I selected Dr. Duncan to interview because she is highly qualified in the counseling field. She has a doctorate, state licensure and runs her own private practice in Family therapy. She is also a professor of Counseling (Family therapy) at NJCU. Being new to the mental health counseling, my goal was to get the insight into the counseling profession in terms of skills, challenges and getting prepared for state licensure to have my own private practice in the future that will act as a one stop point to the people in need of counseling.
Counselor job is to help people at the same time not getting attached and not carrying their problems home is something I learnt from her. I could see her openness and honesty in her answers. From her profile I sensed that if you are focused in your career there is no limit to the degrees and experiences that you can achieved in less time. I could see that counseling career field alone has wide-ranging areas of interventions. I realized two new instruments Bio-psycho-social and genogram that can be used for client assessment.
The counseling sessions typically flow from initial, middle and termination stages. In the initial stage counselor builds the relationship with client. More of actions take place by the client in the middle stage and when he becomes capable of handling his life, counselor gradually terminates the relationship. I could derived from the interview that counselor needs to have active listening skills and empathetic approach towards client.
Listening to them with open mind and giving space to express them is the key. Talking to Dr. Duncan I learnt that I need learn to be detached from the client and holding a supportive space for them. By not having a personal investment in them, you do not criticize them regardless of action they take. Basically, we as a counselor cannot fix the problems but yes definitely can help in contextualizing the problems and ultimately empower clients to help themselves.
When I asked about Self-care strategies, I could see there is not much emphasis given. But at the same time I understand that at the end of the day when the counselor tries to stop his/her mind they can indulge in their mental peace by practicing mediation to the faith they follow. As the points were discussed it aroused many unplanned questions which fetch more and more profound information from Dr. Duncan.