Personality Traits Of An Effective Counselor

During the 1930s, a French psychologist named Louis Corman developed morphopsychology. Morphopsychology uses physiognomy, or the study of human facial features, in predicting personality. According to Corman, the human facial composition is a good indicator of the character of a person. It can also give insights into the type of intelligence an individual possesses, whether emotional or instinctive.

Despite being a scientific discipline, morphopsychology has not been widely accepted by scientists. There is no clear evidence of the effectiveness of physiognomy. Yet, there are various methods to determine personality traits and characteristics developed in recent years. One of these is the OCEAN model of personality. Other personality traits are classified into five major personality traits in this model:

  • Openness
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness
  • Neuroticism

Knowing your personality traits will give you valuable insights into your behavior. A better understanding of yourself can benefit your personal and career development. When taking personality tests, you can seek guidance from psychiatrists, psychometrists, or a psychiatrist. 

Like everyone else, these mental health care professionals have also determined their personality traits. Have you ever wondered what it takes to be an effective counselor? What personality traits should you have and develop to be a counselor? 

Compassionate And Empathic

The ability to relate to the client is the first and perhaps most important personality trait. As a counselor, you need to have a nurturing and caring personality. You will face situations where your client may feel hopeless and helpless. Being compassionate and caring allows you to empathize with people’s struggles.

In these cases, it is important to consider the other person’s situation. Empathizing means being able to put yourself in their situations. What would you feel if you were the one having these experiences? It is important to approach their problem firstly from their own perspectives. If you have adequately understood their plight, then you can help them find a solution for it. 


Good At Communicating And Listening

An effective counselor is also good at communicating and listening to their clients. Counseling sessions should be about the mental problems of the clients. During a conversation, an effective counselor can remove the emphasis on themselves. They actively listen to what the other person is saying. If necessary, they provide professional advice to their client.

The client may also have difficulties in expressing themselves verbally. A good listener understands nonverbal cues of communication. To effectively communicate with the other person, they must also be aware of their body language. For instance, an individual looking downwards may be having feelings of shame and guilt.

In these cases, a counselor should establish rapport to make the clients comfortable sharing their stories. An effective communicator and listener are capable of keeping these stories confidential. Counselors should be able to build trust with the client, to know and understand them better. 

Creative When Solving Problems


Counselors should be creative when it comes to providing solutions to their client’s problems. Since every individual has unique characteristics and personalities, counselors should be able to use various methods.

Being creative in solving problems also requires the ability to think outside the box. For instance, a counselor might suggest playing therapy to adults who show signs of repressed thoughts and emotions. This can help them explore their identity and facilitate the healthy release of their feelings.

Despite the need for creativity in their profession, they also must adhere to scientific methods and techniques as foundations. Effective counselors know when to use alternative methods in assisting their clients. They provide the best treatment options for each individual. Even if it requires stretching their ideas and imagination.

Other Qualities Of An Effective Counselor

Aside from the primary personality traits, an effective counselor should also fully understand emotion and reason. Throughout the counseling session, there will be instances where too much compassion may cloud their judgment, or they may feel attached to their clients.

When it comes to therapy, a good counselor knows when to use empathy and reason. For instance, if the consultation aims to diagnose the client, a counselor must adhere to psychological tests. However, this does not mean that they won’t use empathy and compassion to gather more information for the diagnosis, such as the client’s current thoughts, emotions, and feelings.

When it comes to treatment, a good psychologist must still be objective. They must eliminate any bias that might jeopardize the client’s health. For instance, if counselors are fond of children, they must be careful not to get too attached to their young clients.

Finally, effective counselors exhibit great self-awareness and understanding of themselves. Counselors should take the time to develop their personalities. They need to understand their own prejudices and interests. This will help them separate themselves from their clients’ problems and avoid projecting on them. As counselors, they must have a deeper understanding of their identity to guide clients towards mental healing.