283 – Legal Obligations of Counsellors
Idiosyncratic Empathy – Being a Placement Manager
In Episode 283 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, your hosts Rory Lees-Oakes and Ken Kelly take us through this week’s three topics:
- Firstly in ‘Student Services’, we look at idiosyncratic empathy.
- Then in ‘Ethical, Sustainable Practice’, Rory and Ken discuss the legal obligations of counsellors, particularly in relation to the coroner’s court.
- And lastly in this week’s ‘Practice Matters’, Rory interviews Nikaela Morrison about her work as a placement manager, and her project Trainbee.
Idiosyncratic Empathy [starts at 02:56 mins]
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Idiosyncratic empathy is a term coined by Gerald Bozarth, and in this section, Rory and Ken will take us through it’s meaning, and how it can be used in your practice:
- Idiosyncratic empathy means developing empathic responses in a congruent way.
- It is an approach more tailored to the client.
- Idiosyncratic – relating to the individual.
- Listening at a deep level – seeing from the clients’ frame of reference.
- Be aware of the relationship you have with the client.
- Be careful your response isn’t coming from your own frame of reference.
- Personal development and therapy – learning about yourself and knowing yourself completely will help you to be there for others.
- Using supervision to think through your approach – are your actions coming as an individual in response to another, arising here and now, or is it coming from your own experience?
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Legal Obligations of Counsellors [starts at 24:12 mins]
This section applies to legislation in the UK. In this segment about the legal obligations of counsellors, Rory and Ken delve into one of the occasions that will require you to break confidentiality and share your notes:
- Coroner – someone who will try and investigate the cause of death, e.g. a violent death or unexplained death.
- Another part of their work is PFDs – Preventing Future Deaths.
- If a coroner asks for your notes, you’ll need to surrender them.
- The conditions under which you’d need to break confidentiality should be outlined in your contract.
- The request for notes might be on a past client, not a current one, emphasising the importance of proper note taking and proper note storage – being able to retrieve those notes when legally required to.
- Visit supervision and get some support when dealing with legal obligations as a counsellor.
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Being a Placement Manager [starts at 43:08 mins]
In this week’s ‘Practice Matters’, Rory speaks with Nikaela Morrison about her job as a placement manager, and her project Trainbee.
The key moments of this discussion include:
- When recruiting, the organisation is looking for passion, not only for counselling, but also for the specific client group.
- Nikaela currently works with helping young people who are affected or caught up in the criminal justice system and young people who are vulnerable to criminal exploitation.
- If an applicant is unsuccessful in gaining placement, give feedback that will help them going forwards. Be honest, kind, and empathic.
- Trainbee is a project Nikaela created in order to create a space where students can look for placements, and training providers can look for students.
- This space is specifically designed to help match up students with placements, and take away some of that stress.
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