ACA Blog

Nov 12, 2013

The Invisible Product of Counseling: Six Suggestions for Coping

How do we know if we are helping? 

As counselors we rely on multiple sources of information in order to learn whether clients are meeting their treatment goals. For example: assessment instruments; clients’ reports; family members; and other professionals’ evaluations. 

In spite of our best efforts, it is sometimes hard to tell whether we are making any progress. When the product of counseling is invisible we doubt our abilities. 

NOTE: Here I will not discuss cases where we have failed to provide appropriate care. 

What if we have acted in the client’s best interest and we still do not see any positive change? What if problems are chronic and progress is so small that it is hard to see with a magnifying glass? How do we remain optimistic?  How do we find meaning in our work? How do we protect ourselves from burnout? 

Why does a seasoned counselor find himself daydreaming about becoming a carpenter? How do we materialize the products of our work?

Here are six suggestions:

1. SELF-AWARENESS. Do the type of setting and population of clients match your professional strengths? Do you thrive in crises? Do you feel demoralized when working with chronically ill patients? Do you value more the ‘baby’ steps your clients take over time under your steady guidance?

2. WRITING. Journal. Blog. Publish an article.  

3. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT. Frame your certificates. Update your resume. Attend additional training. Do you not have a sense of pride of your professionalism when you see all your education and credentials in print?

4. SHARE WHAT YOU KNOW. Teach. Mentor. Supervise. Share the lessons you have learned with others. It is rewarding.  

5. COOK. Work in your garden. Decorate. Take a class in auto mechanics or photography. Engage in hands-on activities. 

6. CELEBRATE progress with clients. Discuss activities or rituals that are meaningful for them. 

We must continue to seek the balance. We live in a material world “but eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart.” (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince)  
________________________________________________________________________
Maya Georgieva is a counselor with a keen interest in child maltreatment prevention. She is a doctoral student in Counselor Education and Supervision at Marymount University and a volunteer crisis worker. 

Contact Name

Contact Title

Contact Email

Contact Phone

Related Info

Comment

  1. RadEditor - HTML WYSIWYG Editor. MS Word-like content editing experience thanks to a rich set of formatting tools, dropdowns, dialogs, system modules and built-in spell-check.
    RadEditor's components - toolbar, content area, modes and modules
       
    Toolbar's wrapper 
     
    Content area wrapper
    RadEditor's bottom area: Design, Html and Preview modes, Statistics module and resize handle.
    It contains RadEditor's Modes/views (HTML, Design and Preview), Statistics and Resizer
    Editor Mode buttonsStatistics moduleEditor resizer
      
    RadEditor's Modules - special tools used to provide extra information such as Tag Inspector, Real Time HTML Viewer, Tag Properties and other.
       

Join/Reinstate Your ACA and Division Memberships Today

  • Maximize your Professional Development
  • Learn more about your specialty—join a division
  • Stay ahead of the educational learning curve
  • Advocate for the counseling care of tomorrow
  • Expand your networking connections

Learn More

Join Now!
HPSO