What Is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself. – Abraham H. Mascot (Robinson, John 201 MM’ This says to me that in order for a person to change they have to flirts become aware of themselves and how they perceive and understand themselves in relation to the world. During the following assignment I am going to explore how I myself, through the studying of counseling skills and theory, have developed my understanding of self and how I apply this within whatever environment I am placed in. . Understand how the study of counseling theory can inform personal development ND growth 1. 1 Reflect on ways In which the study of counseling theory has developed their understanding of self One area feel I have developed during my study of counseling skills is that of self-concept and how I can place conditions of worth upon myself. “A need for positive regard from others is a learned need developed In early Infancy.
Positive regard here means the perception of experiencing oneself as making a positive difference In the experiential field of another (Nelson-Jones 20061′ This says to me that we learn form an early age to seek recognition from others by way of having a positive impact on other people and eying the positive responses they show towards us.
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Conditions of worth are standards of value that are placed upon us as to how good we are and how we think we should behave based upon outside influences, and we behave in certain ways dependent upon how we view ourselves related to these standards of value. In essence our organism or real self, that is simply how we are and our own true feelings not Influenced externally, Is distorted by these standards of value and we become an idealized version of ourselves based upon what we believe are expectations from others on how we should behave.
This ideal self then becomes reality for us, however Irrational this is, and we then adopt behaviors supporting our Ideal self, even resisting positive feedback, which would support our real self, as this is contrary to how we view ourselves in the world. When I look at myself over the past 9 months, as I have progressed through my study, I have realized that some of my behaviors were relating to an Ideal Self I had created based upon conditions of worth and standards of value I had actually placed upon myself beveling that was what others wanted to see.
I recognize this in my interactions with others. My belief is that helping others is important, which in itself is related to my Real Self, however I then placed a condition on this that I would only recognize the value of me helping someone else if I actually received recognition for this, and If this did not occur I would then feel a failure and Inadequate, creating feelings of frustration and anxiety, leaving me believing that my efforts to help others were in vain and that in fact I was not good enough.
Since exploring the theory behind this I now understand myself a great deal more and can catch my thoughts as I am helping someone. I no longer seek out the recognition from others, rather I reflect back on what I have done and acknowledge to myself the fact that indeed I have helped someone and feel good about this, creating feelings of contentment and satisfaction believing that my efforts my Real Self and no longer am influenced externally, which eradicates many unwanted feelings that I had created through the conditions and standards I placed upon myself. . 2 Reflect on ways in which the study of counseling theory has developed their understanding of life events and their responses to them When looking at how I view fife situations one in particular stands out and I can relate this event to Freud and Defense Mechanisms in particular Reaction Formation. “It is probably true to say that when strongly held views are evident, there is some likelihood that the opposite impulse is present. “Hough 1998)” This says to me that they way we think and react is in contradiction to how we are truly feeling.
Defense mechanisms are created by the ego to help manage the old and super ego, the ego being reality, old the seeking of pleasure and avoidance of pain, and super ego our morals and values. They appear unconsciously and change reality whilst being unaware that any change within us has occurred. A specific example of when this happened related to work when I was asked to present a workshop relating to the key working and care planning of clients. The sequence of events was I prepared a workshop only to be told the morning of the presentation that it was to be done a completely different way.
I went along with this but became aggressive in the way I delivered it causing arguments between myself and senior staff members during the session. This is a simplified version of events but for the purpose of this analysis and comparison is sufficient. When reflecting over these events my true feeling was that of inadequacy and doubt however I displayed an air of confidence, bordering on arrogance, in which my thoughts were final and no aversion from this was acceptable to me.
My conscious thoughts were that I was right and that was the way it should be done, however unconsciously I wasn’t right at all, in fact I thought I had got it completely wrong when being told to do it a different way, but rather than show these feelings of inadequacy I adopted the thoughts of I know what I an doing and I will ensure everyone follows this. In amplified terms as a summary, I believe that everyone needs help and should ask for it when they are struggling, however I myself struggle to ask for help when required.
The situation was eventually resolved when I became aware of what was happening unconsciously and therefore actually asked for help. 1. 3 Reflect on ways in which the study of counseling theory has developed their understanding of their relationships, and the way they form, develop, maintain and end them When looking at relationships I understand much more now how I behave within them and how certain attributes of counseling theory has given me insight onto how I approach relationships as a whole.
A specific example would be that of the relationship I have with my partner and how I have changed within this relationship throughout the course. For this I am going to explore REBUT (Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy) and how our thoughts are very closely related to how we feel. “Living rationally consists of striking a sensible balance between short-range and log- range hedonism, or between the pleasures of the here and now and the longer-range pleasures gained through present discipline. Nelson-Jones 2006)” This means to me ratification and pleasure by looking at both the present moment and what we want to achieve in the future. A basic concept of REBUT is that of BBC theory of personality and that irrational thoughts and beliefs that create emotional and behavioral consequences, can be challenged in order to change the way we think to a more rational one in order to create better emotional and behavioral consequences. I have been in my current relationship for 17 months now however this was a relatively new relationship when I commenced the course.
Throughout my study I have seen my relationship with my partner develop as I have explored and understood the theory of counseling greater, and REBUT had a huge positive impact on how I looked at this. There were certain situations in which I would become quite defensive with my partner, creating arguments and uncomfortable feelings for both of us. I am now aware that this was created by my own irrational thought processes and belief systems.
Since completing treatment for my addiction I have gained a sense of responsibility and independence, however I had a belief that in order for me to maintain my success in sobriety I had to remain completely independent and not reliant on others. Thus I had a belief that ‘l can only be successful if I do things my way without any help’, and thus whenever my partner attempted to help me with things such as household chores, I became defensive and snappy towards her, which in turn created negative feelings. I will demonstrate using Abs’s how I have challenged this.
A (Activating event) – Partner irons my shirt as I am doing some other work B (Irrational Belief about that event) – I should iron the shirt myself else I am inadequate – I cannot ask for help as this shows weakness C (Consequences about the belief) – I become irritable, snappy, frustrated I can now cake this sequence of events 1 step further by bringing in the following: D (Dispute the irrational belief at B) -Just because I am not ironing my shirt I am not – She is Just trying to relieve some pressure of me by helping – I don’t need to do everything myself and it is K to ask for help, this does not make me weak.
E (Effective new philosophy) – I am not weak – I am not inadequate F (Effective new feeling) – I am content, happy, relieved By following this process and using this in all areas of my relationship I have identified that I was causing distress within the relationship due to my irrational levels, and that through challenging these beliefs it has led for a happy, fulfilling relationship to continually develop. 2. Use counseling skills practice to understand self 2. Reflect on ways in which the counseling skills practice has impacted on the development of self When entering into the first term of study I had some reservations as to how I would progress, these being the way I currently worked within my Job role. Currently I am a unit assistant at a residential rehabilitation care home in which my role involves the facilitation of groups and one to one key-working sessions with clients. The main part of my role involves the explanation of Choice facilitation I do give advice and offer personal opinion on what I feel is the best way forward to help them.
A concern I had was how would my work impact on my study of person centered counseling and the way I approached this. Initially I felt that as I entered into triads in practicing counseling skills my thoughts were constantly of analyzing a persons behavior and choices and looking to find an answer to the problems they faced. This was totally against the person centered way of thinking as it id not show any regard for the client in that situation, UPPER (Unconditional Positive Regard) being one of the core conditions. “The need for positive regard is present in all human beings from infancy onwards.
This need is so imperative that small children will do almost anything in order to achieve it. (Hough 1998)” This says to me that even as a child we strive to receive recognition and warmth from those significant people in our lives and will adopt our behaviors in order to achieve it. Unconditional positive regard in relation to person centered counseling is accepting hat a client is entitled to feel the way they are in a non-judgmental way, putting aside ones’ own values and beliefs within the counseling environment.
I found that in the early stages of the course I wasn’t showing regard when practicing skills and my own beliefs and values were interfering, creating confusion within the way I approached practice sessions and within my own thought processes, kind of like a ‘tug of war’. On the one hand I had the approach I had at work with clients whereby I would introduce my own thoughts, beliefs and opinions in order to help the client ring about change; and on the other the person centered approach whereby my own thoughts, beliefs and opinions are put to one side with the focus being entirely on the client and their views.
Gradually, as I started to understand unconditional positive regard, I managed to change the way I approached my use of counseling skills, and found that I actually adopted a new way of working within my Job role, focusing more on the client and less on my own opinions, and was encouraged to see more positive results by adopting this new approach. I felt a lot happier within yeses as I centered my attention on the person I was using counseling skills with, and through self awareness was able to place in what I call my ‘shoebox’, any of my own personal Judgment whilst acknowledging it was there.
This greater self awareness has enabled me to feel a lot more comfortable within my Job role and also my study, as I can identify and distinguish the difference between the clients issues and their beliefs about them, and ‘my stuff. 2. 2 Explain how interaction with others has impacted on self When looking at the way I interact with people now compared to 9 months ago I can see a marked difference. Before I would automatically label individuals the moment I met them, fitting them into categories that I felt fitted my own personality and needs.
Abraham Mascots hierarchy of needs would help me explain my understanding of this greater. Mascot believed that every individual had needs within us that were present at birth, and that through working and achieving each of these needs the individual would eventually achieve their full potential in life (self actualization) whilst maintaining a well balanced, normal’ lifestyle. One of these Needs in the pursuit of self actualities is that of Relationship needs or Belongingness.
The need to it in and be liked and doing things in order that I would receive love and be liked, fitting into whatever environment surrounded me. This need was imperative to me as unless I belonged somewhere I felt worthless and of no value. So, let me return to my Judgment of fellow students when I first started the course. As previously stated I categorized them into what I believed were helpful to me and of no importance. This I based on first impressions such as body language and looks, and the way they spoke. I then formulated that a certain number of individuals would help me achieve
Belongingness by the way they were; happy, smiling, laughing, energetic; in essence I felt that I was more likely to fit in with these students than with any of the others, and thus ensured I sat with such people and was wary of interactions with the others. Whilst I was able to fulfill my Relationship Need according to Mascots hierarchy, what I hadn’t considered was that of Self Esteem needs which was next in the hierarchy. In my pursuit of wanting to fit in, I hadn’t given any thought as to how to achieve and build on my self esteem, this need being met by recognition from others and also cognition of self and achievements.
I had placed all my energies in ensuring I fit in at all costs, without considering what these costs might be, and these costs were that I still felt I didn’t fully fit in and was accepted, as the people I did fit in with were also fitting in with everyone else, which led to feelings of Jealousy and frustration, causing me to feel undervalued and of no worth to anyone. At that time I had no understanding of where these feelings stemmed from other than that I felt pretty lousy. It was when looking at Mascot that I could identify with the Relationship needs and wanting to fit in.
As I explored this more I realized that in attempting to fit in I was actually enabling myself not to fit in through my own poor Judgments, which in turn affected my ability to meet my Esteem needs. When I reflected on this I realized how shallow I had been, and that in order to bring about better feelings I had to change something, and that something was how I interacted and more importantly viewed or Judged people. I first acknowledged that I had my own unique personality and qualities and was happy with that, but also acknowledged that other people have unique qualities, some of which matched mine, and some of which were different.
Bringing it back to myself I acknowledged that not everyone will like some of each others qualities and mine too, but should that stop them getting along – the answer I concluded was ‘no’. I then looked at my fellow students and when reflecting on who I really knew I could only list on 1 hand the names. I realized I had been blinkered by outward impressions when instead I should have been looking inwardly, by getting to know them , and the only way to do this was to interact congruently.
This I did and to my surprise found that the people I had initially Judged as unable to meet my needs, ere in fact very similar to myself and shared similar beliefs and values. As these interactions increased I found myself able to converse with everyone on the course and interact more positively, which left me feeling really happy and content, I had actually achieved belongingness as I did fit in, which also in turn enabled me to meet my esteem needs through helping and encouraging others, for which I felt respected and also I could acknowledge to myself I had achieved something.
Without this realization, and my ability to change how I viewed people, this enabling to meet my needs would not have occurred. Issue of diversity and equality is one which I had not greatly considered prior to the commencement of the course, however I have a different mindset now with many views on how this could impact on my ability to move forward in my training as a counselor. “Look around you. What kind of world do you see?
When you go shopping, when you’re in the pub, when you’re at a concert, in fact wherever you are or whatever you’re doing as you go about in daily life – do you see only a world populated by White Anglo-Saxon Protestants? (Anemia Limited 2009)” This is a powerful statement to me as it says that do we see people in our daily interactions exactly like ourselves, and only people like that. To me an understanding of diversity in a multi cultural society is an important issue as this dictates how we behave with other people and how we interact.
This, for some people, is dependent upon beliefs, values, culture, religion, age, disability, gender and so on. How we perceive the world has an impact on how we view other people in that world. For example if we did see the world only populated by ‘White Anglo-Saxon Protestants’ as the quote says, anybody else who did not share that stereotype would be deemed an outcast and treated in the same manner as one with no respect or dignity. In understanding diversity I feel it is first important to understand myself and my own background.
I believe I am a white working class, British, heterosexual, Christian male, with the freedom to speak what I believe and to interact with whomever I choose with no legal recourse. I believe in equality between the sexes and that everyone has the right to work to their true potential without being discriminated against. When looking at my culture and beliefs I understand that this does not necessarily reflect everyone I come into contact with, this will especially be significant within a counseling environment.
It is important for me to be aware of such differences as in everyday life I will come across individuals with diverse backgrounds such as gays or lesbians, people with debilitating disabilities, old people, young people, blacks, Asians, upper class, poverty stricken, people with status…. In fact all sorts of individuals who may have completely different ideals and values to myself. A question I ask myself is how will I be aware that such differences are apparent, especially within a counseling environment.
In response I answer that it is through focusing on the individual and hat they have to say, that my awareness will be raised to such differences, and therefore once I have reached that level of awareness I will be aware of any prejudices that I am forming in relation to the individual. I may start to Judge them for their beliefs or disregard important information they share as it does not correspond to my viewpoint. I may try to influence their way of thinking to mirror my own which would be in complete contradiction to their culture.
I may start to form resentments to the individual for adopting beliefs that I do not agree with or accept. I ay start to display my beliefs in an attempt to show that the individuals beliefs are not rational. In all these hypothetical situations it is important to understand Just what impact diversity may have in order to overcome it and start showing respect to each individual I come into contact with, irrespective of their beliefs, and start treating them with they dignity they deserve. “…. E are powerfully and often unconsciously influenced by the culture and society in which we live. While wanting to help others, we also need to look after ourselves and fit in with the families, communities and organizations in which we live and work, ND that can create conflicts in our value and belief systems. (Wheeler 2006)” This means to me that in order to help others we first need to look at the society in which we live and what differences there are from their beliefs and that of our own, which may have been conditioned upon us by the environment in which we were brought up.
When considering how I would practice I need to look at what areas of diversity I may come across, these I have already explored in the previous question so I will now assess how these differences would impact on myself and how I approach counseling. I would have to look at each person I cam into contact with on an individual level, and would use contracting as a way of identifying any potential issues relating to diversity, such as in some cultures it may not be prudent to have eye contact so I would adjust the way I sat to avoid this happening to show respect.
The way I speak and tone of voice I use I have also looked at this can sometimes come across as powerful and loud, and in some situations may be perceived as intimidating. Take for example a single mother recently separated after experiencing domestic violence; if I was to appear intimidating, (even though my intentions were tot that), she would be more likely to feel uncomfortable, and less likely to want to share anything, and the high probability is she would not return to the next session.
By altering my tone to a calmer one, with a softer voice, this would come across as more appealing and therefore start to build up a positive therapeutic alliance in which trust would be formed. The way I respond to statements is also important, especially my non-verbal reactions, which could quite easily be picked up upon, and thus create an uncomfortable arena especially if the client picked up on these sections. Take a middle aged man who believes that men are superior and women should provide at home and not work.
This is a very strong viewpoint and one which I do not share. However if this client was too share certain thoughts, it may lead to my voice raising or eyes rolling as it conflicts with my own beliefs. In this instance it is important to separate my stuff from the clients own issues and beliefs, by doing this I can then focus on the client and look at their world through their eyes to gain a better understanding of how and why they see the world they do. This may then enable me to understand how their presenting issue has come about.
It may be through conditioning that they have certain views, or the environment and era they were brought up in, by putting my own beliefs aside and using the core conditions, my thoughts would not be clouded by Judgment and thus the relationship between the 2 parties unaffected. These are Just a couple of examples of how the issue of diversity and equality would impact on my working practice and how I would address such differences. 3. Reflect on Personal Development 3. Identify constructive guidance provided by others which has informed their wariness “Feedback is a way of learning more about ourselves and the effect our behavior has on others. Constructive feedback increases self-awareness, offers to receive it. Constructive feedback does not mean only giving positive feedback (praise). Negative, or critical feedback given skillfully can be very important and useful. (The University of Nottingham 2012)” This means to me that feedback is vital in order for us as individuals to move forward and learn.
Feedback provides us with the necessary information to look at areas of improvement as well as to reflect on areas of strength. Throughout the course I have received a great deal of feedback, or ‘information’ as I like to see it. I say Information as that is what it is, someone else’s viewpoint on my performance, from their eyes, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is wrong or right, it is Just a viewpoint. I receive feedback relating to this and take it as information only, listening to what is being said intently and applying it to the situation being discussed.
I don’t take negative feedback as negative, I see it as a positive way in which to develop myself and become more self aware. An area I have received guidance on in relation to the delivery of counseling skills is that of giving advice and using leading questions. (refer to Appendix A). When listening to the speaker in practicing the use of questioning skills I asked the following questions: ‘do you feel you’re overcompensating’ and is there anyway you could speak to him earlier’.
Both these statements are suggestive and could lead the speaker to agree to something they are uncomfortable with or accept feelings they are not actually feeling. This in turn could have a destructive outcome on the issue they are resenting as they may act on the ‘advice’ I have given when they really didn’t want to, which would have an impact on future sessions as the speaker may become confused or disillusioned and either not be as open, or not come back at all. Another example of feedback I have received was in a Personal Development group.
I was talking about frustration I was feeling at work because of changes that were occurring and not knowing what I was supposed to be doing, in fact I was commenting on not knowing what my role was. I spoke of Just accepting this and continuing as I was Just doing what was asked without questioning this. The feedback I received was to firstly acknowledge my feelings and how they were impacting on the way I worked, and secondly to speak to my supervisor explaining how I felt and my thoughts of confusion surrounding my work.
I found this feedback invaluable and will discuss in the next question how this impacted on myself. 3. 2 Explain how this feedback has impacted on self “It isn’t easy to receive feedback; no-one wants to be told what they are doing is wrong or potentially dangerous. It is easy to get defensive, remain silent, ignore or argue but the real skill in receiving feedback is to listen properly to what is said, as here are likely to be some valid points. Give the person the chance to speak and be open to suggestions for improvement.
You can then put some (or all) of these into action and show you have learned from it. (Leadership and Worker Engagement Forum 2011)” This says to me that is is vital to listen to all the feedback someone is giving and not focus on specific points which may feel uncomfortable. Boon listening to the feedback I realized I wasn’t doing myself any favors by not doing anything at all, and that it was important for me to acknowledge the feelings I had to the appropriate person at work, doing this is a non- emending way also as previously I mentioned that when I became frustrated it led to some arrogance. I spoke to my supervisor who surprised me with his response. He acknowledged he was aware things were difficult at work during the transformation and he was putting things in place to reassure me of Just what my role was, and assured me that my role was not in any Jeopardy.
I felt a lot happier with this and more relaxed knowing that I had been listened to and valued. I reflected on this and realized that in future it was important for me to acknowledge any feelings as soon s possible to the appropriate person at work, in order to manage my feelings and not t let them get out of control. I thanked the person at college also for the feedback and advised that the situation was rectified and I was a lot happier. 3. Evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses as a person who uses counseling skills “Knowing where you come in strong and where you need assistance can help you stabilize your personal life and nurture your professional interactions. Self- knowledge is a powerful tool that too many people disregard because it’s difficult or inconvenient. Hawkish 2013)” This says to me that it is important to be aware of any areas in which you excel, and those in which need improvement, and such awareness your personal and professional life. I feel I have many strengths and weaknesses and some of which tend to contradict each other.
Here I will highlight Just a couple in relation to my use of counseling skills. My first strength I believe is that of showing Empathy, I really believe that I can connect with individuals and see the world from where they are standing, in order for me to understand the way they are thinking, the ay I speak also emphasizes this empathy and comes across in a caring, non aggressive way, which enables the relationship between client and counselor to build. Another great strength I have is that of understanding my own belief systems and how aware I am of the destructive nature of these should I choose to ignore them when they surface.
I am aware that these beliefs could impact on my use of counseling skills causing Judgments to interfere with the counseling process, so I consciously challenge these beliefs when they surface so as to create a new thought process enabling me to have a clearer mind when entering into a counseling environment. A weakness I feel I have is that of impatience which also links with arrogance. If I feel something should be done a certain way, and if it isn’t, this creates frustration within me causing my behaviors to adopt this new feeling and act out in demanding ways.
If this is not challenged by myself regularly this could have an adverse affect on the counseling relationship causing potential conflict or creating a barrier between counselor and client. Another weakness I feel I have is that of second guessing what I feel someone is saying, that is doing the other persons thinking for them. I over-analyses what they are saying and try to reach conclusions myself with the information provided as to how best they can resolve there situation and where they are going wrong.
This process is very ad’s-empowering for the client as their personal power and freedom to make their own choices has been taken away, and rather than actually helping the client I could be harming them by putting suggestions in their mind from my viewpoint not theirs. When looking at my strengths and weaknesses I feel it is important to acknowledge both. Your strengths because by acknowledging when things go right builds confidence and esteem, whilst y acknowledging weaknesses shows you are willing to change and learn from what went wrong in order to progress and develop as a human being. . 4 Plan for and Justify future personal development “Personal development includes activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employability, enhance quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations. (Wisped 2013)” This means simply to me that through the continuing development of oneself in all areas of life there is nothing realistic that you cannot achieve.