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Different Social, Economic, Culture, and Sexual Contexts (Essay Sample)


Please include :
Power issues relating to counselling in general.
Specific examples from practice which illustrate the points raised.
Particular issues/ considerations when working within the Person-Centred Approach.
Please check some of the books :
The dynamics of power in counselling and psychotherapy by Gillian Proctor.
Carl Rogers on personal power.
Carl Rogers counsels a black client
The person-centred counselling and psychotherapy handbook. Edited by Colin Lago & Divine Charura. Foreword by Natalie Rogers.
Double spaced please.


Counselling Relationship, Focusing On the Different Social, Economic, Culture, and Sexual Contexts Name
Institution of Affiliation
Counselling Relationship, Focusing On the Different Social, Economic, Culture, and Sexual Contexts
The counsellor and client relationship is critical in supporting patients to deal with any issues they have in their life. The client, however, approaches the counsellor from a vulnerable position, noting that the client must trust the counsellors’ knowledge, skill and ability to utilise them. This creates a power differential which if unfettered can be abused to the detriment of the client. Counselling psychology is based on the ability of the client and counsellor to create a relationship. The relationship in a perfect situation should be balanced. However, this scenario is not the norm, the client is in most instances in a position of vulnerability there are power dynamics at play in any relationship. This is more pronounced in a counselling relationship.
The paper, therefore, considers the issues of power within the counselling relationship. The paper will examine the different social, economic, culture, and sexual contexts in which counsellor and client meet. The paper will apply a case study paradigm to the question at hand. The paper will attempt to determine how power affects counselling and how it can be manipulated to best serve the client’s interests. The paper will also examine the positions of ethics as a counter balance to the power differential.
It is important to appreciate the meaning of power as applied in the counselling psychology context. Power in this instance refers to the innate or learned ability of an individual to exert influence on the behaviour of another. Where used appropriately, power is an essential tool in a psychologist’s armoury. Utilised effectively it can allow the counsellor to support a client in stopping the detrimental behaviour and adopting good behaviour. Power can be utilised to influence the thoughts, feelings, belief systems or behaviour of others. The exercise of power is not limited to psychology. It is a distinctly human trait. It uses, or lack of use thereof, allows one to manipulate the world around them (Proctor, 2002).
The balance of power and the dynamics surrounding it are essential in any relationship. There are two types or power balance systems; symmetrical and asymmetrical. In a symmetrical balance of power, power is divided in equal or near equal terms. The asymmetrical balance of power occurs where one partner in a given relationship has more power than another. A potent case is a parent-child dichotomy, where the parent has more power than the child. In a symmetrical relationship, a number of features are evident. These include;
• Both partners have equal value in the relationship
• Mutual respect
• Respect for feelings and the interests of the other partner
• Where there are miscommunications; the partners take active steps to resolve these issues
In explaining, the balance of power and symmetrical relationships. It emerges that there is a distinct imbalance of power in the counsellor to client relationship. It is necessary, therefore, to appreciate the counsellor is in a position of privilege. The counsellor can, therefore, profit from this relationship at the expense of the client. In the following section, the paper explores the different contexts in which counsellor and clients meet and form relationships. The key question is determining if the counsellor can profit from these relationships and in what manner.
The Person Centred Approach
The person-centred approach was advanced by Carl Rogers. The approach argues that psychology particularly counselling psychology would benefit from a warmer environment and relationship bet...
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