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Conditions of Worth – Term used by Carl Rogers to describe social influences on the self-concept; for instance, a child might not include anger in her self-concept because her parents’ scolding has established a condition of worth such that anger is inappropriate. According to Rogers in order to become a fully functioning person we need to experience unconditional positive regard: feeling loved and worthy no matter what. “Conditions of worth” are the “requirements’ set forth by parents or significant others for “earning” their positive regard (love). A person that has received unconditional positive regard is confident in his/her value and can live a healthy existence. (Roger – On Becoming Carl Rogers)

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Egan, Maslow, Roger and Berne’s have made great contributions to the humanistic approach to counselling. In terms of personal development I am confident that this is my preferred method and that which is most prominently used. In terms of my interaction with the group and personal awareness this model reflects my nurturing parent, adult logical contribution and compulsive carer attitude. The impact for the client is that they will experience the core conditions, altruism and I hope promote self actualisation.

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2. Justify the need for personal development to be balanced, comprehensive and compatible to the counsellor’s own theoretical approach. Counsellors are constantly evolving both personally and professionally. It is for this reasons the need to review their personal development is essential. With the insight of understanding and knowing others it is only fair that we become more aware of ourselves. (This should include transference, projection and defences)

Having studied the different perspectives and practiced a few, I am still unsure to major approach when counselling. I would like to think I’m “integrative” and can adapt my technique to the needs or approach of the client. I remember during a session I was being very humanistic, but he could not relate to it and found my intervention too mellow and soft. The reluctance and resistance to engage was evident, so I change to Psychodynamic with a hint of CBT. The therapy changed immediately and we began to make progress. I had discussed with my supervisor about T.A and if there was an element of parent – child in my first approach which made the counselling difficult, but now changing to CBT and Psychodynamic it is very much an Adult – adult interaction.

When counselling as a Relationship counsellor we are encouraged to use PCC and follow Egan’s model. In the same organisation when counselling as PST (Psycho-Sexual Therapist) we are encouraged to use CBT. When counselling young (teenaged) men in the community I use TA and Humanistic approach. The need for personal development for counsellors is essential as there is so much to be aware of and consider when dealing with clients. Without it the transference, blocks, ego, defences, etc will hinder any progress the counsellor may think they are undertaking.

3. Question the need to receive personal counselling as a practitioner. When I first became a counsellor and was told to undertake counselling sessions as part of my training I was enraged. I felt the system was dictation me to do something that by the very nature of what it is should be out of choice not contract or condition. All my defences came into play, there was reluctance and defiantly resistance, I reverted to childhood tactics reminiscent of various excuses for not completing my homework or being able to do P.E. Eventually when is was getting close to the end of the course and I had not obtained my 20 hours of counselling I conceded.

It was only then I understood the importance it held not only to my professional development, but personal growth and awareness. The thing I protested against most became the object most looked forward to, having one hour where I could become fully self absorbent /centred. Discussing aspects of my life I had convinced myself was in total control and functional (how far from the truth that was). In a group exercise we debated the need for counselling and I chose to be on the side against counsellors having counselling. My argument being other professionals would not be asked to undertake a similar practice. Psychiatrist are not asked to see other psychiatrist etc. However, as much as I tried the argument was lost under the following.

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Kylie Garcia

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