For some strange reasons I decided to skip class again. But I guess this is me. As much as my brain tries to tell me legs to move and walk to class, my whole body would in essence protest about the amount of effort to get to class and to sit there for three hours straight. Skipping one or two classes has been the defining feature of me, I guess, because every semester, I would skip at least one class of all my modules at least once in order to feel happy. I'm just weird in that way.
Anyways, the above paragraph is of course not the material I intend to include for my journal submission. As much as I hate class, I still have to fulfill the requirements of the module (although my class participation marks are long gone) so that I would not have to spend another additional semester here at NUS. So here goes:
While it is not immediately apparent to us as budding counselors, ethics and our code of conduct is perhaps one of the most important aspect that we have to keep in mind in the course of our career as a counselor because like it or not, the relationship between the counselor and the client is a human relationship after all, where unavoidably we will bring our own wants and needs to the relationship itself.
As evidenced from the lecture and case studies, I kinda understand and sympathize with the position that the counselors find themselves in. As a guy myself, I cannot help but admit that if I were to be put in a room alone with an attractive member of the opposite sex again and again, there is a high chance some feelings will develop. After all, the law of social attraction states that proximity, reciprocity and physical appearances affects the likelihood of us being attracted to someone, which in a normal therapeutic relationship involves us sitting closely to the client (proximity) and having the client respond to all our questions as part of the relationship (reciprocity).
Therefore, I think when it comes to maintaining ethics, the responsibility should not only fall on the counselor's hands. There should be a body that does routine checks on the counselor and the nature of the relationships with his clients and ensuring that all the relationships remain in the professional level. Of course, the counselor has to be well aware of his/her feelings too, and if he/she realizes that the relationship is progressing in the wrong direction, should take the necessary steps to terminate the relationship, perhaps by referring the client to another counselor or perhaps to seek counseling him/herself.
Looking at the case studies and the lecture notes, I can say that being a successful counselor is not easy. As the lay person would say, not only do we need to have the IQ (theoretical grounding and intervention knowledge) for the job, we also need the EQ to manage both our own quality of life and the quality of relationships with our client. After all, in a counselor/client relationship, the status of both the parties are not equal, in which the counselor is expected and should be more emotionally stable and mature than the client and when the counselor drifts, the relationship often takes a downward fall. Therefore I think it is always for the counselor to always keep reminding him/herself of his expectations and responsibilities.