Stage Four: Learning and Perpetuating
Dealing with human behaviour is never a static process. Learning from each experience is the secret to naturally widen one’s perspective towards the world, improve one’s ability to understand people and to effectively communicate with them. Therefore, learning also plays a big role in the process of developing a positive counsellor perspective. How to improve learning? The best way is to construct a disciplined approach is be attentive to details and situations which produce unexpected results in counselling sessions and other interaction with clients. Learning through observation is of considerable value in terms of experience and maturity for a counsellor.
Perpetuating constitutes the maintenance of the basic backbone that allows a counsellor to be a productive and efficient professional: mental and physical health. Counsellors are deemed to deal with stress throughout their careers – whether through emotional attachment, excessive work, lack of self-care, or a combination of these factors. It is of vital importance that counsellors avoid burnout because emotional stress tends to accumulate overtime and it can result in trauma. All these issues directly affect the counsellor’s ability to oblige to ethical and professional guidelines.
Most people ignore the first signs of excessive stress, and by doing so, become vulnerable to further pressure from work. At some point, counsellors may find it very difficult to attend counselling sessions, to get to work, and to perform in several other areas of life. Preventing burnout is simply a necessary task to anyone aiming for a balanced and fulfilling career (and life).
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Pedro Gondim is a writer and publisher for the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. The Institute is Australia's largest counsellor training provider, offering the internationally renowned Diploma of Professional Counselling.