Characteristics and Behaviors of Effective Counseling Student`s

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Characteristicsand Behaviors of Effective Counseling

Characteristicsand Behaviors of Effective Counseling

Counselingrequires focusing on change, but the counselor should not force thechange but rather allow the patient to realize the need for changethrough a carefully cross-examined process. The case of Bill is notdifferent as he requires a change in his anger issues and that thereason he is seeking counseling sessions (Cooper, 2014). As acounselor practicing therapy one has to demonstrate certaincharacteristics and behaviors that ensure the counseling sessionswith one’s clients are successful. Some of the most effectivefeatures and behaviors include being genuine, listening to theclient, being caring, and not allowing things outside the workenvironment to interfere with the help one is offering to the patient(Corey, 2015). An effective counselor should be genuine,non-judgmental, and emphatic. This case study analyzes the effectivecharacteristics and behaviors of an effective counselor.

EffectiveCharacteristics and Behaviors

Effectivecharacteristics by a therapist are important in promoting counselingsessions.

EffectiveCharacteristic One: Emphatic

Thereare many different effective characteristics that an effectivecounselor should show and one of them is the ability to understandthe client and share feelings with them. The counselor should thus beemphatic when dealing with the patient and be able to accept thesituation of the patient (Cooper, 2014). Therapists who demonstrateemphatic behaviors and show acceptance to the patient allow theirclients to open up since they feel comfortable in the company of thetherapist. For instance, in the case of Bill, he can tell thetherapist of his past and what he thinks is the source of his angerissues.

EffectiveCharacteristic Two: Non-judgmental

Anothercharacteristic of effective counseling is that as a counselor oneshould never judge the patient since the counselor may get the wrongimpression of the patient and thus affect the counseling session(Cooper, 2014). In the case of Bill, the counselor does not judgeBill for his behavior towards his family or his past experiences withhis mother. Instead, the counselor allows Bill to speak about theexperiences freely.

IneffectiveCharacteristics of Counseling

Ineffectivecharacteristics during counseling inhibit the interaction between theclient and the counselor and thus should be avoided.

IneffectiveCharacteristic One: Paraphrasing Statements of Patients

Oneof the most ineffective characteristics of counseling is paraphrasingthe statements of the client or implying something different fromwhat the patient intended to say (Cooper, 2014). When a counselordoes paraphrasing wrongly, it may affect the direction of the therapysession, and in some other cases, it may upset the client (Corey,2015). For instance, in the case of Bill, the counselor use wrongparaphrasing when he suggests to Bill that he threatens his wife andBill reacts in an unhappy manner.

IneffectiveCharacteristic Two: Losing Focus or Concentration on the Client

Anothercommon ineffective characteristic is a situation where the counselordoes not focus entirely on what the client says which demonstrates alack of listening (Cooper, 2014). Losing focus may alter the entirecounseling process and make it ineffective to the patient. Forinstance, in the case study of Bill, it is noticeable that thecounselor brings up to Bill the issues of inviting his wife to thesession which the client had not suggested. The above illustrates thetherapist focusing on other people rather than Bill.

Impactof Counselor’s Characteristics on the Session

Theclinical mental health characteristics and behaviors of a counselormay affect the counseling session. The ability of the counselor toassess and diagnose a situation and application of psychotherapy caninfluence the outcome of therapy session positively. For instance,the counselor in the case of Bill assesses the situation of Bill andconducts psychotherapy until Bill realizes he needs to change hisanger issues. The ability of the counselor to extract specificinformation from the patient is essential in assisting the patientsin overcoming their problems (Cooper, 2014).


Insummary, effective counseling characteristics and behaviors are manyincluding being genuine, emphatic, and listening. There are alsofeatures considered to be ineffective such as wrong paraphrasing andnot focusing on the patient. These characteristics may affect thetherapy session both on the negative and positive side.


Cooper,J. B. (2014). Counseling micro skills. In B.T. Erford (Ed.),Orientation to the

counselingprofession: Advocacy, Ethics, and Essential professional foundations(pp. 194-214). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson

Corey,G. (2015). Theoryand practice of counseling and psychotherapy.Nelson Education.