Personal and professional integration is one of the most important aspects of practising counselling and psychotherapy. Without this amalgamation, counselling practice would be feeble and unethical. Just as a theory must be linked with practice, a psychotherapist should assimilate their traits with professional experience. As a student practitioner of counselling who has merely started the journey in this career, I must agree that this is a very necessary part of this profession.
In this article I will explore such an integration with basic features which will give you a significant knowledge of the blend; the theoretical reinforcements accurate to core training and clinical experience, such as client work based on case studies; challenges in that process of shaping a student as future counsellor, experience and the essence of personal therapy and supervisions, ethical issues and determination of critical reflection in therapeutic setting, including self–care as a practitioner .
The experiences of growing up in a dysfunctional environment and human curiosity about why particular people behave in one way, while others have a completely different approach in life, made me think about myself and the world that surrounds me.
My general interest as a teenager in parapsychology and theology showed me a lack in both subjects of understanding of human existence and people’s behaviour. Not wanting to surrender in the search for knowledge in this area, I came across humanistic psychology, where I found the most interesting takes on the subject of human existence and understanding of these behaviours.
Today, core training in counselling and psychotherapy has reinforced and expanded my knowledge in the field of clinical psychology. This course has good sources of evidence, and it let me cross-examine whether I have enough understanding of people and their lives, how my life looks right here and now, what I have learned from others, and what I can give to my clients; how I want to challenge them and how I can resolve my own personal dilemmas. All those questions are relevant to my inner self and were challenged during the course. Chiefly, I must learn a lot by myself to achieve the goal of every professional: being able to say, “I am good enough”.
In such an integration there is always a slight gap between the personal and professional self, which becomes smaller with every improvement thereof. During the learning process, I have had the opportunity to learn from other professionals, which has been of great help to me.
Corey states that becoming a more therapeutic person is an attribute of the counsellor who has such traits as their own identity and is open for change, “possess effective interpersonal skills” and “appreciate the influence of culture”. Such a person is always honest and authentic. With this learning process, my confidence has developed, my anxiety seems to have disappeared. As well as this, regular counselling practice and professional development workshops have helped to resolve the dilemmas in my personal and professional life.
“One of the most important instruments you have to work as a counsellor is yourself as a person”