Essay on my values and beliefs

The Development of Personal Values Essay

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My personal values reflect who I am, and my top five personal values are family, service, personal enrichment, wisdom, and integrity. These values are the main values I believe in, but I have many more values as well. I value honesty, kindness, and dependability, and I believe these values are noble. Personal values are the essences of who we are as people and human beings. It is important to understand and recognize your own personal values.

Family is something that I value strongly. My family is not perfect, but I care about them a lot. It is important to me to value family because good values and morals should start at home. People do not get to choose their families, and many families have conflicts, but valuing family is still important to me. Family is there for you throughout your life, and this is valuable.

Service is another personal value I find important. Helping others in need is important because there are many people who need help. I believe in service to others because it makes me feel good. I also believe that if more people lived a life of service there would be less people in need. As one we can do little, but united in service much can be accomplished.

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Personal enrichment and wisdom are also values that I hold high. Through education and personal growth much can be accomplished. Personal enrichment and wisdom are important values for people because they will make people better. Learning and growing is the only way man can survive.

Integrity is a personal value of importance because it means to live in respect to personal values. This requires standing up for your beliefs and living by them. Integrity is important to me because I believe it is important for people to hold themselves responsible for their actions and beliefs. Through awareness of personal values people can understand the development of their personal values.

Development of Values

Values are developed in several ways, and my personal values have been developed through my upbringing, living situations, education, and work experiences. All of these factors have led to my personal values being what they are today. The development of personal values happens differently in many people, but my personal values started developing through my upbringing.

The way I was raised plays a huge role in the development of my personal values. My parents and grandparents taught me the importance of family and integrity. Honesty and kindness is also something I learned through my upbringing. I was raised by my parents, great grandmother, and my grandmother, and their influence helped me develop my personal values. My grandmother would never let me get away without having manners, and this has led me to value politeness and manners. My parents made sure I realized how important family is from the time that I was a child until today. The values of my family influenced my upbringing which influenced my own personal values.

I have lived in many different situations, and all of these situations have impacted the development of my personal values. I have lived in community settings where everyone pitched in to take care of the community and maintain the home. I have lived in settings that were upper-class and lower class. I have lived alone and I have lived with over 30 other people. All of these living situations have influenced the development of my personal values. Living in rich areas helped me realize that money is not everything. Living in poor areas has helped me value hard work. Living alone has helped me value community, and living with many people helped me value personal enrichment. Living situations are all unique experiences that have helped in the development of my personal values.

Education has had a strong impact on my personal values as well. I have developed a lot of my own personal values due to my educational experiences Education forces you to question things and take stands on issues. Education provides you with knowledge to make your own opinions. Through my educational experiences I have learned that I value wisdom, and this is why I will always continue to go to school. Personal enrichment is another value that has been developed through education. My educational experiences have taught me that there is still much to learn about myself. It has also made me realize that personal enrichment should continue throughout my entire life. The experiences I have had with education have strengthened and developed my values.

Experiences in the workplace have also helped develop my personal values. Through experiences in the workplace I have learned that I highly value my family and integrity. I have also developed a sense a community, and I have realized the importance of this value through my experiences in the workplace. As a manager and an employee I have been on both sides of workforce. This experience has led me to understand service more thoroughly; it has also helped me value honesty, hard work, and teamwork. These are important values in the workplace.

Criteria for Revising Values

Personal values will change as people change, and there is criteria that I utilize for revising my values. Revising values is not always easy, and it is based on a combination of things. The priority levels of values change on a constant basis to suit the situations at hand. Prioritizing and considering positive and negative impacts of values are the criteria I use to revise my values on a day-to-day basis.

Prioritizing is an important means of revising personal values. Personal values are beliefs that a person holds true. Situations occur when values are put into question and prioritizing must occur. Considering what values are more important at the time is an important and effective method of revising values. Prioritizing is a method that utilizes considering the pros and cons of values in regards to situations at hand.

Considering the positive and negative impact of my personal values is a method of prioritizing and revising my personal values. For instance there are times when my personal values do not exist together peacefully. Integrity and family can conflict at times, and during these times I must revise my values. I must consider both the positive and negative impact these values have. I can then prioritize these values based on this thought process, and I can make better decisions based on my revised values.

Impact of Values on Performance in the Workplace

Personal values inevitably impact the performance in the workplace. If someone values hard work they will work hard in a work place environment. If someone values making money over integrity they will cut corners and cheat to get ahead and make a buck. Personal values dictate the actions a person takes inside and outside of the workplace.

My personal values impact my performance in the workplace because I value integrity. I will not work in a situation that compromises my beliefs or values. I will also not work in a place that treats people cruelly or unjustly. I value hard work, and it is shown in my performance in the workplace. I also value creativity, wisdom, and personal enrichment, and I like to work in places where I can learn things. I strive to learn and work at my highest potential, and these values are reflected in my performance in the workplace. I also value service and teamwork, and I will work hard with and for everyone I work with because of my values.

Personal values are developed throughout life; these values impact personal live and work performance Values are developed through many means such as upbringing, educational experiences, living situations, and workplace experiences There are many methods of revising personal values, and prioritizing is an effective method of revising values. Personal values impact work performance because they reflect who we are and how we act.

Personal values, belief and attitudes Essay Sample

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Personal values, belief and attitudes Essay Sample

As human beings, we all have our own values, beliefs and attitudes that we have developed throughout the course of our lives. Our family, friends, community and the experiences we have had all contribute to our sense of who we are and how we view the world. As community services workers, we are often working with people who are vulnerable and/or who may live a lifestyle that mainstream society views as being different or unacceptable. If, as community services workers, we are to provide a service that meets the needs of our target groups and helps them to feel empowered, we need to be aware of our own personal values, beliefs and attitudes and be prepared to adopt the professional values of our industry—and not impose our own ideas on our clients.

What are values?

Values are principles, standards or qualities that an individual or group of people hold in high regard. These values guide the way we live our lives and the decisions we make. A value may be defined as something that we hold dear, those things/qualities which we consider to be of worth.

A ‘value’ is commonly formed by a particular belief that is related to the worth of an idea or type of behaviour. Some people may see great value in saving the world’s rainforests. However a person who relies on the logging of a forest for their job may not place the same value on the forest as a person who wants to save it.

Values can influence many of the judgments we make as well as have an impact on the support we give clients. It is important that we do not influence client’s decisions based on our values. We should always work from the basis of supporting the client’s values.

Activity: What are some of my values?
1.Manners—are they old fashioned? Do they hold a high or low value in your life?
2.Pride—are there things you need to be proud of? Do you value pride or do you value humility?
3.Clothes—how important are clothes at work? At play?
4.Behaviour on the sports field—what behaviours do you value? Sportsmanship? Winning? Team spirit? Individuality?
5.Family life? What do you value about family life?

Write down some of the values you hold in these areas. Talk to friends and family members. Ask them these same questions. Do the answers differ?

Where do values come from?

Our values come from a variety of sources. Some of these include:
•peers (social influences)
•the workplace (work ethics, job roles)
•educational institutions such as schools or TAFE
•significant life events (death, divorce, losing jobs, major accident and trauma, major health issues, significant financial losses and so on)
•major historical events (world wars, economic depressions, etc).

Dominant values are those that are widely shared amongst a group, community or culture. They are passed on through sources such as the media, institutions, religious organisations or family, but remember what is considered dominant in one culture or society will vary to the next.

Using the sources listed above, some of your values could be: •family—caring for each other, family comes first •peers—importance of friendship, importance of doing things that peers approve of •workplace—doing your job properly; approving/disapproving of ‘foreign orders’ (doing home-related activities in work time or using work resources for home related activities) •educational institutions—the valuing or otherwise of learning; value of self in relation to an ability to learn (this often depends on personal experience of schooling, whether positive or negative) •significant life events—death of loved ones and the impact on what we value as being important; marriage and the importance and role of marriage and children;

separation and divorce and the value change that may be associated with this (valuing of self or otherwise) •religion—beliefs about ‘right and wrong’ and beliefs in gods •media—the impact of TV, movies, radio, the Internet and advertising on what is important in our lives, what is valued and not valued •music—music often reflects what is occurring in society, people’s response to things such as love and relationships which may then influence the development of our values •technology—the importance of technology or otherwise; the importance of computers and developing computer skills •culture—a cultural value such as the importance of individuality as opposed to conforming to groups •major historical events—not wasting anything, saving for times of draught, valuing human life, patriotic values.

It is important that you develop an awareness of what you value, as these values will be important in informing your relationships with clients, co–workers and employers.

The following is a list of common dominant values in Australian society. Tick the values that apply to you and then select the ten most important values you ticked and rank them.

(1 = most important, 10 = least important)

Click here for the list (.doc 12 KB)

Did you learn something about yourself that you didn’t expect? What is important here is your ability to be able to identify the values that are
important to you.

It is important to be conscious of our values. This knowledge helps us to:
•ask ourselves why we are doing what we are doing
•identify the consequences of our actions for ourselves and others (including clients and co-workers)
•consider other and better options if necessary.

It is important to not only have a knowledge of your value system, but to understand that your values underpin your beliefs and beliefs underpin behaviour. How we behave is a reflection of our beliefs and our beliefs are a reflection of our values.

Exploring your values

We are all influenced in varying degrees by the values of our family, culture, religion, education and social group. Knowing your own values can help you work effectively with clients, resolve conflicts and support the organisation’s philosophy of care appropriately. Wherever our values come from they make us the unique person we are today!

Answer the following and then think about what it tells you about yourself, where your values have come from and how people with different backgrounds and life experiences would answer these questions. There are no right or wrong answers—just answer honestly and be willing to explore and reflect upon your own values.

•With what race do I identify?
•Do I know people from a different race to me?
•Do I believe people from different races should live together?
•What would life be like if my skin colour was different?
•What do I think about marriages and relationships between people from different races?

•How many friends do I have from the opposite sex?
•If I was a different gender how might life be different?

•What is my religion? Do I believe in it?
•What is my family’s religion?
•Are most people in my community from this religion?
•How does my religion influence my life?

•What culture do I identify with?
•What do I like and dislike about my culture and traditions?
•What other cultures interest me? Do I like learning about them? Why?

•What is my first language?
•What other languages do I speak?
•Who should decide what language people should speak?

•What political party do I support? Why?
•Do I believe in the death penalty? Why?
•What are my views on abortion? Why?
•What are my views on homosexuality? Why?
•What are my views about illegal drugs? Why?
•What are my view about voluntary euthanasia? Why?

Reflect on your answers about where your values have come from.
1.What did this activity tell you about your values?
2.Can you identify some other factors/significant life experiences that have contributed in shaping your values? 3.Why have you decided to become a worker in the CSI?
4.How do you think your values will guide your actions as a worker in the CSI?

The aim of this activity is to make you aware of issues that could arise in the workplace and the differing values workers can have. There are no right or wrong answers, so when completing this activity try to be as honest as you can.

Read the following scenarios and rate your reactions by ticking the box which best defines your reaction.

Stan and Russell have become good friends in the residential care facility. They enjoy each other’s company and like to read pornographic magazines together. Stan usually buys the magazines, but one month Stan did not come into the hostel for care as he usually did. Russell wanted some new pornos to read so he asked Penny the care worker to buy him some magazines. She agreed and brought some for him.

What do you think about Penny doing this for Russell?

I think this is not okay.

I think this is okay.

Wayne is a 49 year old volunteer at an aged care home. He is an Anglo-Australian, with a disability. He works with Anh, the recreation officer. She Vietnamese and is 20 years old. Wayne and Anh have been going out together and Wayne has told Anh that he loves her. How do you feel about Anh and Wayne being partners?

Rate your feeling according to their ages:

I think this is not okay.

I think this is okay.

Rate your feeling according to their cultural backgrounds:

I think this is okay.

I think this is not okay.

Rate your feeling according to the fact they work together:

I think this is not okay.

I think this is okay.

Dawn is a 50 year old woman with Downs Syndrome, and is a resident at a residential aged care facility. She masturbates in the common lounge area at the facility. She needs to be shown a private place to do this and it is your role to take her to a private room, next time she is masturbating. How do you feel about this?

Rate your response according to the factor of Dawn masturbating:

I think this is okay.

I think this is not okay.

Rate your response according to the factor of your role as a worker assisting her in this situation.

I think this is okay.

I think this is not okay.

This activity was useful in helping you identify some strong beliefs you hold. It is good for you to be able to reflect on these and think how they might impact on your role as a care worker. For example, if you think that all older people and people with disabilities have a right to express their sexuality, regardless of the way they choose do that, you will want to ensure their privacy and dignity is respected. Remember, clients have a right to receive a professional service regardless of the attitudes, beliefs and values they hold.

After answering the questions, you might find it useful to revisit your answers and identify where your attitudes have come from. This will help in preventing your personal attitudes from impacting on the way you work with clients.

What is a belief?

Beliefs come from real experiences but often we forget that the original experience is not the same as what is happening in life now. Our values and beliefs affect the quality of our work and all our relationships because what you believe is what you experience. We tend to think that our beliefs are based on reality, but it is our beliefs that govern our experiences.

The beliefs that we hold are an important part of our identity. They may be religious, cultural or moral. Beliefs are precious because they reflect who we are and how we live our lives.

As a care worker in the community services industry, the pre-existing beliefs you may have could be related to stereotypes that have developed for you around issues like sexuality, alcohol and other drugs, ageing and disabilities, independence, health, the rights of people, your idea of health and what it’s like to be older and/or disabled.

These stereotypes could affect the way you interact and work with clients. This is because you have assumptions about what your clients can and can’t do for themselves, the way they should think about issues and what is best for them. If you make assumptions as a worker then you are denying clients their rights, respect and dignity. As a worker this would be regarded as a breach in your duty of care towards clients.

The need for older people and people with disabilities to express their sexuality does not necessarily diminish over time. The desire for intimacy can in fact intensify. The development of new relationships may occur as a result of living in a residential care setting or as people’s social networks change over time. The right to express sexuality is a quality of life issue and is part of one’s self-identity. The way people choose to express their sexuality may change over time in a variety of ways. Intimate relationships enhance a person’s quality of life and contribute to their feelings of well being. As a care worker it is important to respect a person’s right to express their sexuality in a way which is appropriate for them.

What is an attitude?

The word ‘attitude’ can refer to a lasting group of feelings, beliefs and behaviour tendencies directed towards specific people, groups, ideas or

An attitude is a belief about something. It usually describes what we think is the ‘proper’ way of doing something. The attitudes that we feel very strongly about are usually called values. Other attitudes are not so important and are more like opinions. Sometimes our own attitudes can make us blind to other people’s values, opinions and needs. Attitudes will always have a positive and negative element and when you hold an attitude you will have a tendency to behave in a certain way toward that person or object.

You will need to be aware of your own personal values, beliefs and attitudes and how they might impact on your work.

It is important to consider the mapping of your own life – what have been some significant events that have shaped you, what qualities you admire in yourself and others, what beliefs are important to you, what you value and so on. Some examples of these may be personal features such as strength of character, helping people, respect, honesty, wealth, success, health etc.

What we believe are important qualities, or what qualities we admire in ourselves and others, generally reflect our life experiences and the values which we established in our early years through the influence of family, teachers, friends, religion, our culture, our education.

Given that all of us have differences which have been shaped by our life experiences, we can understand that we will all have different sets of values and beliefs. We do not all think about issues in the same way!

To work effectively it is critical to understand your own values and beliefs and to understand the importance of not allowing them to affect the way in which you work with clients. Remember they are your values and may be quite different to the values held by your clients.

In order to remain professional it is necessary to leave your personal values out of the client/worker relationship. This means that it is important that you allow clients to make decisions based on their own values and beliefs rather than decisions that reflect what you think they should do.

When we are carrying out our daily duties at work we rarely think about our attitudes, we are immersed in work itself and often remain unaware of just how different our attitudes could be to others around us.

As previously defined an attitude is simply a belief, and describes what we think is the proper way of doing or thinking about something. Attitudes vary in intensity.

When we feel strongly about something attitudes are called values. Attitudes that are less important to us are called opinions. For example we may feel strongly that older people should give up their jobs when they reach a certain age, so that younger people can get work. Strong attitudes are often very emotional and can cloud our judgement in meeting other people’s needs. This means that some people or clients may be denied their rights to be allowed to make their own choices and decisions about their life.

The influence of attitudes

Our attitudes develop over time and not only reflect where we have come from i. e. the influence family, friends and experiences have had on our attitudes, but also how we will proceed with our life in the future. Attitudes are therefore a powerful element in our life, are long enduring and hard to change—but not impossible!

The problem with attitudes

One of the problems with our attitudes is we often ignore any information which is not consistent with them—we become selective in the way we perceive and respond to events and issues—and lose our ‘objectivity’ about the world. By developing insights about our attitudes we reduce the risk of making decisions at work based on our unconscious, pre-existing perceptions, allowing us work more professionally with clients.

Awareness of personal attitudes

It is good practice to think about your attitudes and beliefs: it helps you to understand yourself better. It is beneficial to reflect on your life, identify some of the significant events that have shaped you, consider what qualities you admire in yourself and others and be mindful of what values and are important to you.

Your identity has shaped the person you are today!

Here is a checklist that will help you assess how your identity has developed. (.doc 25 kB)

The exercise you have just completed will have given you some sense of where your own identity has come from. Think about this as you answer the following questions.

1.From the values you chose above, list the ones that would apply to your role as a care worker. 2.Why is it important for community services workers to have a sense of their own identity and where it has come from? 3.What issues can you identify for yourself in having to work with people and clients who have grown up differently form you, have a different identity and therefore different beliefs?

Taking into account personal values and beliefs

One of the responsibilities of workers is that we do not impose our own values and beliefs on the people we work with. That is, that we don’t provide options and services based on what we feel is right, but that we work with people in relation to what is right for them. We should always remember that it is their life and only they should make decisions about how they should live their life.

If you try to impose your own moral values on clients, you are likely to make them feel judged and to damage their self-worth. Moreover, they are likely to reject you and to reject your values too. If you are able to accept your clients, with whatever values they have, you may well find that as time passes they move closer to you in their beliefs. This is inevitable because we are, whether we like it or not, models for our clients and we have a responsibility to be good models.

Regardless of who the client is, and regardless of his or her behaviour, he or she deserves to be treated as a human being of worth. If you respect your clients, they will, through feeling valued, be given the optimum conditions in which to maximise their potential as individuals.

It is essential that you are aware of your own values and beliefs so that you do not impose them (deliberately or unintentionally) on the people you are working with.

In order to leave your personal values out of the client/worker relationship, you need to aware of the impact they may have when you come across clients that do not behave in ways that you agree with—that is, clients who have different values and beliefs to you. You may find that with such clients you become judgemental or notice that you are encouraging clients to make a decision that reflects what you think they should do (based on your values and beliefs) rather than working with the client to come up with their own ideas about how to resolve the issue.

That is why it is so important to have ethical standards, so that we are operating by a professional set of guidelines, not what we personally think is right or wrong.

Activity: Professional values

What would you consider to be the values and attitudes that are critical for someone who works in the community services industry?

Respecting the beliefs, attitudes and values of others

Everyone is entitled to their own values, attitudes and beliefs. It is important to accept and respect that other people may well have different attitudes, values and beliefs than you. We do not have the right to expect that others change their values, attitudes and beliefs just because they are different to ours.

It is quite possible that you may face situations at work that either challenge or compromise your own values, attitudes or beliefs when working to support people with a disability.

It is not always easy to avoid communicating your beliefs and values to clients, but it is something you need to be very aware of. It can be very easy to influence clients in subtle ways. Simple things like body language, gestures, the way you say something, or even actions, can give a client the impression you agree or disagree with their values or beliefs.

A disability support worker, Sally, was assisting Harry, a client, to decide what movie he was going to see on the weekend. Harry loved horror films. Sally hated them. During the conversation Sally shook her head every time Harry pointed to a horror film in the paper. In the end Harry decided to go and see a comedy. Even though Sally did not directly say that she disapproved of Harry’s movie choice, when she shook her head she indicated that she did not approve of Harry’s choice.

The support you give to clients should be, as much as possible, in line with their values, attitudes and beliefs, while also in line with your community services organisation and the law.
Impact of values and philosophies on service provision

The way that the above values and philosophies are acted upon in services affects the quality of the service provided to clients. The more these values are promoted and reflected in the way the service operates, the more positive the experience for the client.

Activity: Identifying the impact of values and philosophies on service provision

Phong is a 29 year old Vietnamese man who was injured in a serious car accident eight months ago and sustained a brain injury. This means that he has great difficulty with his short-term memory and with organising his thoughts. He also needs to use a wheelchair because of a neck injury. Phong is now living back at home with his family. Most of his friends don’t come around anymore and Phong hardly gets out. He is unable to return to work as a mechanic. Phong has been referred to a community access program, designed to help him deal with his brain injury and integrate back into the community.

My Values Essay Sample

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My Values Essay Sample

Self Reflection: How My Values and Beliefs Affect Who I Counsel Values are deeply held opinions or beliefs that an individual deems as appropriate. Values can be accumulated from our childhood based on the various teachings and observations from our parents, teachers, pastors and other influential individuals in our lives. Ethics and values are about the choices made – or failed to make, and becoming aware of our thoughts and of our abilities to make informed, intelligent decisions, as well as our belief system. I am aware that my values and beliefs are a result of the choices that I make, and will have consequences, both for me and for others. I realized I made decisions of where to live, how to spend my time, whom to associate with, whom to believe, or not believe. I am constantly faced with choices that affect the length and quality my life. Regardless of where life may lead me, my personal beliefs and values go with me; however, I must be careful not to impose those beliefs on clientele when providing therapy.

When working with clients, integrity and concern for their welfare are essential. I know it is vital that I don’t judge others and treat them as individuals while encouraging them to successfully define and achieve their own goals. I realize that I have a tendency to stereotype people based on my past experiences on what I had heard from others or was taught. I realize that this is not a constructive way for me to be, and will definitely not benefit anyone I may come in contact with. I have a strong religious background and it will be a challenge for me to respect an individual’s cultural background and beliefs that differ from mine. I believe it is important for me to be responsible, professional in my behavior, respectful, and yet maintain a high level of honesty while supporting clients. It will be helpful for me to become acquainted with the American Psychological Association (APA) Code of Ethics so I can and abide by those guidelines when it comes to respecting the rights of clients. Moreover, this will help me avoid imposing my belief system on them. Discussion

There are a vast number of ethical and legal issues when it comes to counseling and working with clients. It is important to be sincere, genuine, patient, nonjudgmental, understanding, and possess strong interpersonal skills, yet be flexible when working with clients. In the mental health field, an individual’s background, beliefs, and gender are important; thus, may influence their confidence in the type of counselor they prefer to have in treatment. The APA (2002) Ethical Principle D: Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity, affirms that psychologists respect the dignity and worth of all people, and the rights of individuals to privacy, confidentiality, and self-determination. Psychologists are aware that special safeguards may be necessary to protect the rights and welfare of individuals, or communities whose vulnerabilities impair autonomous decision making. According to Welfel (2010) age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status when working with members of such groups.

It is important for psychologists to try to eliminate any biases based on those factors, and avoid participating in or condoning the activities of others based upon such prejudices. The Code of Ethics acknowledges that counselors are to explore their own cultural identities and how these affect their values and beliefs about the counseling process (APA, 2002). Another area of concern for me is not to violate client’s rights, or overstep any boundaries. Since there are so many different cultures in this country, I feel it becomes unavoidable not to come in contact with multiple people from multiple backgrounds along with their multicultural issues. I think all multicultural groups should have access to the kind of counseling, which honors their ethnicity, speaks their language, and treats them the way they would be treated among their own ethnic group. Even if this requires additional training for a therapist, I think it will be beneficial for the sake of the client.

One of the fears I have is not being aware of all the legal practicalities I need to know so I am not overstepping any client boundaries. When probing the gray areas of counseling, I believe there is a fine line to be drawn when adapting the necessary interventions a client may call for in order to deliver effective treatment; nevertheless, a therapist needs to be careful not to violate any client boundaries. When it comes to disclosing personal information, I prefer to remain professional and let my clients know as little as possible about my personal life. I think it will be imperative for my clients to know my qualifications and education because it may affect the quality of treatment they are given. Competence can become an area of concern when it comes to a client receiving proper treatment. I think when it comes to competency, having adequate training is needed for the welfare of the client.

After preparing an assessment of the needs of the client, I would try to do some additional research to find a plan that may benefit them. In addition to this, having adequate supervision, and making sure the client is aware of my training is necessary and essential to their treatment process. If I discovered that I fell short and their needs exceeds what I am qualified to do, I would let the client know, discuss my concerns with a superior, and possibly refer them to another counselor who is more qualified to provide proper treatment. When working with clients, integrity and having purpose and meaning in their lives are important. I believe it is important for me to be respectful, responsible, and professional in my behavior; yet, maintain a high level of honesty while supporting clientele. Regardless of my values, I know it is vital that I do not judge others, but respect their beliefs.

Sometimes I have a tendency to go above and beyond the call of duty because I want to see everyone succeed, but I know it is imperative to remain in the realm of what a therapist should do when counseling clients. Furthermore, in order to be able to work with clients with different values and cultures from my own, a counselor needs to develop sensitivity to their values and differences, which are a very important issue in the counseling process (Kelly& Strupp, 1992). This view has been held by Bell (1996), who argues that it is important for a counselor to be mindful of the client’s values and to look at how psychological problems are treated within other cultures. In this regard, Propst (1996) argues that counselors’ sensitivity to clients’ values can be decisive to the success of the therapy, since the counselors’ competence in communicating within the clients’ value framework influences the final result for the clients. I am mindful that I need to be careful so my beliefs and values do not interfere when counseling people.

As a counselor, or therapist it is significant not to impose my values on clients, but this does not imply that I should decline to discuss values, ethics, or my point of view as long as it does not intervene with the counseling procedure. Nor does it mean that I may not be able to express my values because a client may request how I feel about a specific subject. There may be times when it is necessary for a client to be cognizant of my values or beliefs, and how I stand on certain ethical matters. I think being honest with the client means that I may need to express my values and beliefs. When counseling, if therapists believe that acknowledging their values may improve the counseling relationship with their client, it is beneficial to act thusly. Nevertheless, such values should be distinctly labeled as their own or perhaps sometimes as society’s in general.

When values are openly expressed in this way, there is no coerciveness about them (Patterson, 1986). I do not believe that I would openly impose my values on clientele because the effect will be clearly a conflict of interest, which I desire to avert. Besides, by imposing my values and beliefs on clients can make them experience a sense of guilt and become uncomfortable. The therapist should not impose their beliefs, value system, or philosophy on clients (Patterson, 1986). Yet, it has been noted the therapist cannot avoid communicating their values to the client through the acceptance of an ultimate goal toward the therapeutic process (Patterson, 1986). The immediate goal of counseling is the continuing process by which clients achieve goals and become a more self-actualizing person. The self-actualizing individual is autonomous, independent and responsible.

Therefore, the client is respected and given responsibility in the therapy process and should make their own decisions. Clients have the right to personal freedom, independence and dignity (Welfel, 2010). I know that I need to be careful not to solve a client’s problem for them. I am aware that a client’s individuality should be fully respected. Clients should not be controlled, dominated, manipulated, coerced or indoctrinated. People are entitled to make their own mistakes and learn from them. It is important to establish an agreement between the client and therapist regarding the relevance of values and religious issues during the counseling process. There is a possibility that the counselor’s values influence those of the client (Corey, 1996). Moreover,

it is possible that the client can become converted into the counselor’s set of values. For this reason, a problem may arise when my values and beliefs differ from a client’s. Furthermore, I am mindful that I should not impose any of my beliefs and values on clientele. I realize that in order to maintain a sense of professionalism, I need to be able to relate to clients whose values and beliefs are different from my own as well as develop sensitivity to their psychological needs. Another resolution to avoid imposing my values on clients is to ensure that clientele and myself come from the same values, background and culture (Zain & Varma, 1996). In most instances, it is probably unlikely that this will occur. Since acquiring a client’s trust can sometimes be a difficult process, it is important for me to be realistic, I will not always get a client with the values I want.

According to Beutler et. al. (1991) when a client-counselor relationship is mismatched, it is best to strive for a collaborative, caring, supportive and respectful relationship that is based on the client’s values (Beutler, et. al. (1991). If consideration is given to a client’s cultural values, it is important that I am able to communicate adequately within the client’s value system. According to Bergin et. al, (1996) it is important that this is done with sensitivity and in a manner acceptable to the client involved. As stated by Hays (1995), the extent to which counselors can acknowledge alternative styles, views and behaviors, depends on the flexibility of the counselor’s viewpoint regarding lifestyles.

Counseling which takes client’s values into consideration is more successful in the process, outcome, and assessment of therapy, and also leads to a better client-counselling relationship (Kelly &Strupp, 1992). It is also important for me to be aware of my own values and prejudices as well as understanding the values and beliefs of clients. I understand the importance of being sensitive to a client’s values and way of life. I plan on obtaining additional training in terms of working with individuals from diverse cultures by taking extra classes, workshops, or even learning another language that may benefit the client, therapist relationship.

I will continue to value trust, loyalty, commitment, integrity, and respect for one another. According to the APA (2002) Code of Ethics, Section C: Professional Responsibility, C.2.D., it is important to monitor a counselor’s effectiveness and take steps to improve whenever necessary (Welfel, 2010). I value ongoing education, being in the company of people from diverse backgrounds, and obtaining as much information as possible to help me reach a better understanding of other cultures. Moreover, I will endeavor to be the most effective counselor by respecting my client’s beliefs and value arrangement. A personal and professional strength that I have is listening. I recognize when to be quiet and how to be attentive to an individual’s need. Also, I feel I have a wide variety of experiences, both positive and negative, when it comes to working with people, and I know I can maintain an objective point of view. I am non-judgmental and a firm believer that all people can be helped, and construct positive changes in their lives regardless of their age, gender, culture, or nationality.

I am concerned in seeing every client of every age succeed in their personal, scholastic and vocational life. Being respectful and keeping a high level of honesty is also important when supporting clientele. I know it is imperative that I don’t judge clients and treat them as individuals, while at the same time encouraging them to successfully define and achieve their own goals. I think because of my values and beliefs, I am able to empathize with clients and rationally and emotionally relate to their points of view. By seeking to understand the APA Code of Ethics, this will also help to lessen my chances of not imposing my values and beliefs on a client. Counselors are to encourage client growth and development in ways that foster the interest and welfare of clients and promote formation of healthy relationships. I think counselors should actively attempt to understand the diverse cultural backgrounds of the clients they serve.

Counselors also explore their own cultural identities and how these affect their value and beliefs about the counseling process (Welfel, 2010). I feel all people should have access to the sort of counseling that respects their values and beliefs, and treats them the way they would desire to be treated among their own cultural group. Even though I have a strong religious background, it will be a challenge for me to respect an individual’s cultural background and beliefs. Nevertheless, I believe it is important for me to be responsible and professional in my behavior, be respectful, and yet maintain a high degree of honesty while supporting clientele. It will be helpful for me to become familiar with the APA Code of Ethics and to adopt those guidelines of respecting the rights and dignity of people and not imposing my belief system on them.

I am aware that I will continue to be faced with choices that affect the length and quality my life. Therefore, my values and beliefs can affect the way that I counsel clientele. When working with diverse clients, integrity and concern for their welfare is essential. I believe that, overall, people are important and deserve to have their values and beliefs respected, even if they differ from mine. Even though I am still under construction when it comes to developing my potential as an effective mental health professional, in my own way, I wish to make the world a better, healthier place for all people.