Assignment 8 ‘Definitions of Counselling skills’
Unit 3, Criterion 1.3
The skills used in counselling, vary from model to model, here are definitions of the skills used in person centred counselling, Attentiveness and rapport building
Being attentive means giving all of your physical attention to another person so that you are fully present for them. This will help you to notice what the client is NOT saying, by noticing their body language, and also their tone and pace of voice. The use of non-verbal cues and the counsellor’s own body language conveys to the client that he is interested in what the client has to say. (Bolton 1979). Managing silences from the client shows attentiveness, as sometimes clients will need silences to process what has been said, and allowing them the silence and time to do can help them find their own solution to the problem. (Course handout 2013). The way that a counsellor sits during the session also shows attentiveness, by adopting the SOLER position. S – Sit squarely (facing the client)
O – Adopt an open posture
L – Lean forward slightly at times
E – Maintain eye contact
R – Relax
By sitting squarely, the counsellor shows the client that he is ready to give the client his full attention, adopting an open posture, means not crossing arms or legs, which can create a ‘barrier’. By leaning forward slightly the counsellor shows an interest in the client, and eye contact should be maintained but not staring as this can be un-nerving. Being relaxed helps both the client and the counsellor and makes for a better session. Egan believed that if you can show the above behaviours to people, then they will feel that you are being supportive towards them. (Egan 2000). Rapport Building
Rapport is the foundation of the counselling relationship; it helps to build trust, respect and a good feeling of comfort. (Cormier & Hackney 1993). It is the ability to relate to others in a way that creates a level of trust and understanding. It is a ‘relationship’ between two people who are ‘on the same ‘wavelength’. (Inspirational solutions 2013) Rapport building starts from the first moment that the counsellor and client meet, so it is important to make a good first impression. The counsellor should introduce himself by his first name, as this creates a feeling of equality between the two people. If the client is, disclosing something to the counsellor that he himself has experience of, the counsellor may use self-disclosure and tell the client about his experience. This can help to further build rapport between counsellor and client, as it implies that the two have something in common. (Course handout 2013). In order to continue to build a good rapport with a client the counsellor need to be attentive, open, congruent and non-judging. (Course handout 2013). Active listening including minimal encouragers
Active listening is important because, it sends a message to the client that the counsellor is fully present and when a client feels that he is being listened to, he is more likely to open up about the difficulties that brought him to counselling. (Course handout 2013). It is a real and honest desire to understand the client. (London Deanery 2012). The ways in which a counsellor shows he is actively listening to the client are, by using minimal encouragers, these are non-verbal signs that show that the counsellor is listening to what is being said and encourage the client to continue . They include, head nodding, eyebrow raising, using sounds like mmm or aha. Maintaining good eye contact with the client also indicates that the counsellor is listening, as does the way he sits during the session again adopting the SOLER position. (Course handout 2013).
The counsellor will also use reflections and paraphrases as this, as well as checking understanding with the client, proves that the counsellor has heard what was said. (Course handout 2013). Managing...