Self-Exploration: The Role for a Helper

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Without self-exploration, the counselor could project their problems and stress onto their clients. Helpers need to recognize the impact of working with suffering individuals on their mental state. They must be aware of their inner reactions and learn to overcome their pain constructively in order to be effective in their counseling. If a helper is not self-aware, they may assume that they share all their issues with their patients. In this regard, being self-aware allows the counselor to determine which feelings, concerns, and problems differ them from their clients. Self-exploration gives counselors the opportunity to make conscious use of themselves. According to Corey and Corey (2014), “whenever you take measures to understand yourself more fully, you are at the same time preparing yourself to be of greater help to others in their quest for self-understanding” (p. 72). Self-aware helpers are not afraid to incorporate therapeutic interventions as they feel more self-conscious and confident in their responses to their clients’ problems.

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Self-awareness helps establish what the specialist’s triggers and stressors are; hence they can explore and cope with these aspects in a way that is efficient for them. Psychotherapy offers many different practices and methods of enhancing consciousness, which are aimed not only at suffering patients but also at struggling counselors. Specialists who have unresolved trauma and find themselves reacting to their clients’ stories in an inadequate way are likely to have triggers and fears they have not worked through yet. Instead of avoiding such situations and succumbing to unhealthy coping mechanisms, it is the helper’s best interest to investigate their responses and feelings towards certain themes. Improved mindfulness and openness to self-discovery can make a major difference in a helper’s professional and personal lives.

Indeed, self-exploration significantly assists helpers in creating a trustful relationship with their clients. However, it is important to note that self-awareness enables recognizing helpers’ special traits, fears, strong qualities, and weaknesses. Acquiring this level of connectedness with their inner self will allow helpers to make professional choices and decisions that match their competence and emotional capacity. The insight counselors gain about themselves via self-exploration can be employed in their professional life and help them be in tune with their reactions, behaviors, and triggers.

A critical and reflective way of thinking allows humans to analyze and question their thoughts, ideas, and assumptions, expanding the horizons of their self-exploration. Corey and Corey (2014) claim that “to work effectively” with clients, it is “essential that you begin by critically examining your own attitudes, biases, and assumptions” (p. 45). It is important for helpers to be unbiased yet aware in their work at the same time. Critical thinking is an integral part of my counseling philosophy. I constantly reflect on the information I receive through observation and experience to understand my clients better and help them resolve their issues. More importantly, I realize that I have to detach my personal experiences from the client’s situation so that an accurate decision about their treatment can be made.

Many methods allow helpers and their clients to expand their knowledge about themselves. Individual and group therapy, traveling, journaling, meditating, spending more time with family, and making new acquaintances are various forms of self-exploration. Engaging in these activities will help counselors “gain firsthand knowledge of what your clients are likely to experience” (Corey & Corey, 2014, p. 72). Such accessible self-exploration practices may even influence a helper’s outlook in a way that they gain a better understanding of their clients’ experiences and struggles. After all, counselors should not preach about growth and guide their clients before they complete the path of self-exploration personally.


Corey, G., & Corey, M. S. (2014). Becoming a helper (7th ed.). Cengage Learning.

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PsychologyWriting. (2022, July 26). Self-Exploration: The Role for a Helper. Retrieved from


PsychologyWriting. (2022, July 26). Self-Exploration: The Role for a Helper.

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"Self-Exploration: The Role for a Helper." PsychologyWriting, 26 July 2022,


PsychologyWriting. (2022) 'Self-Exploration: The Role for a Helper'. 26 July.


PsychologyWriting. 2022. "Self-Exploration: The Role for a Helper." July 26, 2022.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Self-Exploration: The Role for a Helper." July 26, 2022.


PsychologyWriting. "Self-Exploration: The Role for a Helper." July 26, 2022.