For those of you thinking of entering the counseling field, here are few tips that will enable to you to look, feel and sound more confident.
1. Create a list of “buzzwords” to be used when meeting with clients, consulting with colleagues and writing reports. Here are few examples.
- touch base
- drop the ball
- root cause
- piggy back
- speak to
2. Nod your head while speaking. This not only affirms the importance of what you are saying but notifies the client that your opinion is correct and should not be challenged.
3. Emulate your favorite pop culture therapist. Daytime TV and self-help book shelves are filled with straight-talking-tell-it-like-it-is soothsayers. There is always room for one more Dr. Phil or Dr. Laura.
4. Try to appear culturally competent by hanging a Native American dream catcher or a poster of Martin Luther King Jr. on your wall. If you can, learn a few Spanish phrases.
5. The root cause of all of the client’s issues can be blamed on his or her father. Regardless of the complaint all therapeutic paths lead to dad.
6. Make sure that everything you say, especially statements, sound like questions? Be sure to raise your pitch at the end of each sentence? That way your client will really know you care?
7. Don’t hesitate to use your work as an opportunity to sort out your own issues. Remember, therapy is a two-way street.
8. Always state the obvious. If a client tells a horrific tale of abuse, neglect, and emotional distress there are no more comforting words than, “That must have been hard.”
9. When leading a group therapy session be sure to make at least three people cry. If there are no tears, there is no therapy.
10. Most importantly, counseling is about showing compassion, without really caring.