The understanding me and the situation that I was

The counselling process for the Xtina approach uses the Carkhuff’s model of counselling which was presented by Fuster (2005).The preparatory stage: This initial stage is adopting the approach introduced by Carl Rogers in the Person Centered Approach.  The counsellor creates a therapeutic environment with the client whereby the client will feel that they are able to trust the counsellor.  The counsellor achieves this by being congruent, empathetic and providing positive regard to the client.  The skills required in this stage includes the attending which is being attentive to the client to show that the counsellor is genuinely interested in the client.  The counsellor must also be varied of non-verbal messages that are conveyed during the session as they will be perceived by the clients as to whether we are interested in them or we do not have time for them.  The counsellor will facilitate interpersonal interaction by using relevant social skills such as greeting, kindness and politeness.  These skills will enable both parties to have a chance to explore each other and determine the goals of the relationship.  This stage is vital in enabling both the counsellor and the client to start the course of understanding and accepting each other.  My second experience with counselling was with a counsellor who made me feel comfortable during the first session itself.  After explaining the process of counselling that would take place, she gave me the chance to ask questions to clarify any doubts that I may have.  When I told her the problem that I was facing at that time, she responded in a warm and non-judgemental manner which made it easier for me to reveal some personal details.  Her body language showed that she was attentive as I shared my problem with her and the questions that she posed were not interrogative nor intruding but it made me feel that she was interested in understanding me and the situation that I was in better.The exploratory stage:  This stage gives the client the chance to tell their story and be heard.  The counsellor gathers information to understand the client’s problem and how it affects the client and his environment.  The counsellor will also explore on the factors that probably cause the problem and aspects which may relieve it.  Lastly, the information gathered is to assist the counsellor to know the client’s understanding of the presenting problem and efforts to resolve the issues.    In this stage, the counsellor uses the questioning skills in getting the client to open up matters for discussion and to clarify that may seem vague to the counsellor.  The counsellor will try to avoid too much of questioning which may seem like the client is being diagnosed by the counsellor or that the counsellor is taking control of the counselling session.  The counsellor uses open questions to motivate the client to share their concerns and provide the counsellor the chance to get information about the client and their issues.  On the other hand, the counsellor uses the closed questions when he needs the client to focus or provide specific details.  In the following session that I had, I talked about how my problem was affecting me in my relationship with people.  The counsellor got me to explore my family dynamics and how I perceived my relationships with the members of my family and friends.  Through the exploration, I was able to be aware of the way I relate to people and how my automatic negative thoughts had affected my relationships with people and also the way I see myself.  Since my counsellor is a catholic, I also was able to explore my relationship with God which had a big impact on my life.  I discovered that I had stopped trusting God because of the bad experiences that happened to me and I also felt bad about the mistakes that I had made which made me feel that I had disappointed Him.  At the end of this stage, the counsellor had gathered sufficient information to help her to understand the problem that I was facing and what I wanted to achieve from the counselling session.

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