All a counselor does is dealing and communicating with human beings in need of help and guidance. Therefore, a good counselor should be a compassionate human, a gentle friend and a sympathetic listener, before every other thing. The role of counseling today is evidently on the rise in every walk of life, whether it is work, health, family, personal, social or individual lives of human beings.This paper provides an investigation into the core traits or characteristics that conjure up, in the truest sense, the picture of a good counselor.For this purpose, the paper provides a brief exploration of the term 'counseling' to illustrate what the role of counsellor actually entails and then proceeds to the crux of the discussion, i.e., an evaluation of the essential features that make a good counselor in any field.Counselling, fundamentally is a term used to refer to the collaboration of a person with other people to help them easily cope with the problems encountered in life and guide them to act decisively and hopefully towards their goals. As Burks and Stefflre (1979, p14) define it,"Counseling denotes a professional relationship between a trained counsellor and a client. This relationship is usually person-to-person designed to help clients to understand and clarify their views of their life space, and to learn to reach their self-determined goals through meaningful, well-informed choices and through resolution of problems of an emotional or interpersonal nature".
Hence, the authors' words mentioned above comprehensively pen down the complete picture of a counsellor's role and responsibility in effectuating significance and instigating substance into one's life. The main purpose of the counselling profession revolves around the word 'help', i.e., whatever the counsellor does is meant only to help, assist or guide a person or client to bring about change in his life in a successful or at least in a satisfied and confident fashion. Man-tak Yuen (1993, p30) depict that, "in counselling, the client is helped to increase self-consciousness, develop positive self-concept, commit in relationships, achieve in tasks, and strive for meanings in life".
What Makes A Good Counsellor
At the essence of this paper is the exploration of the aspects crucial for the development of a good counsellor. Observed efficaciously, there appears to be a bundle of attributes that the researchers (e.g. Man-tak Yuen (1993), Combs, Richard and Richard (1976), and Peavy (1997) etc.) point out to be essential in building a good counsellor. What actually is pre-eminent in becoming a good counsellor is a cluster of human, social and professional values instigated into a single personality. These specific qualities or features, as they may be referred to, are important in developing the personality of the counsellor to the extent that he can be able to guide others in an efficient and responsible manner.
Some of these dimensions have been specified by Man-tak Yuen (1993, p32) as "positive self-concept, belief in human dignity and potentiality, acuity, and counsellors' capacities to orientate towards goal and communicate respect, empathy, genuineness and concreteness are essential personal qualities of an effective counsellor". All these qualities are, in essence, personal and human qualities that are imperative for a counsellor for the reason that if he lacks these traits for himself, there will remain less probability that he inspires these attributes into other human beings. In order to help clients invigorate effective personal qualities into their lives, the counsellor needs to experience these values primarily.
People are different in their backgrounds, approaches, thoughts, feelings, attitudes and responses. To know how to communicate and help different kind of people, a good counsellor should be ready to learn to dig out the perceptions of people he comes across. Combs, Richard and Richard (1976) (as cited in Man-tak Yuen, 1993, p30) explain this as, "when we know how people see themselves, much of their behaviours become clear to us, and often we can predict with great accuracy what they are likely to do next".