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DarbyKoogler May 1, 2023


Allied Counseling

Traditionally allies are associated with wartime because when there is a battle, it is both helpful and encouraging to have allies or helpers fighting alongside us. However, the concept of wartime allyship can be translated into everyday equity and justice mental health issues such as healthy coping and problem solving. As in, competent counselors ally with clients. Counselors and clients ally themselves though a common mission. The mission’s purpose is established through the counselor, the client, and the counseling alliance.

Allied Counselors

Counselors train for and continue development of allyship. Allied counselors must be aware of personal biases and limitations, their scope and the risks of practice, ethical guidelines and legal boundaries, and ultimately their personal and professional selves. This is continuous work through supervision and collegial support, learning and development, education and application, and ultimately awareness and reflection. As counselors attend to the work of these things, they become stronger, equipped allies. Allied strength and skill are sourced from the awareness which equips counselors to meet clients exactly as they are in their precise location.

Allied Clients

Clients call for allied reinforcements; because of the battle, clients recruit counseling allies. Just as counselors are clients’ allies, so clients are counselors’ allies because allies collaborate. The counseling relationship is collaborative—this is where we get the mental health terminology of the therapeutic alliance. Through the counseling alliance, allied support is scaffolded and strengthened. Cooperatively allied through counseling, the client identifies and engages strengths, practices healthy coping strategies, and is empowered to both decrease unwanted symptoms and increase wellness.

Allied Mission

Counselors are primed as allies because the purpose of both counseling and allyship is help. In fact, counselors are responsible to collaboratively establish the purpose and mission of the counseling relationship as they ally with clients. Counselors aid clients through empathetic, encouraging, and empowering allyship. Together, counselors and clients carry out the mission of the counseling alliance; strengthening, supporting, and helping the client .

Darby J. Koogler is a graduate counseling intern, writer, former teacher, and hopeful international school counselor.




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