305 – Reasonable Adjustments in Counselling

305 – Reasonable Adjustments in Counselling

Couples Counselling – What to Do about Gifts from Clients

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In Episode 305 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, your hosts Rory Lees-Oakes and Ken Kelly take us through today’s three topics:

  • Firstly in ‘Ethical, Sustainable Practice’, we look at the Equality Act and reasonable adjustments in counselling.
  • Then in ‘Practice Matters’, Rory speaks with Claire Ratcliffe about her observations of being a couples counsellor.
  • And lastly in ‘Student Services’, Rory and Ken discuss what to do about gifts from clients.

Reasonable Adjustments in Counselling [starts at 02:55 mins]

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When working with certain clients, we may need to consider making small adjustments to our practice that can have a huge impact on their experience.

The main points of this section on reasonable adjustments in counselling include:

  • Some neurodivergent clients might want to bring noise-cancelling headphones to sessions to help mute background noise. Some may also prefer to wear sunglasses for light sensitivity.
  • Small adjustments like this can make the experience much better for clients.
  • Think about whether you might need to make adjustments to session structure, such as factoring in a break.
  • To know what reasonable adjustments in counselling might be needed, take advanced preparation – gain this knowledge about your clients as a part of your intake process.
  • Normalise requests for reasonable adjustments to help a client feel more comfortable asking for these things, and reduce their anxiety.
  • Partake in constant CPD to ensure you’re not using outdated vocabulary or language.
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Couples Counselling [starts at 27:46 mins]

In this week’s ‘Practice Matters’, Rory speaks with Claire Ratcliffe about her work as a couples counsellor.

The key points of this discussion include:

  • Due to a reduction in stigma, there is now a large amount of inquires from couples looking for more support.
  • The relationship dynamic of your parents can have a large impact on your own relationship.
  • Clients can understand themselves more through transactional analysis.
  • You’re working with them to discover their own individuality and being able to express their own feelings and needs.
  • What do they want their relationship to look like and how far away from that are they?

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What to Do about Gifts from Clients [starts at 53:25 mins]

Receiving a gift can be a lovely thing, but it can be complicated when the one gifting it is a client. In this section, Rory and Ken suggest some actions you might want to take if you receive a gift from a client:

  • Ask your agency/organisation if they have any policies on gifts.
  • Check with your practice manager.
  • Receiving a gift, especially as a student, can be affirming.
  • Recognise when a gift is inappropriate within its context, e.g. being added to a will, or a particularly expensive gift.
  • Have a clear policy in your mind of what to do when you receive a gift – this will prevent you being put on the spot.
  • Discuss with your supervisor.
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