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Do you have what it takes to be an effective counsellor?

Updated: Mar 31


Post 2 of 22. Each month we will focus on a topical theme of counselling therapy, which I hope will help you in your decision to seek counselling or to become a therapist! If you're new to my blog, please do take a look at previous posts which include information on how to find a suitable therapist. Welcome to all.


It just keeps happening - you find yourself engaging with people and quickly entering into conversations of a personal nature. Friends, family and colleagues remark on your listening skills. 'Thanks for listening' is a common refrain from friends after meeting up for a coffee or a walk. Indeed, friends check-in because they need to 'talk something through' and they find you 'therapeutic'. You don't mind this, in fact you enjoy listening and being of support; you like to be of help. You've often thought, and been told, that you should consider becoming a counsellor.


Good listening skills and a willingness to help can go a long way. But there are other skills and qualities that make an effective counsellor.


Good listening skills and a willingness to help can go a long way towards offering support to those in need. But there are other skills and qualities that make an effective counsellor. The list below suggests some of the key qualities.


1 Confidence

2 Self-awareness

3 Non-judgmental

4 Empathic

5 Communicative

6 Eye for detail

7 Patience

8 Resilience

9 Ethical practice

10 Trusting

11 Pragmatic

12 Organised


Another attribute, often overlooked or found wanting, is an ability to address self-care and achieve a reasonable work-life balance. It's the key to avoiding burn-out in any helping profession. Counsellors need to be diligent when it comes to self-care. Resilience can only take us so far.




Counsellors need to be diligent when it comes to their own self-care. Resilience can only take us so far.


If you've been thinking about the possibility of becoming a counsellor and have found yourself 'ticking' the qualities listed above, why not give it some more thought? Take some time to look into what training courses are available. You could begin with an introduction to listening skills course.


You may find the following links useful:


https://www.bacp.co.uk/careers/careers-in-counselling/training/


https://www.open.ac.uk/courses/careers/counselling


https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/psychological-therapies/roles/counsellor






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