Characteristics OF THE COUNSELOR: Genuineness, Empathy, Warmth, Unconditional Optimistic Regard

Genuineness, empathy, warmth, and unconditional constructive regard are the main counselor attributes. Some men and women possess these features since of their philosophy and identity. Other folks can establish them by means of awareness and follow.


By genuineness I am referring to sincerity, and this is something that is conveyed by suggests of eye get hold of and facial expression. I am speaking non-verbally that what my consumer has to say is of the best worth and I am definitely fascinated in it. So I communicate of genuineness as opposed to becoming mechanical a counselor who takes advantage of inventory phrases or who uses as well significantly or misplaced humour and does not consider the shopper seriously sufficient is not heading to be equipped to come throughout with genuineness and sincerity.

Currently being genuine genuine. Which carries together with it the significance of remaining one’s self as a substitute of putting on some sort of job. In other text the way you are as a counselor in conditions of your all round style and the way you arrive throughout needs to be the way you are in any partnership or problem. It is not a part, or a hat that you put on and consider off. Insincerity could be communicated when the counselor seems absent, becoming simply distracted, looking at his enjoy, yawning demonstrating by these behaviours that he seriously is not interested in the client’s issues.

Is this sincerity and genuineness a cultural detail? Or is it cross-cultural? In North The usa there seems to be an emphasis on sincerity in associations. If someone’s not sincere in a relationship persons never like it as a great deal, whilst in Europe you can find more give-and-choose and they take on roles far more conveniently.

There may be distinctive signals of sincerity. For example, in some cultures the emphasis on eye get in touch with wouldn’t be as excellent as in the Western culture. In indigenous culture, or black tradition, and some other cultures you can find a obvious lack of eye get in touch with or various eye call as compared to Western cultures. For illustration, in some non-white cultures, the man or woman may perhaps search at you when talking and seem absent when listening which you might interpret as not listening if you are not conscious of the tailor made. Eye get in touch with can be distinctive for adult males and ladies girls are likely not to glance adult males in the eyes, primarily in some Jap cultures which are patriarchal.

seating arrangement

One more issue to make below is relating to seating arrangement and physique language in counseling. In addition to frequent eye get in touch with, sitting with your legs uncrossed and with your arms uncrossed resting on the arms of the chair, could talk a peaceful openness to the client.

Also, in conditions of the angle of the chairs, about a 100 degree or a small extra than a 90 diploma angle tends to increase the comfort and ease of the customer since this enables him to seem earlier the counselor without having turning his head away. Whereas if chairs are straight experiencing just about every other, this tends to established up a sense of confrontation. The length of the chairs ought to be no far more than a few ft and not closer than two toes. This array communicates support, whereas if the chairs are too close, I may possibly converse intrusiveness or if the chairs are far too significantly aside, I may perhaps talk a deficiency of help for the shopper. Non-verbal rapport is important to the counseling connection.


The upcoming excellent is empathy. I am talking especially of exact empathy, the ability to be linked to the feelings, to the feelings of the customer. So if the client is feeling sad, the counselor needs to have a sense of that sadness and be in a position to mirror it in voice tone and facial expression.

For example, I had a customer whose tiny boy was killed by a city utility truck, and as she talked about the incident she was emotion unhappy and I felt very unhappy as properly. Now I feel it was uncomplicated for me to join due to the fact I have a very little boy, and at the time he was six or so, about the age her minor boy was. I observed that I was equipped to feel incredibly unfortunate. In fact it was all I could do to retain from breaking down and crying.

A rule of thumb with your empathy is not to make it possible for your very own emotions of sadness to overshadow the expression of your client’s disappointment. So if I have been to crack down and cry and my consumer is just feeling sad, but not crying, then that may well have a certain impact on my client. Can you visualize what that may be? She’d sense like she had to cry. She results in being a caregiver. So the roles get reversed. She could develop into the caregiver. The target would be taken absent from the shopper. Also, I may well be witnessed as fragile and as somebody who essential to be secured from the client’s soreness. So the client may are inclined to keep back again her agonizing activities for panic that I may well break down and cry. I might surface to be overly sensitive and fragile.

Empathy is conveyed in non-verbal means these types of as tearing or a frown if the client’s sensation is sadness. Continue to keep in brain that empathy should also be genuinely felt and genuinely mirrored. Any insincerity from the counselor will erode the client’s sensation of security.

Basically I will be mirroring the emotional articles or the thoughts of my client no matter whether the experience is anger, disappointment, panic, or some other sensation. Some counselors have reported that empathy is the most therapeutic counselor high quality because it lends assist to the client’s soreness.

Empathy may also be conveyed verbally in the voice tone. And so I will converse with empathic reflections. This is a assertion that displays back again what the customer has been declaring, accompanied by a sensation term. An empathic reflective assertion would be, “So you happen to be sensation sad due to the fact your superior mate just moved absent, is that what you happen to be experience?”

When you as the counselor display tears what does the consumer understand? Is the customer heading to think you do not really realize or is he likely to become defensive? If your tears are an accurate reflection of the client’s sensation, and if your expression of sensation is a minimal bit much less than the client’s expression of emotion, your empathy is possible to be recognized as guidance. However, one thing else that might happen is that the client’s personal engagement of emotion is terrifying for him so that he withdraws. This is an issue of the client’s not sensation safe and sound with himself or probably with you, which I will speak about in a several minutes.


The future excellent is heat, and here I am speaking about non-possessive warmth, as opposed to amazing detachment. Warmth is caring that is conveyed in a comfortable and gentle voice tone and facial expression. Heat may possibly be conveyed in a non-verbal way and a non-possessive way. Now what would possessive heat be? Smothering. Too sensitive-feely. Smothering in that way. In a physical way, giving way too much bodily caring. Often a counselor will like to give out hugs or want to hug a customer additional for the counselor’s personal requirements than for the client. And so that can grow to be possessive.

A female counselor was mentioning that she would touch and in some cases have it misread. It wasn’t a extended call, just a touch. So the customer was interpreting any physical make contact with as something possessive. I want to communicate about touching a small more when we get down to boundaries touching is a boundary concern.

Verbal heat can be skilled as possessive if it is excessive in terms of the heat voice tone or in conditions of verbal material if it is overstated. This might be perceived as lacking sincerity or as superficial and shallow, or if it is perceived as honest it is seasoned as staying also mothering and protective or condescending, dealing with the client way too substantially as a little one.

We can have an understanding of warmth by its reverse good quality which is to be chilly. In this circumstance the voice tone is emotionally flat, detached and mechanical, and verbal content may well have a tendency to understate the client’s plight. It is a fashion which communicates aloofness, length, and unconcern.

unconditional good regard

Another important attribute is unconditional favourable regard. Some individuals imagine that this is the most healing or therapeutic issue that a counselor can offer. This indicates a specific mental mind-set: that the client’s difficulties and thoughts are of the finest great importance. This session is the most critical session for the shopper, and the customer himself is as beneficial as the most highly revered person on earth even if he does not believe that he is.

I am relating to the client’s conduct, no matter how self-damaging or even harmful of other people it may be, as obtaining a story guiding it that enables it to make perception, that will make it understandable even though the customer is accountable for deciding on it.

The perception is that a man or woman will make decisions that are greatest for himself if he is mindful of all the attainable options. If I have this ability to express unconditional positive regard it is heading to be probable for me to sincerely validate my customer, to provide all my best capability and skills to the session, to pay attention and focus on the client, to acknowledge the client’s rate and approach of restoration.

That would be like obtaining Charles Manson, the mass-assassin, as a client. Indeed, he killed a great deal of individuals, having said that, he does have the probability or the potential for change. So he is right here and my process is to help him to be the very best person that he can be from what seems to be the worst.

You see the human being as owning intrinsic worth aside from his conduct, and you see his conduct as obtaining an understandable tale at the rear of it. And that will let us to be equipped to keep on being in a aiding situation with our customer. There could be some types of individuals, this kind of as Charles Manson, that we would not be capable to preserve an unconditional positive regard for. What are some other forms of purchasers that you could have issues with? Most likely sexual offenders, serial killers, rapists, baby abusers.

Could that potentially be why they are some of the hardest to remedy or adjust? It is hard to come across individuals who are ready to do the job with these varieties of men and women. It can be complicated for a counselor to get the job done in those people instances and however different himself to these an extent that he gets to be a part of the answer alternatively than portion of the difficulty. It can be a obstacle to preserve from reacting judgmentally and lose one’s efficiency in that way. So what ought to we do if we can not manage unconditional good regard for a client? Have him request another person else, perhaps. In this circumstance you might say, “I’m not confident I will be capable to enable you as considerably as you could have to have.” Make a referral and individual it as your trouble that you you should not have the techniques to support him.

When you say to the shopper, “I really don’t come to feel that I have the abilities that you have to have to get the help that you need,” you exhibit you are accepting duty for your restrictions, fairly than blaming the shopper. Together with that goes the capability to be non-judgmental. I need to have to be capable to regard the client’s conduct in terms of behaviours which get the job done properly and which do not do the job perfectly for the client’s working, relatively than in moral conditions. So we have to have to be aware of the array of judgmental phrases to bee still left out of the counseling connection and still left out of our counseling vocabulary.

Rather than say to a customer, “Do you think that’s intelligent or do you assume that is correct?” I’m likely to say, “Does that do the job effectively for you?”

The question is what operates properly in associations and what doesn’t do the job very well, relatively than what conduct is correct or what behaviour is incorrect. Terms like inconsiderate, or imprudent, or unwise, irresponsible, appropriate or wrong, fantastic or undesirable, are judgmental conditions. Unconditional optimistic regard goes beyond getting non-judgmental and most definitely features remaining non-judgmental. The shopper generally provides way too considerably self-judgment with him, so he does not have to have ours piled on major of his.

You have unconditional favourable regard for the shopper to the degree you have it for you that very same degree for someone else. So I consider it’s a make any difference of degrees… probably to notice how foolish it would be and I’m at 60 or 70 percent of my capacity to be non-judgmental and that’s the way it is and putting apart that and continue to currently being as thoroughly open up as possible. I signify there is certainly no 100%.

There is a stage where by you pick out not to be judgmental. I might experience judgmental but a customer isn’t going to have to know that. I can opt for not to categorical it I can filter that out. The preference of leaving your stuff guiding and heading there without having your things so it would not get in the way of your get the job done with the client.

The consumer is now self-blaming adequate previously bringing sufficient self-judgment and guilt with him, so he doesn’t have to have your judgment of him. The dependent shopper may possibly make it possible for you to judge him and he will return to the session. In any scenario, judgment tends to erode basic safety.

The counselor can be viewed very similar to a defence law firm who is appointed by the court docket to defend and aid the consumer. You can’t make any judgments and you give unconditional assistance. It is really as if the client tends to be his very own prosecutor and offers the adverse self-discuss, for illustration.

It has to do with a elementary check out of humanity that everyone is honest and nicely-intentioned and that people have difficulty behaviours for comprehensible motives. In other phrases, a shopper could not have been dependable for beginning his unhealthy styles that ended up adopted as a indicates of surviving distressing lifestyle encounters. Nonetheless, while the person was accountable for setting up the patterns and though they appeared to get the job done well through childhood for example, the consumer is liable for perpetuating individuals styles in adult lifestyle, and they do not perform effectively now or he would not be in counseling. Maybe there was an abusive background or there was unhealthy parental modeling, there was a tragic decline of a loved a person, for case in point, and these encounters resulted in some adaptive conduct that does not do the job perfectly in grownup lifestyle and relationships.

There is generally a story there that will allow the client’s conduct or issues to make sense and that allows us to continue being non-judgmental of the consumer and to retain good regard. I just lately read a counselor inform a shopper in the course of the first session, “What are you complaining about? What are you complaining about now?” Effectively that’s a pretty judgmental way to method a client, to assign to her issues the word “complain” or “complaining.”

Some counselors could justify that by expressing they are striving to elicit a transference reaction. In my see what they are doing is abusing the shopper to encourage the expression of inner thoughts the shopper has been unable to offer with. But the end does not justify the usually means. It does not justify a non-professional approach a harmful, abusive technique which could harm the consumer. If I can not forecast a therapeutic end result of my statement, I am not partaking in specialist counseling.