Q1 Identify your own values and beliefs. (1.1)
By being able to identify my own values and beliefs is an important aspect of my continual personal growth and development, I use them to guide my actions and behaviours throughout my life as well as helping form attitudes towards different things. Some are really core to me and they define who I am, whilst others change in importance dependant on my needs at any given time.
My values and beliefs have changed over the years and will continue to as I grow and develop as an individual. My main values and beliefs are as follows:
• I value individuality, every person is unique and deserves to be treated so.
• Every person has the right to make their own choices and decisions, even if I do not agree with them.
Q2 Outline how values and beliefs could have an effect on helping relationships. (1.2)
Both values and beliefs are invaluable tools for:
• understanding who a client is
• deciphering why the client has made the decisions they have in life
• learning how to make choices that suit you better
• moving forward in life in ways that feel good.
Beliefs and values inform each other. For example, if the client has had a difficult childhood where love is not offered freely and they develop a core belief that ‘love must be earned’, then it’s possible they’ll develop a very strong value of trust to compensate for their anxiety that nobody loves them as is.
A counsellor’s approach is unique and is based as much on their own belief system and personal values as the theories they have studied. A good counsellor will be able to use these to help promote a good positive working relationship with their clients. By knowing our own values and beliefs it helps to realise that others have different values and beliefs, and to have a positive helping relationship. They have to respect everyone’s values and beliefs. The counsellor has to remain non-judgmental and non- bias. Values and beliefs can come across to clients in a positive and negative way. For a good helping relationship, we want to show our positive and helpful values and beliefs; and these can come across in how we behave and act. For example, as neutral and non-judgmental. As honest and fair. We can show that we are empathic and accepting of our clients. Open mindedness can come across to a client by the counsellor being empathic, accepting and understanding. However, no matter how hard we try our values and beliefs can have a negative effect as well on our relationships. For example, I must be able to not to show shock or disgust when a client tells me of something that has happened to them as this can instantly destroy the relationship as the client may feel judged and unsupported.
On a personal level – my tendencies towards perfectionism are about wanting to set and achieve high standards for myself. The logic is to aim high to achieve something good in preference to not making the effort. Again, this probably comes from my childhood and family ethos that you can only “get out what you put into life” and that all successes and good achievements comes from “1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”. However, in applying this value to myself I tend to expect it from others. I have often worked for organisations where their culture is one of being highly perfectionist, so these values and behaviours are also expected of me in my work environments.
Valuing fairness in the world for how people are treated is simply based on my belief that if people treated each other with fairness and compassion, justice will prevail and everyone would benefit. This value probably comes from religious influences through the generations of my family and inbuilt into me from an early age.
My need to influence others and to be inspired and influence by others seems to contradict my need for independence. I like to feel I can influence others in a positive way for their benefit and I enjoy and seek out being influenced by and learning from others, while trying to keep an open mind.
I believe the effect my values could have on helping relationships fall into three main areas: effects on the client, effects on myself, effects on the relationship outcomes.
For effects on the client, they may sense my need to influence a high quality outcome for them (from my perfectionism and influencing values), which could be positive if they needed to feel supported and encouraged, but could be negative if they were lacking confidence and might feel overwhelmed. I think my value of fairness and independence would have a neutral effect on the client.
My values could affect me within helping relationships in different ways depending on the scenario. For example, I might lose objectivity and over-sympathise if someone had been treated extremely unfairly and I would need to control this. From my perfectionism, I might experience frustration if the helping relationship did not seem to be achieving positive outcomes for the client. I believe my independence will enable me, in most situations, to maintain empathy and objectivity.
In terms of outcomes from the helping relationship, I believe my values, when considered altogether (independence, perfectionism, fairness and influence) will enable me to work with the client towards positive outcomes from the helping relationship, providing that I can maintain enough self-awareness and self-control, not to let my values try to dominate the relationship.
Q3 Identify your own motivation for helping others. (1.3)
When I started carer coach/counselling I was only aware of the surface motivations behind helping others. I helped others so in the long run they would help me fulfil my need to feel useful and helpful. I also wanted to discover new skills which I could use to help me in the future. Due to self-development and reflection I have learned that there are more than just these surface ones. I find helping personally rewarding mentally as it uses skills that I enjoy using and developing. I enjoy using emotional and other difficulties I’ve experienced to empathise with others, and understand that there is not always a quick fix.
Helping others is a great antidote to “unhealthy” excesses of a comfortable life, I have a good career, comfortable lifestyle, health and happiness in my personal life, but sometimes feel unfulfilled and a need to give something back to society. Sometimes I can be quite materialistic but retail therapy is never as rewarding as the felling of having helped someone to deal with issues or problems. It gives me a sense of identity and value.
I have a keen interest and sensitivity to the wants, needs, thoughts, feelings and motivations of others and have had feedback that I am highly empathic, so on the basis that people tend to enjoy doing what comes naturally to them, I am drawn to use these skills and would take great personal satisfaction from further developing them for the benefit of others. Plus, from personal experience I know how much the gift of listening can mean and now I want to help others not only as a way of giving back but also to genuinely support them so that they can be the best versions of themselves.