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Qualities and Skills Required for a Social Sciences Practitioner

Describe and reflect on your developing Awareness of yourself as a Social Sciences Practitioner, including your understanding of the Therapeutic relationship.

I am an individual who is based at Sri Lanka and being in touch with the Christian philosophies since years as I have completed my pre-schools and the undergraduate programs from Christian based institutions. This is the reason why I am very much attached with the theology of Christians as I have studied them in the day to day life. It has also been observed that as a social science practitioner and the counselor I should have some of the characteristics and qualities. After conducting the self- analysis, I have realized that some of the qualities are possessed by me but some of them skills need to be developed to be the best practitioner. Being a social science practitioner is a very noble cause and counseling of the people needs to be done in order to resolve the issues they are facing (Butterfield, Borgen, Maglio & Amundson, 2009).. As a counselor I have observed that I have good communication skills that are required by the counselor. It has been analyzed by the most of the incidents as most of the clients feel comfortable to share their issues and problems at personal level with me (Hanley and Reynolds, 2009). This suggests that I am the one who can be trust worthy for them and they think that I can understand them well.


The major requirement of the counselor is to relate with the therapeutic theories. It is important for the counselor to learn about the therapeutic relations of the clients. Therapeutic relationship can be defined as the relationship between the therapist or the counselor and the client that have been developed with time (Burnard, 2013). This realistic is very important between the parties so as to develop a bond that is very essential for counseling or the therapy process. It is not possible for a counselor to support the client without having therapeutic with the client (Burnard, 2013). The bind between the client and counselor has the prior importance in the process because it may be possible that the client has suffered from some of the phases that are related to bad experience of the relationship and if there is no bond between the client and the counselor then how will client express his or her feelings in front of the counselor. Developing the therapeutic relation results in effective communication and thus a basis of a string bond which helps in effective results of therapy conducted. It is very much crucial from the client’s side because client must have gone through the situation that were traumatic in their early life and this makes them restricted in making good relations with the other people (Koprowska, 2014). The counselor needs to be extra enthusiastic in forming the relationship from their end because a client may not initiate this process because in his early experiences.

Importance of the Therapeutic Relationship in Counseling

Therapeutic relationship is very different from the normal relationship. This is because it is not based on the past connections but it aims at brining positive feeling and distraction of the client’s mind from the problems he or she is facing. There are many questions that can be raised to the client in order to make this relationship (Stein-Parbury, 2013). Their peer or the family members might be offended in the way that why the client has not shard such things with them and need a therapist or the counselor for such things. However, they should keep this in mind that they should not be offended for such things and instead help the client to grow. There are some of the characteristics of therapeutic relationship that are not necessarily being there in the normal relationship. The first characteristics are genuineness (Donnelly & Neville, 2008). It is very much important to have genuine relation between the client and the counselor. The counselor should be a real human being. This suggests that the people involves in the therapeutic relationship should be real to each other and do not share any wrong details and information. The second characteristic is empathy. Empathy can be defined as the ability of the therapist to feel and understand the situation of the client. This is considered as the base for making a therapeutic relationship. This is because this helps in developing the bond between the client and the counselor (Duncan,  Miller, Wampold & Hubble, 2010). It has also been analyzed that one of the major characteristic of this relation is being non-judgmental. The parties involved in the relationship should not be judgmental about the things and should understand the part of the client feelings. Care and warmth is one of the qualities that have been there among the therapist. This is because the client must be suffering from many issues and he or she may require care and warmth from the therapist’s side.

It is also analyzed that the ways a person interact with other people also affect the way he or she behaves in the therapeutic relationship. As a counselor I should focus on the external relationship of the client as well in order to understand the overall situation of the client. The client should also try to initiate and maintain the relationship with the counselor so that it becomes easy for the only to share their information freely with the counselor (Dziopa & Ahern, 2009).

Characteristics of Therapeutic Relationship


As far as the skills required by the counselor is analyzed. It has been identified that being a counselor is not at all easy and we requirement interpersonal and foundational skills in order to treat the clients and make the therapeutic relationships better. The interpersonal skills not only involve the verbal skills but also involve the nonverbal skills. Verbal skills are the skills that are related to the use of words while the non-verbal skills are the gestures shown to others. Both of these skills play important part in making therapeutic relation with the clients. I have analyzed that I have some of the verbal skills in me such as the communication skills listening skills etc. but lack of non-verbal skills is drawback for me as a counselor (Geller & Greenberg, 2012). Being a counselor requires many skills that cab be acquired at the time of training but most of the skills should be developed by ourselves and may developed with time. Some of the interpersonal skills that I need to develop in myself are listening skills, critical thinking skills, etc. I have good communication skills but have to make improvement in myself by developing the listening skills as well. This is because communication is not only about speaking and sharing the information but it is also about listening to the other person (Bennett-Levy  & Thwaites, 2007). I strictly need to develop this habit of listening carefully to the part of the client and then speak about the issue. It has been analyzed that I need to depend on more foundation skills that are boundary setting. When any of the people has to make the therapeutic relationship with other person, it is very important to set the boundaries beyond which the therapist should not ask the questions. It is very much important for the therapist to know about the boundaries and the limits to which the communication is to be made between the client and the counselor (Ivey, Ivey & Zalaquett, 2014). One of the major aspects of therapeutic relation is maintaining the relationship along with marinating the limits. This is mandatory for the therapist or the counselor understand the situation of the client and feel their pain but they have to maintain their limits and the sexual and romantic relationship should be avoided (McCabe, Bullenkamp, Hansson, Lauber, Martinez-Leal, Rössler & Wiersma, 2012). This quality of setting up the boundaries in the relation is not the inherited quality. This needs to be developed with time. The boundaries that need to be set should be not related to the relationship of the client and the therapist at external level. Another important skill that needs to be developed in any of the counselor is critical thinking. It is very important to develop the skill of critical thinking so that I can think deeply about the topic. It is not necessary that the first treatment by the therapist provides best results, thus it is essential for the counselor to provide the treatment to the client according to the progress they are making in their traetmnet.in context with Christian philosophy. It has been analyzed that making interpersonal relations and developing the interpersonal skills is not the thought of bible but Jesus has given many advices regarding the philosophies and process of dealing with other people. The greatest commandment by Jesus is the basis of most of the interpersonal skills. The first commandment that can be related to the interpersonal skills is about love. Love has different meanings but in Christian philosophies love is all about caring and understanding the feelings of others. This is the basis of forming the therapeutic relationship with the client. The next commandment is about the self-righteousness. It suggests that the people should not be judgmental and should not consider other people as perfect. This is because we all are not perfect. Everyone sometimes commit some type of sins in their life. Thus, we should not be able to judge each other in any of the way. Along with this criteria, criticizing and condemning others is also not acceptable according to the Christian philosophy (Sheehanv & Burns, 2011). All these characteristics can be involves in making the therapeutic relation with the people. It is very much essential by the counselor to have all these qualities. I have realized that I also need to develop such qualities in me. It is also very important for the counselor like me to understand the feelings of others in order to support the other people (NESWALD?POTTER, Blackburn & Noel, 2013). The major necessity for being ethical in the development of therapeutic relationship is the development of qualities like non-judgmental, empathy, social skills etc. I as a counselor consider myself pretty good in the practices but I also need to be very efficient in developing most of the skills that result in making a better counselor or practitioner.

Interpersonal and Foundational Skills Required for a Counselor


Culture is one of the aspects that need to be considered by the counselor at top most priority. It seems simple but it is not an easy task to consider culture in the counseling process. This is because the clients may belong to different culture and may have different beliefs in them. Thus, the counselor needs to understand the cultural sentiments of the clients and also needs to treat the clients in the same way (Froeschle & Nix, 2009). The first step that needs to be followed by the counselor is to ask the client that why he or she is there or what is the reason behind their presence in the counseling room. Some of the people never appreciate asking these things directly thus the counselor needs to show their no verbal and nonverbal skills in order to ask such questions in a way that does not offend the client. The major technique that needs to be followed at the time of dealing with the clients of different culture is self-reflection (Louw, 2011). The counselor should self-analyze his own feelings and perceptions about the topic and then treat the client. Multicultural counseling is no easy because it is not necessary that the client and the counselor belong to the same culture. As I am the one who belongs to Sri Lanka but have to handle and deal with the people who are from different countries or from different cultural background. So, ongoing education and reading of the behavior of those cultures is necessary for me so that I can deal effectively with the people. There are many cultural aspects that need to be involved along with the culture of the people.


I have analyzed myself as a practitioner and realized some of the strength and weakness of myself. The qualities that are my strength are communication skills, empathy and nonjudgmental skills. This is because it has been observed that most of my clients are very much confortable with me in sharing their information and I make them speak in front of me. I do not judge people of what they do. In this section I should mention the Christian philosophy of being nonjudgmental. Jesus says that some of the people always made sin any of the time in their life. Thus, being judgmental is not fair to them because if you are being judgmental that makes that you have never made any sin and this is not possible. I am a person who can understand the situation of other very well. This habit of mine made me a good counselor or social science practitioner (Leonhard & Wieland, 2011). This is because feeling and understanding the situation of other person is the basis of treating them with the therapy. If we do not understand their pain how could we treat them and how could we understand their emotions and level of sadness and problems they are facing? As far as my weaknesses are concerned, I have realized that I need to develop the habit of listening. Listening is very important (Ahmed, Wilson, Henriksen & Jones, 2011). It is part of communication as communication is two ways process and listening completes this process. I should listen to the client careful before reacting on their issues. This is because sometimes the therapy that is required by the client is only a friendship or the support. As a counselor we just need to listen to them and make them feel important (Kirkwood, 2012).

It has been concluded from this reflective essay that as I have been into teaching business since 7 years, I have developed some of the qualities of being a social media counselor. As I have analyzed myself, it has been identified that I have some strength and some weakness. this strength of mine remains in communication skills, empathy and being nonjudgmental while the weakness lies in listening skills and sometimes in creative thinking. I have realized that Christian thinking and philosophies have different views and covering their views into therapeutic relationship is a very important aspect (Norcross, 2010). As the example is discussed in the essay about love, love is different for different people but the Christian point of view describes love as care and warmth.

References:

Ahmed, S., Wilson, K. B., Henriksen, R., & Jones, J. (2011). What does it mean to be a culturally-competent counselor. Journal for Social Action in Counseling and Psychology, 3(1), 17-28.

Bennett-Levy, J., & Thwaites, R. (2007). Self and self-reflection in the therapeutic relationship. The therapeutic relationship in the cognitive behavioral psychotherapies, 255-281.

Burnard, P. (2013). Acquiring interpersonal skills: A handbook of experiential learning for health professionals. Springer.

Burnard, P. (2013). Teaching interpersonal skills: A handbook of experiential learning for health professionals. Springer.

Butterfield, L. D., Borgen, W. A., Maglio, A. S. T., & Amundson, N. E. (2009). Using the enhanced critical incident technique in counselling psychology research. Canadian Journal of Counselling, 43(4), 265.

Donnelly, E., & Neville, L. (2008). Communication and Interpersonal Skills. Reflect Press.

Duncan, B. L., Miller, S. D., Wampold, B. E., & Hubble, M. A. (2010). The heart and soul of change: Delivering what works in therapy . American Psychological Association.

Dziopa, F., & Ahern, K. J. (2009). What makes a quality therapeutic relationship in psychiatric/mental health nursing: A review of the research literature. Internet Journal of Advanced Nursing Practice, 10(1), 7-7.

Froeschle, J. G., & Nix, S. (2009). A Solution-Focused Leadership Model: Examining Perceptions of Effective Counselor Leadership. Journal of School Counseling, 7(5), n5.

Geller, S. M., & Greenberg, L. S. (2012). Therapeutic presence: A mindful approach to effective therapy. American Psychological Association.

Hanley, T. & Reynolds, D., (2009) Counselling psychology and the internet: A review of the quantitative research into online outcomes and alliances within text-based therapy. Counselling Psychology Review, 24(2), pp.4-13.

Ivey, A. E., Ivey, M. B., & Zalaquett, C. P. (2014). Intentional interviewing and counselling: Facilitating development in a multicultural society (8th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Cengage Learning

Kirkwood, C. (2012). The Persons in Relation Perspective. In The Persons in Relation Perspective (pp. 19-34). SensePublishers.

Koprowska, J. (2014). Communication and interpersonal skills in social work. Learning Matters.

Leonhard, J., & Wieland, C. (Eds.). (2011). What Makes the Nobility Noble?. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

Louw, D. J. (2011). Philosophical counselling: Towards a'new approach'in pastoral care and counselling?. HTS Theological Studies, 67(2), 1-7.

McCabe, R., Bullenkamp, J., Hansson, L., Lauber, C., Martinez-Leal, R., Rössler, W., ... & Wiersma, D. (2012). The therapeutic relationship and adherence to antipsychotic medication in schizophrenia. PLoS One, 7(4), e36080.

NESWALD?POTTER, R. E., Blackburn, S. A., & Noel, J. J. (2013). Revealing the Power of Practitioner Relationships: An Action?Driven Inquiry of Counselor Wellness. The Journal of Humanistic Counseling, 52(2), 177-190.

Norcross, J. C. (2010). The therapeutic relationship.

Sheehan, K. A., & Burns, T. (2011). Perceived coercion and the therapeutic relationship: a neglected association?. Psychiatric Services, 62(5), 471-476.

Stein-Parbury, J. (2013). Patient and person: Interpersonal skills in nursing. Elsevier Health Sciences.

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