are forgotten or have become unimportant are revived and add on to the troubles of the client. It is the responsibility of the counsellor to see that he take up only those issues that he feels can be handled by him.
Can Counselling be Harmful to the Counsellor?
One cannot rule out the fact that counselling sessions can have their ill-effects on the counsellor’s personal and professional life. Also, the one problem that may affect the counsellor is ‘the burnout syndrome’. A burnout syndrome is an emotional state of the counsellor induced by stress and effect his emotional, personal, interpersonal and occupational functioning. The counsellor may experience lack of enthusiasm and motivation he may have bouts of anxiety or depression, and also experience boredom, and cynicism these are the signs of emotional impairment.
Ill-effects on personal functioning can be observed when the counsellor is feeling lazy, sloppy or losses his creativity and originality of ideas, shows inclination towards alcohol consumption and is vulnerable to psychosomatic disorders. Irritability, family conflicts, lack of concern points out at impaired interpersonal functioning. Ill-effect on professional commitment would be reflected by drop in efficiency levels, frequent absenteeism from workplace, feels like quitting the job and keep delaying work for no specific reason.
How can a Councillor Guard against Experiencing Burn-out?
To save oneself from the above situation, a counsellor can:
- Limit the number of clients for sessions.
- Take breaks between every session.
- Share the responsibility with colleagues by discussion the cases.
- Do not involve himself emotionally with the clients.
- Do not take the failure personally if any client fails to respond to counselling.
- Avoid carrying work to home. Enjoy and lead a healthy life with family.
- Indulge in activities that relaxes body and mind and kind of rejuvenate a person.