Counselling Practice Session Example

Counselling Practice Session Example
Development of a profile and critical analysis using a theoretical framework
Development of a profile:
(a)  Profile either an individual with a disability or a family who has a member with a disability, identifying impacts and needs:
(b) Critical analysis
Using a theoretical framework analyses the impact of disability on the individual’s or family’s life
Word limit 1500
1. Identify a person who you can research or interview regarding the impact of disability. It may be someone with a disability or a family member. The person may be known to you, or wh has a story that you can research- such as online, on tv, book or in the print media.
2 Develop a series of research questions- you will use them in your interview or they will guide you when reading about the person
3 If interviewing a person, give clear information about the use of the information, and that it will not include identifying information. Make sure you have their consent to use the information they share with you.
4 Write a profile on the person. Do not include identifying information such as name and address. Include information about their experience of disability such as the impact it has on different aspects of their life, what they need to live a quality life.
5 Analyse the information you have researched by apply a theoretical framework or approach to analyse the impact of the disability on the person.
Counselling Practice Session Example

This is a counselling practice session-based paper, which uses a real-life scenario from the client who is experiencing difficulty marriage relations. It is a critique paper that tests the application of basic counselling skills in the practice session. The paper also analyses how the counsellor has employed foundational counselling skills, therapeutic approaches, counselling goal-setting skills, appropriate referrals, therapeutic alliance and practice session strengths and weaknesses. It is found that the counsellor applies the counselling skills and practices appropriately except that he has predetermined therapy outcomes. It is recommended that the counsellor should progress the counselling from psychoanalyst’s perspective to facilitate a comfortable and trusting environment for the client.

Summary of the Counselling Session

The client is facing a difficult relationship with his wife. He claims that her wife is too busy with work, and they have very limited time to build their relationship. Although this issue arose in the past, if they used to talk, they could have the problem resolved. However, of late, the issue has escalated, and the client feels that the issue is getting out of hand. For example, the wife’s anger and temper are uncontrollable, which have increased her abuse towards the client. The client admits that there is a problem, but he is uncomfortable to discuss their personal information with a stranger. The counsellor tells that people with similar condition tend to get comfortable after spending time with their counsellors. The client agrees to tell what they can, but not in-depth. The client states that he has tried to solve the problem by himself, but says that he has not succeeded. The counsellor tries to get information from the client by telling him that he can share helpful tips.  The client tells the story about the volatile behaviour of the wife and how it has affected them, including the kids.

An Analysis of the Foundational Skills

The basic counselling skills aim at getting the client comfortable to tell their frictional problem (Perry, 2008). Based on the video, counselling foundation skills influence the client to share his story. The counsellor starts by telling the client that he had mentioned that he has a concern he would like to discuss. The client agrees but states that he is uncomfortable to discuss the issue with a stranger. The counsellor does not object to the client but instead agrees with him, then tells him that people will similar problem tend to avoid discussing it with strangers. The counsellor adds that with time, people get comfortable and tell their stories. The client agrees to tell his problem, although not in-depth.

In the first instance, the client seems difficult to handle, but the counsellor applies unconditional positive regard to encourage him to share his concern. When the client mentions that he is uncomfortable to share the problem, the counsellor accepts it without any condition. According to Weebly (2016), with unconditional positive regard or acceptance, the counsellor accepts the client without judgment or conditions. By doing so, the counsellor tends to free the client to explore their feelings and share their problem without the danger of being condemned or rejected (Australia Counselling, 2017). The counsellor’s interaction with the client is based on the Rogerian approach, since the counsellor gives him a growth-promoting climate as outlined by (Jacobs & Reupert 2014). The counsellor also demonstrates empathy. By repeating the concern of the client and through facial expression, the counsellor shows the client that he understands the severity of his problem (Weebly, 2016). This conforms to the Rogerian approach whereby interaction is patient-centred, and it is characterised by acceptance, genuineness, empathy and active listening (Weebly, 2016). The counsellor is assumed to show empathy if they understand the client’s feeling and thoughts. Empathy is among the personal ethical attributes considered essential in counselling (Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia, 2017). In the counselling practice session, the counsellor seems to experience the client’s world.

The counsellor is outstanding in applying basic counselling skills. He appears to have mastered the core principles for cognitive behaviour therapy practice as advanced by (O’Donohue & Fisher, 2012). For example, he reveals contingency management skills by convincing the client to tell his story. He also seems to have trained on skills through exposure on how to handle clients with a similar problem. He understands that the client is unwilling to tell his story because he feels uncomfortable. The counsellor solves this problem and encourages the client to respond. By employing basic counselling skills and core principles, the counsellor exhibits key aspects of counselling: helping relationship, empowerment, the confidentiality of the client and helping client to use his resources as discussed by (Hough, 2014). The counsellor has shown a unique form of communication that can result in a contract with the client. He also assures the client of his confidentiality and has again offered a non-judgmental help.

Therapeutic Approach Analysis

In the counselling practice session, the counsellor uses psychoanalysis, psychodynamic therapies and humanistic therapy. Psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapies aim at changing the problematic behaviour, thoughts, feelings and motivations of the patient (Gaskin & Cadeyrn, 2014). When applied, the client and the counsellor develop a close working relationship. The counsellor understood the patient’s feelings and motivations on why he needed to resolve the matter. For example, the counsellor tells that the client was concerned that the wife’s behaviour would affect the children, and this made it possible to develop a working relationship towards solving the problem. The counsellor also applies a humanistic approach. This approach has been found to increase the client’s commitment to the recovery process since they feel that they are accepted, as argued by (Hicks, Alexander, & Jones, 2016). For example, he does not consider herself as the final authority. Instead, he allows the patient to tell her story and tell only what he thinks he will be comfortable to share with a stranger. It can be argued that the counsellor is employing a client-centred therapy approach.

Goal-Setting Skills

Goal setting is among the basic skills of an effective counselling session. Setting goals aims to identify the process and steps that will help the client to get rid of their problem (Rose & Smith, 2018). In the counselling practice session, the goal of the client is to create a good relationship with his wife. In the session, the goal-setting was not properly done. Although the counsellor agreed to help the client to overcome the problem, he failed to identify possible steps that could be followed to attain the desired outcomes. According to Levack et al. (2015), goals should be SMART, meaning they should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-related. These attributes were not considered while setting recovery goals for the client.

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Referral Process Needed

The counsellor might be unable to resolve the patient’s problem; hence the need for the referral. The counsellor is required to make a referral to other practitioners or therapists when appropriate (Shaw, 2014). For the marriage relationship problem, the religion-based counselling, family therapy, couple counselling, tailored program or marriage-friendly therapy would be appropriate (Petch, Lee, Huntingdon, & Murray, 2014). Since the biggest cause of the problem is the wife, marriage-friendly therapy, family therapy, and couples counselling referrals would be the most appropriate for the client. Couple counselling is essential since it is based on working with both marriage partners (Shaw, 2014). This referral will give both the partners a chance to share what might be putting them away from each other and perhaps find a ground for reconciliation. The whole family therapy referral might also be needed since, as per the client, the whole family has been affected by the wife’s volatile behaviour as studied by (Petch, Lee, Huntingdon, & Murray, 2014).  If it is difficult to repair the tattered relationship between the client and his wife, the marriage-friendly therapy referral should be considered.

Therapeutic Alliance

In the counselling session, the counsellor adopted a close working relationship with the client by showing empathy. The alliance presents the counsellor as a friend who understands the patient’s problem and is ready to walk with him throughout the journey of recovery. Finlay (2019) argues that therapeutic relationship enables the counsellor and the client to connect, an alliance that helps to achieve positive change in the patient’s life. Simpson & Reid (2014) found that therapeutic alliance is essential since it leads to the creation of a trust that enables the client to be themselves while interacting with the counsellor; thus accelerating the recovery process.

Strengths and Weaknesses

The strength of this counselling session is rooted in the counsellor’s effectiveness in employing client-centred therapy. The counsellor does not act as the final authority of the patient on how to tell their story or on what to do. Instead, he gives the client an avenue to comfortably tell his story, including what he has done and what he thinks should be done to overcome the marriage relationship difficulties. The application of empathy plays a leading role in creating a comfortable environment for the client to explain his concerns. The counsellor has also mastered the art of solution-focused therapy (SFT). The deep analysis shows that the counsellor is using a series of well-thought questions to establish the past problems’ role in the present situation and therapy that the client might need. In doing so, the counsellor investigates the client’s current problems to determine the needed changes, as discussed by (Chan, Berven, & Thomas, 2015). Despite the strengths, the counselling session portrays an instance of weakness as it seems to have directed therapy outcomes. To overcome this, the counsellor should wear psychoanalyst’s shoes and concentrate on facilitating a comfortable and trusting environment to ease the progress.


Understanding the clients’ problem and creating a comfortable environment for them to share their concerns are essential components for their quick recovery. The counsellor in the video has embraced basic counselling skills and concepts that help to create a comfortable interaction and influences the client to share his problem. However, the counsellor seems to have predetermined counselling goals. As such, it is recommended that the counsellor should embrace psychoanalysis to establish therapeutic techniques that will help the client to address his concerns.


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