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PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS OF COUNSELING STUDENTS AT A - page 106 / 135

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Another facet of the Agreeableness domain is Straightforwardness. This facet

measures a person’s willingness to interact with others in a frank, sincere, and ingenuous

manner or likeliness to be guarded in expressing true feelings (Costa & McCrae, 1992).

Counselors are trained to be careful with expressing in a straightforward manner their

assumptions or opinions. Doing so presumptively or prematurely may prevent or damage

a therapeutic relationship.

Another example of a facet that may affect the results of this study is the Altruism

facet. This facet is a measure of a person’s active concern for the welfare of others and

willingness to assist others who need help (Costa & McCrae, 1992). Although on face

value this facet may be perceived as a necessary aspect of a counselor’s personality

profile, counselor education programs assist students in discovering the importance of

essential boundaries in the therapeutic event. One of the goals of counseling is to assist a

counselee without the person becoming overly reliant upon the counselor. It is a goal to

help the client discover his or her own ability to navigate life’s challenges. The counselor

who scores high on altruism may have a strong relationship with a client, but not

necessarily a helpful one. Sullivan, Skovholt, & Jennings (2005) found in a qualitative

study that effective therapists expect strains and ruptures in a therapeutic relationship.

The end result is not detrimental to the therapy process but rather a safe environment is

created for healing to take place. The client may not have experienced this healing in

other relationships.

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