Counselling Assessment and Necessary Skills

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Collecting Information

The first crucial skill during the initial meeting would be to prepare all the necessary documentation in advance so as not to have any delays in the process of communicating with the client. Also, it would be an essential step allowing the counselor to achieve informed consent from the client and follow the key ethical and legal policies related to counselor activity (Slomp et al., 2018). The presence of an agreement is a possibility for the counselor to spark collaboration and strengthen the therapeutic alliance. It might be reasonable to ask the client to sign some of the required forms before the first appointment to facilitate the process of data collection even further. According to Crockett et al. (2018), clients might also be more comfortable getting themselves acquainted with the terms and conditions before stepping into the therapy process.

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Another vital skill that cannot be overlooked by counselors is the depth of reviews touching upon the client’s background. In the case where a counselor knows too little about their potential client, they are exposing themselves to very high chances of damaging the future therapy process and spoiling the therapeutic alliance (Slomp et al., 2018). Accordingly, the counselor should remain open-minded and friendly to grasp the essence of the person that came asking for professional help. Even though it would be too much to engage in the so-called stalking behavior, it would be a positive experience for the counselor to familiarize themselves with at least some basic information about the client (Crockett et al., 2018). It might be that the client would have a problem communicating with the counselor, as it would get them into a state of distress.

Defining the Problem

To define the counseling problem, one of the essential skills that the counselor would have to possess is the ability to perform client exploration that goes beyond any visual or verbally communicated signs and symptoms. Falco and Shaheed (2021) define this as the ability to translate the client’s language into the definition of the problem without distressing the client themselves. The counselor, however, should not interfere with the client’s problem in any way so as not to cause psychological setbacks or create a situation where they would become a source of advice for the client (Day-Vines et al., 2018). To achieve this, the counselor would be required to set the expectations high and create a positive counseling environment to ensure that no information gathered during the initial meeting is going to remain idle. This should not feel like an interrogation either, so the counselor should be rather careful about how they are wording their questions.

The ultimate counselor’s characteristic that has to be present when they are defining the client’s problem is a strong goal-setting attitude and an empathetic commitment to action. As it is explained by Day-Vines et al. (2018), the counselor should display commitment because, without it, their activities would not show any specific focus. It makes it safe to say that the counseling process inherently depends on the counselor’s ability to establish the goals that have to be achieved throughout counseling and motivate the client to adhere to them as well. Without a healthy goal-setting behavior, no therapy would be successful, so the counselor should be rather eloquent when it comes to the structure of counseling sessions. At the end of the day, it could be the only way for the counselor and the client to channel their energy in the right direction.


Crockett, S., Elghoroury, D., Popiolek, M., & Wummel, B. (2018). The lived experiences of men in a master’s counseling program. Counselor Education and Supervision, 57(2), 98-115.

Day-Vines, N. L., Ammah, B. B., Steen, S., & Arnold, K. M. (2018). Getting comfortable with discomfort: Preparing counselor trainees to broach racial, ethnic, and cultural factors with clients during counseling. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 40(2), 89-104.

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Falco, L. D., & Shaheed, C. (2021). Putting theory into practice: A conceptual framework for career group counseling in school settings. The Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 1-14.

Slomp, C., Morris, E., Inglis, A., Lehman, A., & Austin, J. (2018). Patient outcomes of genetic counseling: Assessing the impact of different approaches to family history collection. Clinical Genetics, 93(4), 830-836.

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PsychologyWriting. (2022, June 30). Counselling Assessment and Necessary Skills. Retrieved from


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"Counselling Assessment and Necessary Skills." PsychologyWriting, 30 June 2022,


PsychologyWriting. (2022) 'Counselling Assessment and Necessary Skills'. 30 June.


PsychologyWriting. 2022. "Counselling Assessment and Necessary Skills." June 30, 2022.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Counselling Assessment and Necessary Skills." June 30, 2022.


PsychologyWriting. "Counselling Assessment and Necessary Skills." June 30, 2022.