“Mediation” is a means of resolving disputes between two or more parties who possess a genuine desire to achieve a mutually satisfying outcome. The counsellor in the process acts as the “mediator” by assisting the disputing parties to focus on a mutual problem, discuss possible solutions and agree upon a solution. Mediation is confidential, however […]
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“Relapse prevention began with the work of Marlatt and Parks (1982) and Marlatt and Gordon (1985) who noted that after success with the treatment of various behavioural problems — such as smoking, drinking, overeating, drug addiction, obsessive compulsive disorder and gambling — clients very often fell back into their old behaviours. In fact, between 50% […]
Influencing is part of all counselling. Even if the counsellor only used attending skills to actively listen to the client, being genuinely heard by another person can influence a person’s behaviour. Influencing skills take a more direct approach to client change, with specific alternatives for actions that can promote change quicker and in some cases […]
By accurately observing non-verbal behaviour, a counsellor can gauge the affect her/his words and actions have upon the client. Skilled client observation also allows the counsellor to identify discrepancies or incongruities in the client’s or their own communication. When is it used? Observation is a skill that is utilised throughout the entire counselling interview. Examples […]
Generally speaking the term confrontation means challenging another person over a discrepancy or disagreement. However, confrontation as a counselling skill is an attempt by the counsellor to gently bring about awareness in the client of something that they may have overlooked or avoided. There are three steps to confrontation in counselling. The first step involves […]
Accurate Responding allows the counsellor to confirm with the client that they are being heard correctly. Noting and reflecting are used to bring out underlying feelings. When are they used? Responding is useful throughout all stages of a counselling interview. It helps the counsellor to clarify and encourage clients’ stories. This is also a great […]
Attending behaviour is a counselling microskill used to encourage clients to talk and show that the counsellor is interested in what’s being said. When is it used? Throughout the entire counselling interview. Particularly important in the initial stages of establishing rapport. Examples Attentive body language (eye contact, leaning forward slightly, encouraging gestures). Eye contact is […]
Albert Ellis was born in Pittsburg (1913). He spent most of his life in New York. A natural counsellor, Ellis studied psychoanalysis and was supervised by a training analyst. Ellis, however, grew increasingly frustrated by psychoanalysis which he concluded was unscientific and superficial (Corey, 2005). In the early 1950s, Ellis experimented with other treatment frameworks, […]
It is beneficial for clients who are struggling with passive or aggressive communication to be encouraged by counsellors to become more assertive. In this post we outline a step-by-step process to teach clients assertiveness skills. Step one: Assessment of current communication style The first step in teaching a client to become more assertive is for […]
Techniques in behavioural therapies apply the learning principles to change maladaptive behaviours (Weiten, 2007). The techniques do not focus on clients achieving insights into their behaviour; rather the focus is just on changing the behaviour. For example, if a behavioural therapist is working with a client that has an alcohol problem, the behavioural therapist will […]
Counsellors are often directly involved in the intervention phase of case planning. A counsellor may in fact be a service provider that a case manager utilises as part of their case plan. This post, however, is not focused on direct, personal interventions (although that is generally the core work of the counsellor), it is focused […]
There are two fundamental evaluation dilemmas for the clinical supervisor. Firstly, as a therapist, the clinical supervisor has highly developed skills in providing a non-judgemental, non-directive, and supportive environment for their clients. The supervisory relationship, however, is based on evaluation and direction — something that can feel uncomfortable for the skilled therapist. Additionally, as an […]
When clients are focused on changing the negative aspects (or problems) in their lives, positive changes can often be overlooked, minimised or discounted due to the ongoing presence of the problem. The solution focused approach challenges counsellors to be attentive to positive changes (however small) that occur in their clients’ lives. Questions that presuppose change […]
If not the most important feature of professional counselling, “respect for the client” is definitely high up on the priority list. Geldard and Geldard (2005) explain that regardless of who the client is, and regardless of their behaviour, the client has come to the counsellor for assistance and deserves to be treated as a person […]
What can counsellors do to become better professionals, and ultimately help improve the quality of life of their clients? In this post, we explore 11 ways — both direct and indirect — that counsellors can boost their practical skills and expertise. #1 Work on Your Microskills Counselling Microskills include Focusing, Encouragers, Paraphrasing and Summarising, Questioning, […]