In counseling in general clients usually bring their problems. To my understanding the main role of counselor is not solving clients problems but help them to find opportunities to build solutions for their problems. Clients are responding by describing a problem, where counselor is gathering information and evaluating what approach will be most appropriate and successful. The foundation of client-counselor relationship should be based on mutual trust and respect, which cannot be gained over one-time session along. Without trust clients will be unlikely to contact for services or follow recommendations. Some clients can be very defensive (court-ordered) and maintain denial of any existing problem in their lives. Each counselor has unique style and skills to work with clients. Even a counselor's gender can can play in affect with approach. Seems to me, ladies-counselors have more tendency to nurturing style comparing with men'. In our family program client has a right to chose another counselor, if he/she believes it will meet better client's needs. Basic interviewing skills such as:
- Active Listening
- Formulating questions (Miracle questions/ Open-Closed questions)
- Getting details
- Echoing client's words
- Non-verbal responses
- Complimenting, etc
are all can be effectively used during assessment.
The mission of counselors (consultants) is to empower clients with more knowledge and encourage to live life more productively. If counselors only focus on clients problems or disorders, clients may feel that they are victims of dysfunctional life. Helping clients to discover their own potential for recovery, find their own strength, motivating them to manage new life style skills and most important believing in and supporting in their progress will contribute to success of intervention outcome.