What styles of leadership are effective in counseling? The purpose of this paper is to examine the literature for different styles of counseling leadership. In this regard, the review covers some classic styles such as the styles that characterize Rogerian and Gestalt therapy. However, the literature relating to a few of the some newer leadership styles, (those not associated with classic models) is also examined in the presented review.
Effective Leadership Styles in Counseling
Sue, Sue and Sue (1994) report that one of the most well-known and practiced counseling/therapeutic leadership styles for both individual and group counseling is the style made famous by Carl Rogers; this is a style that is often termed the "person-centered" approach. The person-centered style of counseling leadership contains several elements. First, the counselor needs to have strong feelings of strong positive self-regard for the client.
Second, the Rogerian style of counseling leadership is non-directive which is to say that the therapist or counselor does not prescribe actions for the client to take. Instead, the counselor's focus is upon attaining real empathy with the client's internal frame of reference (e.g. thoughts, feelings, perspectives, etc.)
The Rogerian leadership style is best known for its counselor/therapist communication technique of "reflecting feelings." Here, the counselor rewords, paraphrases or simply repeats what the client says. For example, if a client tells the therapist, "I am just tired of dealing with my family," the counselor might say something like, "I'm hearing you say that you have a real sense of weariness when you interact with your family."
In other words, the counselor utilizing a Rogerian style of leadership becomes a sort of mirror for the client. According to Sue, Sue, and Sue (1994), this technique provides the client with a way to hear his/her own feelings with less distortion which res...