The Role of a Family Counselor
The role of a family counselor is an extremely important one in today’s society. There are many individuals who have issues that need to be resolved yet are unable to do so on their own in an effective manner. This is where family counselors enter the picture. These individuals help others when they need to work out issues and need an unbiased individual to help them to do so.
What Is a Family Counselor?
A family counselor is an individual who treats married couples or family members in order to help them overcome mental or emotional problems that may result within the home. The family counselor will diagnose any disorders and provide effective treatment measures in which to help the family members resolve their issues.
What Are the General Responsibilities of a Family Counselor?
In general, a family counselor must treat individuals who come to their office after the counselor has given them a concrete diagnosis. The general responsibilities of the family counselor are meeting with family members, diagnosing their mental and/or emotional problems and effectively treating them over a period of time.
What Are the Specific Duties of a Family Counselor?
The family counselor is an individual who has a wide array of duties concomitant with their job. The first duty of a family counselor is to establish contact with their patients. The patients will seek out the family counselor and it is then up to the family counselor to meet with the individuals to get the ball rolling. This initial contact is the first step in the counselor-client relationship.
The family counselor must also collect information from clients in order to properly diagnose and treat their disorders. This entails speaking with the clients and family members to determine what issues need to be addressed in the therapy sessions. This type of correspondence can take the form of in-person meetings, telephone conversations and mail correspondence. The family counselor must be a sort of therapist detective in order to gather pertinent information to enable them to help their client.
One of the more important duties which family counselors engage in on a daily basis is counseling. The counseling sessions are where the counselor and clients discuss their issues and try to resolve them as completely as possible. Counseling sessions usually take the form of in-person meetings however these may also be done via the telephone from time to time.
Record keeping is another important duty of the family counselor. The family counselor must keep accurate and complete records for each client. These records include personal information, documentation from sessions and referrals or information received from other counselors and officials regarding the client. It is crucial that the family counselor keeps these records confidential and well organized so that they can be retrieved whenever they may be needed in the future.
Family counselors must also write evaluations in their line of work. These often come into play with regard to court cases where family counseling sessions were ordered by a judge. Writing succinct and accurate evaluations is an important duty of family counselors.
Another important duty of a family counselor is to prescribe treatment for the client. Once an individual(s) has been diagnosed with a certain disorder, the family counselor must then determine the best way to proceed in the way of treatment methods. Counseling and referrals are two main ways in which family counselors treat clients.
Many family counselors also have the duty of supervising subordinates. Whether this is other family counselors or clerical staff, the family counselor may be in charge of hiring, firing and completing payroll for other employees in their charge.
Lastly, some family counselors will also be responsible for giving lectures and holding seminars on various family counseling issues and topics. There are many family counselors who are quite revered in a certain specialty of their field and will lecture on these topics so that other family counselors and interested parties can learn more about the specific counseling issue.
What Traits Should Family Counselors Possess?
There are a number of important traits which all family counselors should possess. The first is compassion. A family counselor is in a position to hear a lot of emotional statements and concerns. For this reason, it is crucial that the family counselor shows compassion for such issues which will aid in developing the counselor-client relationship.
Excellent listening skills are also a positive trait for family counselors to possess. Since a large portion of the family counselor’s job is to engage in counseling sessions and discuss issues with clients, it is important for the counselor to be a good listener. A family counselor who is a good listener will excel at their job.
A family counselor who is organized may also find that their daily tasks go as smoothly as possible. The family counselor needs to engage in various forms of recordkeeping and evaluation writing and for this reason, organization is key. Those family counselors who keep an organized office with succinct case files and records will find that a trait of this type is highly useful in their occupation.
Family counselors should also possess a willingness to help others. The family counselor is an individual who the client can turn to in order to help them work out their issues and a counselor will see the best results if they possess this willingness to help as it will be reflected greatly in their counseling sessions and treatment techniques.
Another positive trait for a family counselor to possess is creativeness. Creativeness is necessary in this occupation as not every client will respond to a specific treatment regimen. A family counselor who can weigh the options and be creative in developing an appropriate treatment method may see more results than one who does not have a creative bone in their body.
Lastly, family counselors should also possess good writing skills. Since many family counselors meet with clients for whom they will eventually have to write evaluations on, it is important that the counselor has those writing skills necessary to effectuate an effective final evaluation and progress reports.
A family counselor is an individual who does so much more than simply listen to people talk. The family counselor must discuss topics with their clients, diagnose the problem and find effective treatment methods which will work to alleviate the client’s problem. For those individuals who have compassion, good listening skills and a willingness to help others, becoming a family counselor might be the perfect thing to do.