Counsellor Characteristics and the Counselling Experience

  • Swarnima Bhargava
  • Sujata Sriram


A qualitative study on counsellors’ characteristics and experiences was carried out with counsellors practicing in Delhi and Mumbai. In-depth interviews were conducted to collect data from eight counsellors (two male, six female) coming from different educational backgrounds such as clinical psychology, psychiatry and social work. The participants worked in varied settings—schools, hospitals and private practice. Analysis of the data suggested that counsellors were highly motivated individuals committed to helping and to the process of growth. Participants attempted to locate their practice in contextual socio-cultural reality of their clients and to interact with them in culturally sensitive ways. In the course of their work, practitioners encountered and  overcame obstacles arising from the workplace, professional relationships, nature of clientele, and the nature of the counselling process itself and ethical dilemmas regarding confidentiality, and involuntary medication. Participants demonstrated resilient behaviours and self-care coping strategies such as engaging with a supportive social network, meditation and exercise.


Counsellor characteristics Counsellor experiences Motivation Impact on personal life Effect on professional life 



The authors would like to thank all the participants who took part in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Children FirstNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.School of Human EcologyTISSMumbaiIndia

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