As a counselor expert, I should know how to balance my personal views with my professional ones. Thus while in a counseling session, I should avoid imposing my personal views in the life of my client. I should make sure that am on a neutral stand and should only play a role as a guide to the Promised Land. The Promised Land here is to a state where the clients feel that their heavy burden of problems has been offloaded from their backs.
When I, as a therapist, condemn my clients’ views and instead regard my personal views as the only ultimatum solution, then I will be causing a lot of psychological damage upon my client. The wisest thing to do is to incorporate my personal views in an intrapersonal manner.
Differing Spiritual Views
As a therapist, I should be aware of my boundaries when it comes to a client in a counseling setting. I should not assert my own personal spiritual views onto my clients. I should consider the clients as separate identities that have their own views as far as spirituality and religion are concerned. Imposing personal values and beliefs upon my clients will only elevate the clients’ problems as they will get confused as they get to wonder on the credibility of issues. Who should they follow, their ethnic society which ha been involved in instilling values and norms since childhood or the therapist who is said to have answers to people’s problems. In ethical terms, this would be so selfish of me and by so ding I will not be acting as the professional am meant to be. Thus, I need to show patience, tolerance and understanding towards my client. Above all, I need to accept my clients for whom and how they are.
The clients handled during these counseling sessions are from different cultural and religious affiliations. Therefore each should be handled according to their beliefs and values (Miller 2003). When as a therapist am are able to accommodate my clients’ spiritual and religious aspects of life during the counseling sessions, it shows how much I respect their cultural, spiritual and religious background and do not regard them as inferior ( Miller 2003). When I show respect to my clients’ way of life, then the clients will develop confidence in me and will open up more. It will also reveal my competency, just like an intelligent professional.
On the other hand, it does not mean that I should allow myself to be swayed by my clients’ school of thought. No, it only means that I should be well aware of my own values and beliefs and should be able lay a boundary between them and the client so that I do not impose them upon my client. An instance when my personal views could negatively influence my counseling session is when I get to rebuke my clients’ behavior as unacceptable yet I do not know why the person engaged in such behavior in the first place (Trusty, Lobby & Sandhu 2002). I should first get an insight on why my client would consider indulging in that behavior before I declare it as acceptable or not.
One more thing that I should not do as a therapist is to ultimately tell my client what is good and what is bad. My role is equivalent as for a mediator thus should provide a spectrum of useful options from which my client will select (Trusty, Lobby & Sandhu 2002). As a counselor, I am supposed to guide but not to make decisions on behalf of my client.
All said and done, it does not mean that I should not integrate my personal values into the counseling setting. Yes, I could but silently and discreetly through intrapersonal integration (Miller 2003). This will not interfere with my clients’ spiritual and religious values and it will not create tension between my clients and I as well. On the same note, I will not be invading their spiritual and religious territory.