The Therapeutic Realization and Report Counseling is a therapeutic relationship intended to help clients through a wide range of personal issues in a safe forum. As this was my initial attempt at counseling, I tried to create a relaxed environment for Cassia, a fellow student and my interviewee, where she could discuss any troubling issue. I explained that I would try to understand her experience without criticism or judgment. However, counseling has proven to be challenging and thought provoking as found myself in moments of awkwardness where I felt my empathy spiraling into sympathy.
Where I felt completely inadequate, wondering “Who I am to pretend that I understand how this feels? ” In this reflective essay, intend to reflect on the session: endeavoring to evaluate my strengths and areas of improvement, to ultimately assist me in becoming a better counselor. Nineteen year Old Cassia presented to the session with issues of sadness over the passing of her close friend Brittany, five months earlier. Initially she was focused on the fact that since Britain’s death, she had been unmotivated in life and in particular, with her university studies.
She talked about “just passing’ university (5:00) to which I reflected that she must have been feeling like she had more in her but just did not have the energy to give it, at that time (5:09). In an attempt to understand her frame of reference (Settler & Sheppard, 2011), was able to empathic. Even though had never experienced losing a loved one, I understood how it felt to feel like you have more to offer within yourself, but am unable to, due to depressing circumstances in your life. In 5:28, I acknowledged that having to deal with a death, especially at her age, would make life difficult and confusing.
Cassia accepted this translation, by revealing that her emotions were further complicated by the fact that she was the last of Britain’s group of friends to see her before passing away later that night. Cassia appeared to be confused and upset and I softly encouraged her to explore those feelings by nodding and allowing her to sit with them. By 12:12, Cassia finally admitted that she was angry that Brigit NYSE mother had not allowed them to visit as a group. It was apparent to me early in the session that I did not need to prompt Cassia much with regards to her feelings.
As she let her words flood out, her true emotional state begun to surface rapidly. She seemed to be racked with sadness, guilt and anger about the situation she was left in. I was able to identify these feelings by her fast paced talking and little need for encouragement. I was consciously aware of maintaining congruence and unconditional positive regard whilst actively listening (Settler & Shepherd, 201 1). It was not until we were closing the session, referred her overall situation and proposed that she possibly felt guilty about still being alive (27:02).
Cassia disclosed that she did feel guilty about living and questioned why her friend had to die and not her; why her life is more important than Brittany. As have never experienced the death of a close friend before, found it difficult to relate to how Cassia was feeling, though I tried to maintain empathy without over identifying with her (Corrosion & Wedding, 2011 Yet did find it very challenging not allow my empathy to transfer into sympathy, particularly when Cassia shed a tear (1 1:25). Mound myself questioning my worthiness, “Who am I to sit here and act like I know how this feels for her? I eave no idea! Surely she can see right through my faced. ” Later that night, when reflecting on the session, I allowed myself to face the realization of not being able to understand her. And it dawned on me, how am I ever going to know what every situation for every person is going to feel like? It is impossible. Therefore, I am not a phony. Am merely a person, who wants to help unburden people like Cassia, from the loads that they are carrying on their shoulders. Owe appreciate that I will meet many clients like Cassia where need to remain genuine, practice my actively listening and just be in he moment with them by attempting to feel what they are feeling, to truly experience their emotions (Kettle and Shepherd, 2011 Undoubtedly, I attempted to express empathy by being present with Cassia in her moment of reliving her painful memories and genuinely believe that we had instants where we had a successful therapeutic connection (Kettle & Shepherd, 2011).
Admittedly, there were moments of awkwardness for me when I wanted Cassia to elaborate further and I found myself constantly saying yes and yeah in agreement but I wish that I was able to extend my vocabulary in these resistances. Understandably am in training but I still wish that I could have said more to her in those moments that she needed to hear comforting words. During the times that I wanted to hug her and tell her that she was going to be okay.
I reason that learning to have some distance from the client’s situation will undeniably take awareness and practice (Corrosion & Wedding, 2011). I believe that Cassia would certainly benefit from having some existential psychotherapy. Her guilt, sadness, anger and ultimate concerns could be addressed and put into new meaning for her. By reflecting n her own mortality, it may help her gain some insight and strength into learning to really live again (Corrosion & Wedding, 2011 This first attempt at counseling has been a titanic learning experience for me.
I have learnt that experiencing without criticism or judgment for my client or myself, is something that I will need to develop and always remain consciously aware of. That congruence, unconditional positive regard and empathy require patience, practice and skill. That I may find myself in a situation where I desperately want to fix it, but cannot. Because counseling is a helping allegations where I help the client get through their own personal struggles by helping them find their own meanings and lessons from the hurts.