Critical Reflective Analysis of a Counsellor

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1701 Words
Date:  2022-07-20


In recent years, it has become apparent that people need the help of a counselor to share their feelings, frustrations, losses and sometimes extreme gains. Through the sessions, counselors get to understand the needs of their clients by applying active listening, critical thinking, active questions and reflection to guide and help establish connectedness and trust amongst them, making the session appropriate and productive. Thus, a counselor should understand in depth and showcase the ability to draw a line between counselling and application of counselling skills effectively as highlighted herein.

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A counselor, therefore, ought to apply a structured assessment during the session, trying to purposely develop in the client coping skills, necessary spiritual and cultural dimensions as well as proposing appropriate support systems. In this study, a critical and reflective analysis of a counsellor's skills will be provided to help establish his weaknesses and strengths throughout the session, highlight his application of vital skills such as support systems, congruency, respectful reflectivity and empathy, at the same time demonstrating how well the counsellor operationalized the skills while recommending additional skills that he could have illustrated during the session and identify areas of improvement.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Counselor

The counselor provided a safe environment coupled with support and respect. This made the customer spectacularly comfortable, enough to prompt him to express his feelings with the knowledge that the counselor was actually not judgmental but somewhat critical and direct. Throughout the session, the counselor showcased express understanding that person-centered counseling is indeed a practical practice that ought to focus on continuing bonds and attachment theories that ultimately create a rather comfortable environment for the client ensuring trust and openness (Midwinter & Dickson, 2015). However, the counselor failed to meet some core conditions such as congruence, empathy, unconditional positive comments and regard of the client. Instead, the counselor was emotionally and mentally absent, missing out the line of communication that fosters empathic awareness between the two of them. Consequently, the most significant element of counseling, "Felt presence" was misunderstood eliciting a moment of distrust from the client.

Skills Utilized by the Counselor

It is rather indisputable how he applied vital skills quite effectively having chosen a private place for the meeting in a scheduled manner. As a demonstration of his level of professionalism, the counselor applied vital conditions that are considered sufficient an necessary in establishing a counselling relationship namely acceptance of the client through unconditional positive regard, congruence coupled with evident genuineness and empathy, where the counselor was able to tune into the client's feelings from a different point of view that aligns with the emotional and psychological state of the client (Midwinter & Dickson, 2015). The counselor managed to effectively combine empathy with acceptance of the client expressed of non-verbally through his body language, immediacy and self-disclosure. To evoke person-centeredness, the counselor outlined the guidelines of guaranteed confidentiality and an in-depth level of strict privacy which eventually evoked eye contact and open body language from the client (01:56). Throughout the session, the counselor was immensely aware of his body language, seemingly being more focused on his behavior than that of the client while avoiding to over-identify with the client through unconditional positive regard and self-disclosure as proposed by Midwinter & Dickson (2015) to promote congruent relational depth. A level of relaxation and confidence was exhibited making it easier for him to wisely pick appropriate phrases and emotional words that showed a rather professional understanding of "response skills" in a counseling session especially at 06:06 where he crosses his hands then quickly but calmly pulls them down, taking a more comfortable posture. Geldard, Geldard, and Foo (2017) assert that clients, in most instances, appreciate their counselors to employ effective listening skills with an adept connection, respect and emotional attachment to provide them a sense of belonging. Notably, the counselor was somewhat genuine, presenting himself with openness and acceptance to avoiding any judgmental sentiments. Most importantly, he maintained a professional level of respect and understanding no matter how open-minded he seemed without thinking ahead of the client, which sometimes results in a wrong and incomplete understanding of client perspectives.

The counselor was focused on enabling the client to cope with her problem at the end of the session by choosing phrases that essentially encouraged one to go for choices that best fit her feelings, value, and needs. In so doing, the patient was able to identify a number of options that may in a way improve her situation and help her regain her old self, overcoming the fear and anxiety that her traumatic experience evokes. This is in line with the principles and value of counseling outlined in the work of Brand (2014) where he is required to uphold values of impartiality, respect, and integrity as well as principles of fidelity to situations, beneficence, and autonomy. Conceptually, the counselor sustained his devotion to facilitate a positive transformation to his client while fostering a personal connection by showing genuine interest in the client's experience, especially in the 9th-10th minute of the session.

Operationalizing the Skills

Noteworthy is the fact that "self-instrument" as an idea, was central in the counseling session as the client was allowed to talk most of the time with limited interruption. The counselor managed to carefully observe his client, enabling him to relate and empathize with her situation while conceptualizing her ordeal in critical terms that enabled him to think critically and conduct himself in the manner that demonstrated his goodwill in helping the client gain her old self once again (Midwinter & Dickson, 2015). By employing the skill of "self-instrument", he was successful in relating with the client better and facilitating a positive change at the end of the session (Geldard, Geldard, Foo, 2017).

Through effective listening skills, the counselor ought to listen to what his client is saying and how she is expressing it as well as the meaning of the contextual expressions (Midwinter & Dickson, 2015). Through minute 12", the client seemed somewhat uncomfortable as the counselor seemed to fill in words for her and she had to basically clarify what she meant. The counselor failed short in listening between the lines, so to say, losing the ability to pick out meanings from unspoken words. In a session, Brand (2014) reiterates that the counselor should create an environment where the things the client omits from her story can be communicated loudly without necessarily being verbally spoken. This, according to him, is only possible when the counselor applies effective listening skills with limited, well-calculated, critically thought-out responses that can only evoke positive emotions and comfortable sensibilities in the client. When a traumatized client chooses to visit a counselor, a professional therapist is obligated to satisfy the client's need to feel as though she has the space to narrate everything without any shameful feelings or fear for judgment or conclusive sentiments. Therefore, the counselor ought to cultivate a non-reactive stance that facilitates distinct differences between evaluation and observation to help him make an accurate assessment while creating an environment that fosters the development of a rational and trustful relationship with his client (Midwinter & Dickson, 2015).

Other Skills for the Counselor

The counselor, therefore, should work on developing the skills of applied authenticity in the session to better enhance genuine, empathetic relationships through his professional persona, listening, and communication. The empathetic connection, according to Geldard, Geldrad, and Foo (2017) is key to an effective therapeutic process and core in the cultivation of a lasting and productive therapist-client relationship. The counselor can as well improve and work on minimal responses which are a great symbol for the conveyance of a message, not only implying effective listening skills but also making the client feel that the counselor agrees and supports her sentiments. In so doing, the counselor may opt to focus on eye movement, facial expression and the posture of the client to determine the way in which the patient expresses her feelings, fears, and emotions, enabling him to choose the most appropriate way to respond. Throughout the session, the counselor employed facial expressions and a tone of voice that was congruent with a therapist who was more concerned with listening to the client emphatically.

Areas of Improvement

Through reflective listening, the counselor was able to reflect and paraphrase the feelings of the client, letting her know that he was keenly and deeply listening to there and that he understood what she was going through (Gibson, Sandenbergh & Swartz, 2002). In that regard, minimal responses should be non-interruptive to the client's flow of narration while encouraging her to continue the story in a more comfortable contextual setting. While it is important to make responses in the midst of client narration, it may not be essential to make unreflective comments as incorrect responses can discourage the client from openly communicating the details of her ordeal, which may make the session less fruitful and ensue in a negative relationship (Sharma, Dapkekar, Londhe, & Ojha, n.d). Though he employed the Person-centered approach through the therapy session, it is paramount that in future he considers the vital role of focusing on self-directed behaviors of the client, using self-understanding resources to alter the client's basic attitudes and self-concepts, which should then be tapped into definable facilitative psychological attitudes (Midwinter & Dickson, 2015).


Summarily, the counselor was effective in applying the skills of counseling, showcasing more strengths than weaknesses in the manner in which he expressed himself and practice self-restraint through his body posture and language. His positive feedbacks and reflective sentiments made him approachable and warm-enough to make the client feel safe to share her fears, frustrations, and hope in acquiring her old self once again. Throughout the session, the client felt respected, trusting a "male counselor" to help her "feel better" through self-disclosure.


Brand, T. (2014). Basic counseling skills. South African Medical Journal, 104(7).

Geldard, D., Geldard, K., & Foo, R. Y. (2017). Basic personal counseling: A training manual for counselors. Cengage AU.

Gibson, K., Sandenbergh, R., & Swartz, L. (2002). Counselling and coping (pp. 1-16). Cape Town: Oxford University Press.

Midwinter, R., & Dickson, J. (2015). Embedding counselling and communication skills: A relational skills Model (ch.8). London: Routledge, Taylor & Frances Group.

Sharma, R., Dandekar, A., Londhe, S. N., & Ojha, P. Effective Communication and Counselling Skills. In CONFERENCE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (p. 138).

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Critical Reflective Analysis of a Counsellor. (2022, Jul 20). Retrieved from

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