257 – Counselling Muslim Clients

257 – Counselling Muslim Clients

Locus of Evaluation – Meeting a Client in a Social Setting

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In Episode 257 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, your hosts Rory Lees-Oakes and Ken Kelly take us through this week’s three topics:

  • First up in ‘Theory in Practice’ we look at Locus of Evaluation.
  • Then in ‘Practice Today’, we think about what you might do when meeting a client in a social setting.
  • And lastly in ‘Practice Matters’, Rory speaks with Tayba Azim on counselling Muslim clients and supporting them with their mental health.

Locus of Evaluation [starts at 02:52 mins]

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Locus of evaluation is all about view of self – figuring out who we are and finding our real selves. Listen as Rory and Ken discuss the different types of locus of evaluation, and how this might present in a client:

  • Internal locus of evaluation: trusting our own inner feelings to make right decisions and present as we truly are within an interaction or circumstance.
  • External locus of evaluation: acting in a way to please others, appear better, impress, or be accepted – no longer acting from who we really are internally.
  • You may see external locus of evaluation with a client who doesn’t trust their own feelings, decisions, ways of acting/interacting.
  • They may be trying to be what they perceive others want them to be.
  • It takes an act of courage to act out your internal locus of evaluation.
  • An area of personal development – finding who you are, being more of yourself and less of who you think people want you to be.
  • If a client says they’ve come to therapy because a partner/someone close to them suggested it – this is an example of external locus of evaluation.
  • You may offer a soft challenge to this – asking, “how do you feel about that?” Does their answer stay in the external? Be asking the client how do you feel, what do you think.
  • Be accepting – be there for the client as they find themselves and come to accept it.
  • Think about where in your own life you might be operating in your internal/external locus of evaluation.

A handout on Locus of Evaluation is available for download in the green button above.

Meeting a Client in a Social Setting [starts at 29:59 mins]

There is always the chance, regardless of how slim, that you may bump into a client outside of sessions. It’s important for both you and your client that you know how you will tackle this situation.

The key points of this section include:

  • When beginning your profession as a counsellor, you will need to tell those closest to you that there are now things you can’t speak to them about when it comes to your practice.
  • Add boundaries to the contract – asking the client what they’re comfortable with.
  • You may write into your contract that you will only acknowledge a client in public if they are the first to acknowledge you.
  • Explain the reasoning behind this e.g. the client may be with someone they don’t want to explain where they know you from to, it may put them in a position where they feel they have to lie.
  • If you happen to run into a client outside of sessions – put this in your notes, along with a short summary of the encounter. This could serve as evidence in the unlikely event that a client makes a complaint about you e.g. being unprofessional outside of sessions.
  • Bring up the meeting in supervision – work through whether it has, or how it might, shift your relationship with the client.
  • This is a reality of being a human being outside of your practice.
  • Have you considered social media in your contract – what actions will you take if sent a friend request online from a client?

Counselling Muslim Clients [starts at 47:43 mins]

The National Counselling Society is proud to sponsor Practice Matters.

NCS are really excited to have launched their Children and Young People Therapist Register for counsellors working with the younger age group.

To find out more, visit nationalcounsellingsociety.org or simply click the button below.

In this week’s ‘Practice Matters’, Rory speaks with Tayba Azim about counselling Muslim clients and supporting them with their mental health.

The main points of this discussion include:

  • Islam is a way of living and being – having that understanding is crucial to the client being understood.
  • Having a general, basic knowledge of Islam – e.g. the 5 pillars, is an important starting point.
  • Every client is an individual within their faith – it is important not to stereotype or assume.
  • It’s important that counsellors understand that Muslim women do have rights, they are empowered – this has possibly been misinterpreted and affected by culture and/or the patriarchy over time.
  • An understanding of this could allow you to empower and support the client; you will be able to explore that with them.
  • When counselling Muslims, be aware of your own prejudices, where do you fall short in that therapeutic space?
  • Have an understanding of colonialism and its impact.
  • Understanding that there is more to Islam and being a Muslim than what the media portrays – acknowledging any subconscious bias you may have.

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