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A Counselors Values – To Share or Not To Share

Posted Dec 09 2010 12:00am


There are a lot of different values, and a lot of different opinions about each value.  There are people who, when they feel strongly abut their values, make sure everyone knows how they feel by voicing them loudly and repeatedly.  This is one way a counselor can influence clients with their own beliefs, a couple of other ways counselors can influence clients to adopt their values would be talking about how they feel about one subject over and over again and also with their body language.  Body language can portray how a counselor feels when a client is talking about a subject the counselor feels strongly about.

Then there are people who, even when they feel strongly about their values, are able to live by them and explain how they feel only when asked.  These people let their values be known through their actions and attitude.  I believe a counselor should be one of these people.

When you live by your values people can get to know you and get a sense of what you are about.  When they become curious about how or why you live your life this way, that is the appropriate time to say, yes I believe in Jesus, I am a Christian.  In a counselor/client relationship, I believe after you have matter-of-factly given your belief you should then bring the conversation back around to the patient by asking what religion are you, or even, do you have a religion.  I don’t think any session should dwell on the counselor’s beliefs or values.

There are counselors who feel it is a good idea to talk about religion with your clients but, my first instinct is to refer a client to a church counselor when the session became to deeply encompassed by religion.  If you can stay objective and are knowledgeable about the different religions being investigated by the client, then it is probably ok to discuss religion in a session.

By communicating with the client and investigating the different aspects of the religion(s) he or she is interested in, it opens the door to something that wasn’t there before.  The conversation can become a very useful tool in helping clients better themselves, even if it isn’t through religion.

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