Please provide a brief and detailed response to each comments. Please read the attached document for further instructions.
Feedback responses to peers
DQ#1: How are you feeling about your skills as a counselor? Is there a particular area of concern?
My time during the pre-practicum has been a rollercoaster ride with ups and downs with building skills. The ups during my pre-practicum were observing (shadowing) other interns and licensed therapist. I was able to witness the different methods the therapist uses with a client. The time shadowing allowed me to identify my person-center approach skills to be able to work on personal and growth development with my clients. I found my skills connecting with the client is my strongest skill. My midpoint skill is finding the appropriate theory for each client needs. I have used CBT for coping skills, mindfulness to guide reframing negative thinking and breathing techniques. Also, I am beginning inner child work with a client with childhood trauma. However, my weakest skill is staying on track with my dap notes and diagnostic evaluations. I have to say not receiving proper training on the system and having back to back clientele placed me in a stressful situation to complete all required documentation. Therefore, my stress level has been a concern to complete the required documents due to the policies.
Being a Registered Dietitian for a long time, I am used to counseling individuals, and learned how to build a rapport with my clients, even when they were not in the mood to talk at that time. I just had to let them be who they are until the time was right for them. Now, being in the Mental Health arena for counseling has been exciting and nerve wracking to say the least. Some days you just do not know what you are going to walk into. In my short time period I just had to take some situations with a grain of salt, because it is not about me, so not to take thing personally.
Learning to work with individuals who have severe hallucinations has been interesting. I had one individual who barely talked to any of the counselors, then this past week he was telling me elaborate story, at first I did not know how to take the situation and he got upset at a comment that I made, about family, however, I realized what was going on and turned the situation around and commented that in Gods sight we are all family and he calmed right down. So you never know where an individual is coming from at the time. Getting a hold of their chart before seeing the individual is very helpful. The more exposure I get the more comfortable I will feel.
Good afternoon Catherine
After 8 weeks of getting my first field experience at my practicum site, I feel as though my skills are pretty good as a counselor. I say this because during my experience I have been able to facilitate more than a dozen of substance abuse (SA) groups on my own with confidence. I have been able to engage clients to willingly open up and share their experiences, challenge them and cause them to have a different perspective about their behaviors while in recovery. Being an African American counselor at an inner city facility in Newark, NJ, the minority population with whom I’m working with have been receptive of having someone that looks like them, trying to help them; so they have allow me to do my job as best as I can.
There are 3 areas of concern I have had:
1. Dealing with disruptive clients or clients that want to be distant and not participate in-group sessions. After consulting with my supervisor, he advised me to try motivational interviewing with those type of clients; which I had tried and seen the difference.
2. Diagnosing clients- after reviewing assessments and all the symptoms the client is experiencing, I realize that the DSM has a few diagnoses in which the criteria is close in nature; especially when it comes anxiety, depression; so I have to be patient and not jump and try to diagnose someone based on the first criteria in which the client can fall under
3. My orientation- I initially believed a counselor should choose an orientation and stick to it during their practice. But the more SA groups I was able to facilitate, I realized that trying to implement certain CBT interventions amongst a group with mostly Drug Court clients wasn’t effective. I then tried a Person Centered approach in which I allow the clients do most of the work and I was able to see an immediate difference. I guess my main concern now is can a counselor sustain having one orientation for group sessions and a different one during individual sessions.
Good afternoon Michael
DQ#2. What has been the most helpful in developing counseling skills and knowledge? Be specific
In developing counseling skills, observations have by far been the most helpful. Whether I am observing sessions, group therapy or watching videos of the clinics sessions it has been extremely helpful in growing my skill set. Particularly at my site, once I have watched a session I usually meet with the counselor to go over things. I can ask questions and they can provide me some insight on why the guided the session the way they did. One thing I have started doing was to write down what modality I felt they were using (theraplay, solution focused, cbt, etc.) and then see if I am right and explore that.
Good afternoon Irais
So far at the practicum site I received some training on the history of many issues that are prominently seen in therapy, however education is continuous no matter how long I will be helping others. Now, if at any time, I feel uncomfortable with an assignment I can notify my supervisor for directives such as an alternative treatment program. Without a broad understanding and an interest in self-development, I will be unable to effectively support clients through the counseling process. I learned that some basic skills in counseling are a counselor's enthusiasm, confidence, and belief in the client's ability to change and that these behaviors are incredibly important in client outcomes, perhaps more important than theory or technique.
Good afternoon Gloria
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