296 – Counsellor Safety

296 – Counsellor Safety

Working with Men Abused by Women - Preparing for Your Counselling Residential

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In Episode 296 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, your hosts Rory Lees-Oakes and Ken Kelly are back with this week’s three topics:

  • First up in ‘Ethical, Sustainable Practice’, we look at counsellor safety and self-care strategies when navigating lone working.
  • Then in ‘Practice Matters’, Rory speaks with Phil Mitchell about abuse by women towards men, delving into misandry and how it is viewed.
  • And lastly in ‘Student Services’, Rory and Ken discuss preparing for your counselling residential experience.

Counsellor Safety during Lone Working [starts at 03:25 mins]

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It’s never nice to consider clients in a negative light, but when it comes to working alone we do need to give consideration to our own safety.

In this section on counsellor safety, Rory and Ken discuss some of the things you can put into place for the unlikely event that you feel you are in danger:

  • Assess a client before meeting with them alone – maybe arrange for a video or phone call.
  • Trusting your gut feelings and instincts.
  • Look at the clients’ presentations and prepare accordingly, e.g. do they struggle with angry outbursts?
  • Safety buddy – have someone that you contact before a client comes and after they have left. This is a great way to have peace of mind, and someone who is able to get help should you need it.
  • Last resort identification – have a sealed envelope containing your appointments, names and contact details that a third party can access if something happens. This saves emergency services precious time if they were in need of information on where you could be.
  • Emergency communications for counsellor safety – if something comes up during a session, you want emergency numbers to be pre-saved on a phone that you can easily access.
  • Be aware of your environment, details, and your safety.
  • One of the things to consider for your safety during counselling work is where you are sitting in the room – can you leave quickly if you need to?
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Working with Men Abused by Women [starts at 23:43 mins]

In this week’s ‘Practice Matters’, Rory speaks with Phil Mitchell about abuse by women towards men, paying special attention to misandry – the contempt for, or ingrained prejudice, against men.

The key points of this discussion include:

  • Compared to misogyny, misandry tends to be more unseen.
  • There is an imbalance in the way these attitudes and behaviours are viewed, e.g. misandry is often overlooked, or accepted.
  • Men and women experience counselling differently, they often might want a different approach, e.g. men might want something more solution-based, where women might be looking to talk through their emotions.
  • You can begin to make subtle language changes – look to reframe the client’s thinking.
  • Move away from the rigidity and beliefs around what the problem is – take a different approach.
  • You need to balance logic and emotion to have these discussions.
  • Consider the effect of media on how boys and men feel about their own masculinity.
  • It isn’t black and white, or man vs. woman.

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Preparing for Your Counselling Residential [starts at 50:51 mins]

Your counselling residential can be a pivotal moment for your personal development. In this section, Rory and Ken share some of their own experiences with counselling residentials to explore their impact:

  • During a residential, you are being faced with yourself. This can sometimes be very difficult, but will result in great personal development.
  • Knowledge becomes wisdom – the facts are becoming something you can feel, knowing how they apply to you, your life, and your experiences.
  • Requires an openness of self – a willingness to feel a plethora of emotions.
  • The process is similar to what we ask of our clients.
  • Be thoughtful to your loved ones, they’ve not experienced what you have, and it can be difficult to explain.
  • If you can, consider taking a day off work when you return to give yourself time to process.
  • Journaling will be an important process in working through what you have learnt and discovered.
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Free Handout Download

Five Essential Tips for Ensuring Safety in Counselling Work

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