Counseling for Romeno Matilda

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Romeno Matilda is a student at the Yale University. She is a South African beneficiary of the AUSAID scholarship. Presently, she is undergoing an emotional breakdown due to culture shock and pressure due to her studies. She is having a difficult time adapting to the new environment. She is not comfortable with the food she has to eat. She also feels she does fit in the lifestyle she is forced to leave. She cannot engage in leisure activities with her fellows as the activities she likes participating in arenot available here. She has been unable to make a single friend in a period of almost five months and stays lonely most of the time. She also complains of the heavy workload at school. She is afraid she has not been to cope up with her studies due to the huge workload and the time pressure. It is her fear that she might need much longer time to finish her undergraduate degree which would result to termination of her scholarship. She cannot afford to support herself when the scholarship is dropped. She says she comes from a poor household back in South Africa and would really want to make a change on the situation.


            Counseling is the process of helping someone who going through a difficulty to overcome the situation (McLeod, 2007. Individuals who seek for counseling help are normally unable to cope with the situation they are going through. The counseling professional and the person who needs help should initiate a relationship for effective counseling process. Counseling is a recommendation as part of an intervention program. As a school psychologist it is a necessary skill to master. The essential skills in counseling include probing the person being counseled for information for better understanding of her case, prompting, paraphrasing, reflective feelings, and summarizing. There is need for a consistent practicing of the skills to help in the development of the techniques in counseling.

            As a psychologist, I am tasked with offering counseling to Romeno Matilda to enable her overcome her situation. The paper represents a counseling reflection where I engage her to understand her situation so as to come up with measures that can help in bringing a solution to the problem. The major focus of the reflection is the counseling techniques such as reflection of content, questioning, voice, presentation, paraphrasing, summarizing, and reflection of feeling.


            To undertake my assignment, I selected Matilda, a student at the Yale University. Matilda is a 19-year old female from South Africa. She had the motivation to share with me her situation so that I could help her deal with the situation.


            At the session bean, it was my task to ensure that Matilda was comfortable to share with me he concerns. I made sure I was not too detached and at the same time not too friendly. I presented myself to her and started prompting her using a few questions about her life in general. I engaged her in a discussion on the differences in the geography of the USA with her home back in South Africa. She was comfortable and shared a lot with me on their culture and lifestyle back home. The discussion helped in softening of the professional barrier between the two of us creating a friendly atmosphere which enabled her to easily share out her feelings. It was a good time to start off the interview with her as she was ready to engage me in her situation. There was alleviation of tension on my side and on her side.

            I set up the ground rules to her and informed her of the limit of confidentiality. It made her feel safe throughout the counseling process. I asked if there was any rule she was not comfortable but she confirmed with me that she was good with any of the rules. I further explained to her that should anything arise during the session that I am unable to handle, then I would have to refer to a professional counselor.

            After she had the opportunity of sharing out her problem, it was authentic to let her express how she felt she could be helped. The aim of this was ensuring the satisfaction of her expectations. I did not want to provide my own solution to the problem but rely on her suggestions. I may have come up with solutions that are contrary to her expectations if I did not engage her on the possible solutions.


            It is very important to listen to the voice of the one being counseled during the session (Geldard, 2012). Too high or too low voice would imply that the outcomes of the counseling were unfavorable. Throughout the session, I maintained my voice at a medium tone. It made to it easy to fully understand her. I also ensured a reasonable pace of speaking. To slow the pace of speaking, I could pause and repeat some phrases. There was no much interference during the session.


            Questioning was necessary during the process to enable me explore the Matilda’s concerns. I ensured I asked her the right question and at the right time as this helps in making her reveal more valuable information that would be necessary in the counseling process. To enable her to give much deeper explanations on her case, I ensured a used more of open-ended questions as compared to the closed ones. I gave her enough space between the questions so that she could effectively reflect on her issue without feeling overwhelmed with the questions.


            I repeated what she said in my own words to ease the conversation. It helped me in affirming whether I had truly understood what she meant. By paraphrasing her statements, she felt I was attentive.  Every time I was over paraphrasing, she would add more information. Paraphrasing helped in creating an effective conversation between Matilda and me.


            The counseling session was effective in helping her find solutions to her problems. After the session, she showed that she was positive about the environment. She was willing to work on ways of adapting to the environment and be positive about her studies despite the challenges. She promised to look into the issue of the huge workload in school from a positive end. She was ready to make me her first friend in the USA and we exchanged our contacts.

            Though I tried to be very efficient in how I run the session, it was clear there were areas I needed to have improved on. I was not able to complete the session within the forty minutes that was recommended and the client started feeling uneasy after a long period of conversation. I did not effectively conclude the session as I had to rush towards the end.  I realized I had chosen a bad environment for the counseling process. There was too much noise in the place from the movement of people in the corridors and the cars. I also realized that there is need for me to enhance my skills in oratory. I asked the same question many times in different ways instead of focusing on the other elements in the counseling process.



McLeod, J. (2007). Counseling Skill. Blacklick: McGraw-Hill Education

Geldard, D., & Geldard, K. (2012). Basic personal counselling: a training manual for

            counsellors. Frenchs Forest, N.S.W: Pearson Australia.

October 24, 2023

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