Five Qualities of Great Family Counselors!
Being a counselor and family therapist takes a lot of skills. It is a job that is beyond just a degree. It is a profession that can make a difference to the numerous lives out there. As a counselor, you will be in a situation to help people battling severe issues like depression, relationship challenges, addiction, insomnia, and so much more.
Besides that, people might seek your assistance even with their everyday problems. There are numerous specializations, even in counseling, and you can choose to specialize in them. For instance, a relationship counselor might not be the right person to help you cope with your addiction issues.
However, they can help you unravel the reasons for your addiction and help you mend your relationships. While it might be overwhelming and exciting to take on this role, it is important to understand if you possess the crucial skills for a psychologist or a counselor. This is all the more true when it comes to family counseling and therapy. That’s because your guidance can make a significant difference to not just one person but all their loved ones too, and this includes the kids. So, what are the primary characteristics of a family counselor? Read on to find out!
This one is a no brainer. As a counselor, you need to be a patient listener and listen to all that your client has to say. Even if this seems irrelevant to the issue, the client is trying to battle, be patient, and listen.
It is normal for couples to end up fighting, children to cry, and so on. However, do not intervene unless necessary. At times, the client needs to let go of all the resentment and anger they have been holding in to start afresh!
As a psychologist, you will be hearing some of the deepest and darkest secrets of the people. While most people are not proud of what they have done, remember it is not your job to judge them. They are visiting you and telling you about their life to let the thoughts bother them out.
Instead, lend a listening ear to all the members who have come for family therapy and allow them to explain why they did what they did. Remember, a counselor’s job is not to place themselves on a pedestal and guilt-trip their clients.
As a family counselor, you might be dealing with members of the same family of different age groups. In a blended family, these members can be of different ethnicities, races, and cultures. This only makes the problems worse.
However, as a family counselor, you should be in a position to place yourself in their shoes and understand what they have to say. You need to be willing to see things from the person’s perspective and be the peacemaker when the conflict arises. Once you understand what each person thinks and feels like, it would be easier to resolve their conflicts.
Do Not Take Sides
Have an open mind, and don’t take sides. It is natural to feel a sense of sympathy and connection to one of the clients. However, as a family psychologist, you need to be open and listen to a story’s sides. Instead, help the family learn the art of listening to each other without reacting and then achieve a resolution.
Enable Conflict Resolution
You can take a horse to the pond, but can never make it drink the water unless it decides to. It’s the same way with human beings too. You can impose the right way out of a situation all you want. However, if your client does not believe in it, they are not going to follow it. In a family therapy situation, this is all the more tricky.
With so many stakeholders involved, you need to empower them to resolve their conflicts rather than doing it for them! As a family therapist, it is one of your key responsibilities to enable your clients to arrive at an effective resolution. And once they decide on the solution, you need to help them devise effective ways to achieve their goals.
These are just a few of the many traits that a family therapist must possess. However, none of these will come overnight. You need to consciously train yourself to understand and work on your problem solving and people skills. Over the years, you would be an expert. Until then, keep striving and working towards your goal of making a difference to people and their lives!
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