Through years of training marriage and family therapists, department faculty have identified valuable personality traits that allow students to thrive in the field of counseling, including:
- The ability to avoid doing anything for another person that they are capable of doing for themselves. This includes protecting someone that is not at risk.
- The ability to remain attentive and attuned to the immediate context and the data (sights, sounds, smells, etc.) which emanate within this context.
- Being able to be truthful without any element of judgment entering into this honesty.
- Being able to be flexible and adaptable to a rapidly changing context.
- The ability to tolerate emotional intensity without shutting down, shutting off, avoiding or collapsing/dissolving into emotions.
- The ability to be emotionally self-supporting.
- The ability to hear "criticism" or other not necessarily complimentary comments as opportunities for growth and not as censure of you as a person.
- The avoidance of interpretations of behavior, i.e., the why/because statements.
- The ability to accept ownership and accountability for your words, actions, and emotions...and along with this an absence of projection -- putting your own issues out onto another.
- The ability to be in appropriate relationship roles, i.e., unless your parent is present, you shouldn't respond or react as if you are a son or daughter, nor should you employ parental behaviors in a classroom or therapy setting.
- The ability to tolerate anxiety...understanding that change only takes place when there is a level of tension that accompanies anxiety.
- The belief that everything that takes place in the process of your learning occurs in the context of the faculty's commitment to producing the most competent marriage and family therapist professional possible.