Advanced Counselling Skills
20th April 2015
Sharon “Eve” Hanley
Student Number : 00302197
Advanced Counselling Skills (300 words in headings)
1. Understand the process of a series of counselling sessions. 1.1 Identify the stages of a series of counselling sessions. A well-structured counselling session provides an essential framework for both counsellor and client. Many authors describe the structure of a counselling work in terms of a beginning, middle phase and end Jacobs (2004). Gray (2004) likens the structure to an artist’s frame encapsulating a picture stating “Just as the frame around a picture serves to enhance and contain the material within it, so the structure erected around a counselling arrangement supports the work the participants are engaged in”. The beginning session is crucial for establishing trust, initial rapport and boundary settings. This is described in more detail in 1.2. The middle phase of the session is the working part where the exploration and the work takes place. It involves some or all of the key counselling skills. The main aims are ensuring using skills that support the client to feel secure enabling them to recognise their emotions, thought processes and behaviours and reflect on these. It gives space enabling clients to establish their own change. The ending is the third stage and is an action phase. It is result of the enhancement of the client’s self-acceptance and the associated internalising of his locus of evaluation. It contains elements of review and importantly effective closure for both client and counsellor.
1.2 Evaluate the importance of an appropriate opening of a series of sessions. The beginning of a session is important to establish trust, rapport and set boundaries. The contract occurs to help establish a professional relationship. It includes confidentiality, time, money, complaints and client expectations of the counselling environment. Day and Sparacio (1988) describe this as “a joint understanding between the counsellor and client regarding the characteristics, conditions, procedures and parameters of counselling”. Establishing a solid professional relationship which is clearly boundaries reduces the chance of conflict in the future sessions. It empowers the client to feel secure and valued and protects the counsellor from possible issues such as over money or time keeping. Opening sessions allow for the first positive and professional impression to be made. The client may feel unsure of the process and the opening session(s) allows for trust to develop alongside the client’s willingness to open up. At the beginning the power is on the side of the counsellor due to knowledge this shifts towards the client through explanation of the process as there are no hidden agendas. 1.5 Explain the importance of working towards the ending of a series of sessions. In person centred counselling the client generally dictates the end point although a counsellor may still initiate an ‘endings’ discussion inviting the clients opinion on this. There are three areas that can be defined in preparing for an ending of sessions. Reviews and restarts and preparation for ending
This is to explain to the client that although the current counselling process counselling is coming to an end it is not necessarily a cure all one-time event. It may be entered into again later in life or the client may not feel the need for future intervention. Reviewing the counselling process
This is to develop and check a client’s cognitive understanding of what has transpired. Practical questions posed by Bayne (2008) could take the form of How does the client feel about the ending?
What has this counselling relationship been like?
What has been achieved?
What has the client learned to help in the future?
What might happen in the future?
This is a chance for a client to voice questions or uncertainties that may have gone...
Bibliography: Brammer, L. Shostrom E and Abrego, P. (1989) Therapeutic Psychology Fundamentals in Counselling and Psychotherapy. 5th Ed. New Jersey: Prenice Hall.
Bayne, R. (2008). The counsellor’s handbook. Cheltenham, U.K.: Nelson Thornes.
Day, R.W and Sparacio (1988) Structuring the counselling process in Dryden (2008) Key Issues for Counselling in Action. London: SAGE
Egan, G (1986) The skilled helper. Pacific Grove, Calif: Brooks/Cole
Gray, A (2004) An introduction to the Therapeutic frame, London: Routledge
Green, J and Claringbull, N. 2010 Creating the therapeutic relationship in counselling and psychotherapy. Exeter: Learning Matters
Gladding, S.T (2009) Counselling: A Comprehensive profession (6th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Jacobs M (2004) Psychodynamic Counselling in Action (3rd Edition) London: Sage
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