BASICS OF GUIDANCE & COUNSELING BASIC COUNSELLING SKILLS
BASIC COUNSELLING SKILLS • Open-ended Question Open question objective: discussion, ask for additional information and explanation No definite answer (yes/ no); less frightening; varied response What, How, Where, Why, Who Ended (closed) question objective: to gather data; look for specific answer (yes/ no) response using one or two words; frightening; limit response Did; Have; …
Open-ended question • Help begin an interview • Help get the interviewee to elaborate on a point • Help elicit examples of specific behavior so that the interviewer is better able to understand what the interviewee is describing • Help focus the client’s attention on his feelings Excessive reliance on questions may lead to the following problem the interview digress to a question-and-answer interrogation the responsibility for the interview reverts to the counselor discussion moves from affectively oriented topics to cognitively oriented topics interview loses a sense of flow and movement
Listening Skills • The process of tuning in to the client’s messages and responding accurately to the meaning behind the message • A synthesis of the skills of restatement of content and reflection of feeling • Promotes within the client the feeling of being understood • Genuinely and sensitively involved in what someone else is sharing; genuinely interested in understanding his world
Restatement of Content • Ability to restate the content of the client’s message or to paraphrase a client’s statement • Feed back the content of the statement using different words • Restatement conveys 3 purposes: • To convey to the client that you are with him, that you are trying to understand what he is saying • To crystallize a client’s comments by repeating what he has said in a more concise manner • To check the interviewer’s own perception to make sure she really does understand what the client is describing. (Ivey, 1971) Client: I am so sick of school I can hardly get up in the morning to go to class. Counselor: You’ve just about reached your limits as far as school is concerned.
Reflection of Feeling • Reflects the client’s feelings; responds by paraphrasing the content of the message but place the emphasis on the feeling the client expressed • Counselor attempts to perceive and understand the client accurately from the client’s internal frame of reference • Counselor tries to identify the feeling accurately by listening not only to what the client says but also to how the client says it. • Communicates to the client the counselor’s acceptance of her world Client: I was happy to hear I’ve been selected for a scholarship to the university I want to attend. Counselor: What a thrill for you. You must be very excited and proud to know that you were selected for such an honor.
Summarization of Content • To condense and crystallize the essence of the client’s statements • It can further client exploration and can also serve as a perception check for the counselor • A paraphrase normally responds to the client’s preceding statement; a summary can cover an entire phase of the session or even a total interview
Summarization of content is most frequently used in the following situations • When the interviewer wishes to structure the beginning of a session by recalling the high points of a previous interview • When the interviewee’s presentation of a topic has been either very confusing or just plain lengthy and rambling • When an interviewee has seemingly expressed everything of importance to him on a particular topic • When plans for the next steps to be taken require mutual assessment and agreement on what has been learned so far • When, at the end of the a session, the interviewer wishes to emphasize what has been learned within it, perhaps in order to give an assignment for the interval until the next session.
Empathy • Ability to tune in to the client’s feelings and to be able to see the client’s world as it truly seems to the client • Can be viewed as a skill as well as an attitude • Primary level – an empathic response communicates an understanding of the client’s frame of reference and accurately identifies the client’s feelings • Advanced level – takes the client a step further into self-exploration by adding deeper feeling and meaning to the client’s expression
Client: I don’t know what’s going on. I study hard, but I just don’t get good marks. I think I study as hard as anyone else, but all my efforts seem to go down the drain. I don’t know what else I can do. Counselor A: You feel frustrated because even when you try hard, you fail. Counselor B: It’s depressing to put in as much effort as those who pass and still fail. It gets you down and maybe even makes you feel a little sorry for yourself.
Interpretation • To add meaning to client’s attitudes, feelings, and behavior; to impose meaning on behaviors – interpretation will vary depending on one’s theoretical orientation • Draws causal relationships among these three areas. • Timing is important – as the relationship progresses, the counselor gains increasingly greater insight into the client’s dynamics and is more able to suggest or infer relationships, perceive patterns of behavior and motives, and help the client integrate these understandings • Client should be at the point of readiness that will allow counselor’s response to facilitate growth and behavior change • If appropriately done – client can become defensive and resist the process
Interpretation Techniques • Clarification • Immediacy • Confrontation
Clarification • Focus on cognitive information, or to highlight client meanings that are not initially clear; concreteness • Are you feeling angry or resentful; I’m not sure whether …. Before or after …. • Immediacy • Counselor’s being sensitively tuned in to her interactions with and reactions to client as they occur • Can respond to these feelings about either the client or the relationship in the here and now Counselor: I’m having difficulty staying tuned in today. It seems that we’re hashing off stuff, and I suppose that I’m getting tired of hearing the same things over again. How are you feeling about being here and what’s transpired between us? Client: Well, I suppose I’m avoiding talking about some issues that are very painful and that I’d like to ignore
Confrontation • requires both a sense of timing and a sensitivity and awareness of the client’s receptivity • When properly done, it can help clients become more integrated and consistent in their behavior and in their relationship with others. • May take several forms – to point to discrepancies Between what we think and feel, and what we say and what we do, our views of ourselves and others’ views of us, what we are and what we wish to be, what we really are and what we experience ourselves to be, our verbal and nonverbal expressions of ourselves. (Egan, 1975)
Should only be made in the context of trust and caring for the client and should not be used as a means of venting anger and frustration • Help clients see things as they are rather than perceiving situations on the basis of their needs • Help clients understand when they may be evading issues or ignoring feedback from others • Confront when • You are willing to become more involved with the client • The relationship has been built and the client’s level of trust in you is high • The confrontation can be done out of genuine caring for the client’s growth and change. Confrontation should not be used as way to meet the counselor’s needs