Professor’s Question: Could you be genuine, accepting, and empathic with all clients?

Professor’s Question:

Could you be genuine, accepting, and empathic with all clients? What types of problems or clients would present problems for you in terms of being genuine, accepting, and empathic? How would you work with clients with whom you did not feel these three conditions?

Student Discussion:

Being a professional addictions counselor, I could be genuine, accepting, and empathic with all clients. The type of clients that would present problems for me would include individuals that have abused children or adults in any way. To help deal with my feelings I would first seek supervision in which to express my feelings and gain feedback. In addition to supervision, I would seek out information or training in which to help me process my feelings in a professional manner.

 

I like how the Gestalt therapy helps clients understand how they both connect with and separate themselves from others (ACU, 2014) and from various aspects of their own life experiences. Therapy is often directed at correcting disturbances in these contact boundaries. The idea is to risk and experiment with new behaviors. When I see someone that has behaviors or act in a manner that is hurtful towards others, I no longer say “what’s wrong with the individual,” I now think “what happened to him or her” to make them act this way. Having that background knowledge does not excuse their behavior, it does however provide clarity related to their actions.