111 – Self-Disclosure in Counselling
Avoiding Plagiarism – Rejecting a Supervisor
In episode 111 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, Ken Kelly and Rory Lees-Oakes discuss the importance of avoiding plagiarism in counselling studies. In ‘Practice Matters’, Rory looks at self-disclosure in counselling by practitioners. Last, the presenters talk about how to reject a supervisor, if you interview several to choose the right one for you.
Avoiding Plagiarism (starts at 2.43 mins)
As a student of counselling, it is vital to avoid plagiarism (using someone else’s work and passing it off as your own).
If you have not been in formal education for some time, this may not be something you are naturally aware of.
Educational establishments all have access to specialist software (e.g. Turnitin) that they will run students’ work through to check for plagiarism.
It’s really important to make sure that you always use your own words in assignments, and – for those parts that do quote or closely draw on others’ work – that you acknowledge this through proper referencing.
Ken and Rory suggest that if you have access to examples of real assignments to help you write your own, look at these before you start work but then put them away while you are writing.
Self-Disclosure in Counselling (starts at 13.54 mins)
The thorny topic of self-disclosure by counsellors arises frequently in our Facebook group (where you’ll find over 23,000 others involved in counselling and psychotherapy, including students, qualified counsellors, supervisors and tutors).
While some counsellors believe that self-disclosure in counselling is never right, others feel it can be, if used appropriately. This relates to both individual view and modality.
Rory examines the potential advantages and disadvantages of self-disclosure in counselling. His own view – based on his experience as both a counsellor and a client – is that thoughtful, boundaried self-disclosure can be really valuable.
Rejecting a Supervisor (starts at 17.48 mins)
Counselling students are often encouraged to interview a number of supervisors before deciding which one to work with.
This can be a very good idea, as it’s vital to get on well with your supervisor, and to feel a genuine connection. This relationship should ideally be comfortable but not too comfortable, allowing scope for challenge and growth.
If, when interviewing a supervisor, you feel uncomfortable with them, it’s worth spending some time afterwards reflecting on why this might be so. This reflection can be personally developmental.
But what should you do once you’ve decided which supervisor you are going to work with: just not contact the others, or get back to them with some feedback on your reasons for deciding this?
Rory suggests that – as a supervisor himself – he would prefer the latter, as there is learning in this feedback for him. This could relate to cost, modality, client groups, professional values, etc.
Once you have been with a supervisor for some time, you may feel that you wish to move on to a different one. Just because a supervisor was right for you initially does not mean that they will always be the best fit for you, as you develop.
It’s important to keep reflecting on your needs, and to move on if this seems appropriate. Supervision contracts usually include a clause relating to a regular review of the arrangement.
Although it might seem difficult to raise the topic of moving on, this can be done in a way that expresses your appreciation for how far your existing supervisor has brought you, allowing them to feel pride in their role in this – and to understand your need for someone different now.