219 – Common Factors in Counselling
How to Write Counselling Notes – Importance of Networking for Counsellors
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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Links and Resources
Advanced Certificate in Counselling Supervision
Basic Counselling Skills: A Student Guide
Counselling Theory in Practice: A Student Guide
Online and Telephone Counselling: A Practitioner’s Guide