Helping the Helper The counseling relationship is one in which the counselor practices deep, selfless listening in order to help the client. The act of deep listening requires a great deal of energy and the capacity to focus attention for a long period of time. In order to be selfless in the ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2003
Helping the Helper
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • David Luterman
    Thayer Lindsley Family Centered Nursery for Hearing Impaired Children
Article Information
Development / Fluency Disorders / Hearing Disorders / Professional Issues & Training / Articles
Article   |   December 01, 2003
Helping the Helper
SIG 4 Perspectives on Fluency and Fluency Disorders, December 2003, Vol. 13, 19-20. doi:10.1044/ffd13.2.19
SIG 4 Perspectives on Fluency and Fluency Disorders, December 2003, Vol. 13, 19-20. doi:10.1044/ffd13.2.19
The counseling relationship is one in which the counselor practices deep, selfless listening in order to help the client. The act of deep listening requires a great deal of energy and the capacity to focus attention for a long period of time. In order to be selfless in the listening, the counselor needs to be psychologically centered. This is known as congruence.When the counselor’s needs are met outside of the counseling relationship, then the counselor is able to be present for the client. If the counselor is in an emotionally needy state, then listening selflessly becomes very difficult, if not impossible, as the counselor seeks to find congruence through the client relationship. In order to be a successful helper, the counselor needs to practice and model self-care. In my experience of 40 years of teaching, I have found very few speech and hearing personnel who practice good selfcare. Consequently, I have found many clinicians who are “burnt out” relatively early in their career—burdened by a great many dependent client relationships. It is my belief that good counseling skills and effective helping is best achieved through a focus on helper congruence and helper self-care, rather than on counseling technique. Following are some suggestions for helping the helper.
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