Validating feelings counseling

For a more existentially oriented counselor, it could involve asking the client ‘What do you want?’ and then gently exploring the many nuanced dimensions of how your client answers that question.” “Collaboration on counseling-related tasks can involve nearly any task that is clearly described and that clients understand as related to their problems or goals,” he continues.

“When he was referred to me, I assessed that he was an atheist and that this was the defining worldview in his life,” Guterman notes.Modern counseling models and techniques are as varied and diverse as the counselors and clients who use them.Most counselors have a particular theory, method or school of thought that they embrace, whether it is cognitive behavior therapy, solution-focused therapy, strength-based, holistic health, person-centered, Adlerian or other.When counselors diagnose the problem and launch into a prescribed method of treatment without first discussing the client’s concerns and goals, they are likely to be met with resistance, explains Guterman, a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and the author of Mastering the Art of Solution-Focused Counseling, published by ACA.It is also difficult to accomplish true change unless the counselor is listening to what the client wants, not what other people think the client needs, says Guterman. “I had a case of a 71-year-old man with alcohol abuse who was persistently resisting efforts by several mental health professionals, relatives and friends to get him to go to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

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