Counseling is one of the noblest professions, if ateacherteaches minds, and doctors heal bodies, a counselor revives man’s spirit and inspires others to live more fully. It is both a challenge and a vocation to be a counselor because one must be physically and mentally present to those who come for help. Counselors are still humans despite the breadth of their responsibilities to help others, and they are also prone to experience burnout and exhausted in their jobs.
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A counselor’s well-being and state of mentalhealthis equally important to the training he/she has received in the counseling profession, counselors must have a strong sense of self and be able to deal effectively with his/her stressors in order to become effective counselors (Campbell, 2000). David has been working as a counselor for many years have probably experienced the signs of burnout; not wanting to work, exhaustion, sluggishness and unhappiness. Burnout results when the counselor has not given importance to his own personal care.
David must nurture his own well-being and seek ways for him to become more effective in his job. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that would help David, he could place himself in different types of supervision-individual, group and peer. Under individual supervision, David would have the opportunity to work closely with a more experienced counselor. The role of the supervisor is to constantly check and evaluate David’s performance and the difficulties he may experience in a particular case (Campbell, 2000).
David can benefit from individual supervision if he is willing to establish a working and mentoring relationship with the supervisor. David on the other hand, must not feel threatened to be scrutinized and made to face his own issues. In individual supervision, David can learn from the more experienced counselor by discussing with him/her how to handle certain cases, what approaches to use on clients that have specific problems as well as learn new developments in the counseling profession. If David decides to place himself in peer supervision, he will work together with colleagues in resolving personal dilemmas and difficult cases.
There will be no designated official supervisor and everyone interacts and shares his/her views, professional know-how and experience to enrich others (Campbell, 2000). Peer supervision is actually like a support group in function; it is valuable in terms of establishing friendships with similar jobs, hence every member of the group can relate to what is being experienced. David can benefit from peer supervision if he can work with others on equal footing, without structure and a leader and if his clients are actually more sensitive than others which make it difficult to share with those who do not have the same clients.
Another option for David is group supervision, in this type of supervision, David works with other counselors as a group and they invite a seasoned professional or expert counselor to provide valuable input on their problems and difficulties (Campbell, 2000). The benefits of being in group supervision is that David can learn from other counselors and at the same time receives feedback from an expert as to how they could do it better and be more effective in their jobs. Group supervision is actually a good set-up if David can find like minded counselors who are receptive to supervision and who have similar cases.
The strengths of counseling supervision is that the counselor does not feel that he is alone and that there are persons he can turn to for technical expertise andfriendship(Campbell, 2000). Individual supervision allows one-on-one evaluation and feedback, it removes the threat of being embarrassed in front of others and the counselor can decide his supervision program. The drawback is that it is difficult to find an expert counselor who has the time to work with individually.
And if the counselor and the supervisor has established rapport and become close friends it is very difficult to maintain objectivity in the process. In peer supervision, there is the added bonus of having a group that everyone can share and be heard and no one is there to criticize but to help others learn. The negative side is that because it is not structured, the group meetings may not actually respond to the needs of all the members and since there is no supervisor, no one is there to check whether one is doing the right thing.
Lastly, group supervision offers a class-like set-up which many find appropriate when it comes to professional growth, however because it is a group, the expert may not have enough time to address the needs of all the members and it may take longer for a certain issue to be discussed even if it is an immediate need for the counselor. Reference Campbell, J. (2000). Becoming and effective supervisor: A workbook for counselors and psychotherapists. Philadelphia, PN: Accelerated Development.