Jim Nivette, a renowned software account executive, worked in Social Services before he made the career change to technology. He has extensive experience in the field and is sharing his knowledge for those looking to work in the field.
According to Jim Nivette, the most effective practitioners are those who are the best listeners and those who utilize their very succinct skill sets effectively. These skills include being able to focus on what a client wants in-depth, being able to structure questions that allow the clients to find their paths and, finally, being observant and patient enough to notice slight behavioral changes that may indicate improvement or worsening of a client’s conditions. Nivette states that micro-skills help a practitioner make realistic estimates of a client’s situation, and take the necessary measures making adjustments if the current methods are not working.
Besides improving on micro-skills, Jim Nivette also notes that practitioners need to embrace the fact that they are in a career that requires perpetual learning. The goal is to keep you in tune with the latest methods that have been shown to improve outcomes for people with mental health issues, while allowing for the personal growth. Nivette advises practitioners and counsellors to take advantage of seminars and short courses to enhance their skills and stay innovative. Going back to school for a doctorate is always an option, Nivette believes this more expensive route may not necessarily lead to better outcomes in terms of skills improvement for particular practitioners working within certain environments where field work and experience are the best path.
Jim Nivette also advises counselors and to guard against mental strain as much as possible. Nivette notes that dealing with people with mental health issues is very involved and a counselor can easily suffer taxing mental strain resulting in ineffective therapy treatments. To avoid such, Nivette advises the counselors to take time off work and engage in fun activities they enjoy and to disengage when they are not in session and on personal time to “recharge the batteries”. This can help them unwind and reenergize to offer even better, more effective services.
In addition, Jim Nivette notes that for a counselor to be effective at their work, they need to be flexible in how they interact and observe their clients. His reasoning behind this is that people with mental health issues often display a range of behaviors dependent upon the situation they are in. That said, when only seeing a patient in a controlled setting and not working with the population as they exist a practitioner may be unable to see the different characteristics the patient displays. As such, a counselor needs to be in a position to deal with each situation as it comes. By knowing that there is no one-size-fits-all to counseling, you will be in a better place to serve all your clients better.
Lastly, Nivette notes that counselors should work on their networking skills. The goal is to expand the potential opportunities to help you grow your career. The better your prospects for growth, the more motivated you will be to work and make the most out of your career, with the result of delivering your clients the best possible services.
Jim Nivette is a software account executive, but worked as a practitioner in his previous career. Just like he has worked to become a highly sought-after software account executive, he was also a very successful practitioner, helping many deal with mental health issues and drug and alcohol addiction. Even after many years away from his counseling career, Nivette still feels a connection to the field and regularly donates his time and services in the community and the larger ecosystem while targeting at-risk groups.
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