Common Factors in Counselling • [Podcast for Student Counsellors]

219 – Common Factors in Counselling

How to Write Counselling Notes – Importance of Networking for Counsellors

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In Episode 219 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, your hosts Rory Lees-Oakes and Ken Kelly go through this week’s three topics:

  • In ‘Counselling Foundations’ we’ll be looking at note-taking.
  • Then in ‘Focus on Self’, think about how to develop your network.
  • And lastly in ‘Practice Matters’, Rory speaks with Professor Mick Cooper on common factors in counselling.

How to Write Counselling Notes [starts at 01:52 mins]

When it comes to taking notes, everyone is likely to do it differently. However, there are a few important things to think about when it comes to taking and storing a client’s notes:

  • Purely factual information – no assumptions, guesses or interpretations.
  • Take notes of themes more than detailed specifics after the session – you should be present during the session, not trying to copy down every word the client says.
  • Maybe include any housekeeping e.g. the client arrived on time, the client has agreed and signed the contract.
  • Keep notes in a locked cabinet – take extra precautions if you keep notes digitally. Consider keeping notes on a USB and placing that in a locked cabinet.
  • When taking notes, consider that they may be looked at by someone, possibly the client.

Importance of Networking for Counsellors [starts at 15:58 mins]

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When it comes to counselling, having a wide network can be a huge benefit to your practice.

Some reasons for this include:

  • Talking to a peer count as CPD.
  • Being online now means you can speak with colleagues from further afield.
  • Allows you to double-check, or ask for a second opinion.
  • Almost like building a digital referral list.

Common Factors in Counselling [starts at 26:48 mins]

In this week’s ‘Practice Matters’, Rory speaks with Professor Mick Cooper on the common factors in counselling.

The key points of this discussion include:

  • Common factors – certain ‘ingredients’ in therapy that are the effective ones.
  • Worrying less about the model used and more about specific ‘ingredients’ e.g. empathy, congruence, transference, self-disclosure etc.
  • The most important factor in counselling is still the client and their personal motivation and engagement with the therapy – how willing they are to change.
  • Client preferences – tailoring the therapy instead of just following a model.

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Counselling Notes

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