Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Coach Carter and Counseling

The 2005 movie, Coach Carter, is a snapshot of a successful basketball coach's life. His influence on his basketball team extended to his community. Having built up a promising basketball team, one can surmise that his fearless style of coaching, which included benching the entire team for poor academic performance, was what transformed a misfit group of teens into a top notch basketball team.
So what does this story have to do with counseling? In class this past week, we examined the role of a counselor. Unlike the mechanic approach who looks to fix a problem, the survival guide who endures with the client through trauma, or even the optometrist who sheds a new light on the problem, the counselor can also assume the role of a coach. In this role, the coach must utilize the insight skills of the optometrist to identify the problem and possible solutions and must also endure with the client through trauma. The counselor, like the coach, motivates the client towards improvement, lending direction and advice as needed. The counselor is not only unafraid of conflict and confrontation but demonstrates patience while the client is learning and utilizing new skills, ready to encourage.
Coach Carter made me think of the coach approach to counseling. I enjoyed this movie and I personally like the coaching approach the most. I think it encompasses some of the benefits of the other approaches and is a natural fit for my personality. One point in the movie I particularly thought relevant to counseling is that Coach Carter had the insight and foresight to see what was most important for the individual basketball team members as well as the team as a whole. His focus was continuously on their well-being and he walked through life's trials with them during that time. Likewise, counselors, and especially Christian counselors, need to have the principle of beneficence first and foremost when working with clients.

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