1. List three key components involved in the communication process.
2. Identify three key characteristics of effective communication and briefly explain their impact on the communication process.
Openness is a key characteristic of communication, as by listening with an open mind and showing genuine interest, the relationship and trust between the client and counsellor grows. Openness with body language is also important, as it lets the client know you are being honest and congruent.
Empathy is another important characteristic, as by being empathetic you are concerned, understand, and care for the client thereby making a warm, friendly environment that is safe for the client to be able to talk freely.
Thirdly, positiveness is important in communication. Using positive rather than negative messages, both verbal and non-verbal, shows the client that you respect them, their beliefs and believe in their ability to gain personal awareness and growth.
3. In the communication processes between a client and a counsellor, barriers may be present. List three specific communication barriers.
4. Take one of the communication barriers given in your answer to the question above, and briefly describe how you would apply strategies to overcome these barriers.
Environmental factors can be a barrier to listening as outside noise, telephones and even other people talking can distract you from getting a
clear message and understanding of what the client is saying. To avoid this clients should be seen in a fairly soundproof room, with the windows and door shut to cut out excess noise. Also if possible, your phone should be on silent, so as not to distract either yourself or your client’s line of thought.
5. List two basic micro-skills of counselling and briefly describe how they can be used to facilitate the relationship between counsellor and client.
To facilitate a good client and counsellor relationship, the use of active listening is very important so as the client feels they are heard, understood and respected. The counsellor needs to focus on what is being said, as well as how it is said, so they get a clear understanding. The counsellor also has to not let listening barriers distract them or the client. Barriers can include; judging, filtering, day dreaming or environmental factors. Paraphrasing is another micro-skill that builds a good rapport. By the counsellor picking the most important details and reflecting them back to the client, they are clarifying what has been said and the client knows that the counsellor is listening and understands what they are saying. Paraphrasing also help build trust and promotes sharing.
6. List one advanced micro-skill of counselling and briefly explain how it can be used in the counselling process.
One advanced micro-skill of counselling is to challenge the client. This is used in the counselling process to assist making the client aware of faulty thinking, self-limiting and destructive behaviours and beliefs. It is very important though, to only use this micro-skill once the counsellor has built a good relationship with the client, and then, it should only be used where really necessary. Then with this new awareness, hopefully, the client is open to explore more positive beliefs, thinking and behaviours.