023 – Lone Working – Stereotypes – Creating a Brochure – Referencing
In episode 23 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, Rory Lees-Oakes and Ken Kelly discuss lone working. ‘Theory with Rory’ looks at stereotyping, and ‘Person-Centred Business’ explains how to create a brochure about your services. Finally, the presenters describe how to get the referencing right in your assignments.
If your counselling work involves you visiting clients in their homes, or seeing clients alone at your home, it is important to consider how best to ensure you stay safe. Rory and Ken give some top tips on this:
- Plan ahead for every eventuality.
- If working for an agency, make sure you are aware of its lone-working policy.
- Develop a system so that if you fail to return from an appointment, someone can find out where you were going.
- Always carry a mobile phone, but do not over-rely on it – in an emergency, it would not necessarily be straightforward to use it, and trying to do so may even distract you from what is going on around you.
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust offers excellent advice and resources to help keep lone workers safe.
Our experience of past events can influence how we view future interactions (so acting as a type of defence mechanism), but we do not always need direct experience in order to stereotype. For example, we can be heavily influenced by the media and by authority (e.g., government).
The term ‘stereotype’ was coined in the 1920s by Walter Lippman, in his book Public Opinion. Charles Ramirez Berg, Professor of Media Studies at the University of Texas, described aspects of stereotyping in his book Latino Images in Film: Stereotypes, Subversion, and Resistance. Rory describes seven of these aspects:
- Stereotypes are applied with rigid logic.
- Stereotypes may have a basis in fact – termed the ‘kernel of truth’ by psychologist Joshua Fishman.
- Stereotypes are believed – with psychologist Gordon Allport theorising that attitude to a group is usually bonded to a belief about the group.
- Stereotypes are simplified generalisations – the complete opposite to what counselling and psychotherapy are all about.
- Stereotypes can be ideological – created by power and authority to achieve dominance of their ideas.
- The in-group stereotypes itself – meaning that clients who are members of such groups may struggle to see themselves as individuals.
- The antidote to stereotyping is knowledge – meaning we must educate ourselves (through our own research – not by asking clients) if we are to provide the best service to our clients.
Rory uses examples to illustrate how these aspects of stereotyping relate to the world of counselling and psychotherapy, including a story of what can happen if a counsellor relies on stereotypes as the basis of offering supportive services to individuals.
Creating a Brochure
In podcast 22, Ken looked at providing a free introductory meeting with a potential new client. At this, it is useful to give them some written materials, e.g. a copy of your contract and a brochure. You can also display brochures in public places (e.g. health centres and libraries) for people to pick up.
Here, Ken looks at the content, structure and low-cost printing of your brochure. He advises using an A4 tri-fold format (i.e. A4 folded into three). This size fits standard brochure stands. It gives six long thin panels on which to display your information:
- front panel
- back panel
- introductory panel (the panel you see when you open the front panel)
- the three inside panels (which together form one A4 landscape sheet).
To pass your assignments, it is important to reference all your sources accurately. If you are not used to referencing, it can feel like trying to crack a secret code; here, Ken and Rory take the pain out of this process. The key requirement is that the person reading your work must be able to access any source you have drawn from (for quotes or particular ideas).
There are different systems of referencing, so make sure you follow the one that your course provider requires. One of the most widely used is the Harvard system. Rory refers to some online resources that make Harvard referencing much easier: reference generators from Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Sunderland, and a barcode scanner. Another good source of support is Rory’s guide Getting Your Assignment in Order, available on the Counselling Study Resource (CSR).