Characteristics Of An Effective Counselor

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Characteristics of an Effective Counselor Desirée M. Ericksen Liberty University Abstract This paper reviews four published papers and/or studies that have researched the characteristics of effective counselors. Each of the papers/studies list their own set of characteristics, but share a common thread of empathy, compassion, warmth, genuineness and emotional stability. After reviewing each paper and research study, additional analysis was applied to the above five characteristics with the hope of creating a more thorough understanding of what characteristics will assist in the journey of becoming an effective counselor. Characteristics of an Effective Counselor Counseling is an age old profession. A counselor is “someone who is…show more content…
& Brown, 1996). First, to understand the importance of a counselor’s characteristics, it should be understood that a counselor uses him/herself as a tool in assisting clients in various ways. Carroll stated: When human beings [counselors] work they use themselves as the main focus of their work, they infuse themselves into it, they become it; it is them at work, not just work done by them. Their work changes from being a job, or indeed even a career, to becoming an extension of themselves, of who they are. (Carroll, 2001, p. 77) Therefore, empathy, genuineness, warmth, compassion and emotional stability are not only characteristics of effective counselors, they should be considered the foundation of what a counselor is. Literature Review Carl Roger’s (1957) wrote an article for the Journal of Consulting Psychology to help address the conditions necessary for therapeutic change. Rogers listed six conditions of which three conditions are specifically applied to the therapist: “unconditional positive regard, empathetic understanding, and congruence” (Rogers, 1957) Rogers expounded on congruence as being the most significant quality by saying The third condition is that the therapist should be, within the confines of this relationship, a congruent, genuine, integrated person. It means that within the relationship he is freely and deeply himself, with his actual experience accurately represented by
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