This essay will describe the skills and theories involved in the first stage of Egans three stage integrative helping model.
In his person centred counselling model, Carl Rogers detailed 6 core conditions for effective counselling. However, he concentrated on 3 that he considered were essential for the counsellor. These 3 conditions were
These core conditions are essential throughout the counselling process, as they will naturally help to build a rapport between the therapist and their client. It is important that the client feels valued from the beginning; this will help them open up, once a mutual trust and respect has been established.
In addition, with unconditional positive regard, the client must feel that they can discuss any subject at all without the fear of being judged.
Essentially, stage one of Egan’s helping model is the storytelling phase. It allows the therapist to explore and be understanding of the clients’ situation, utilising skills drawn from the humanistic approach to counselling. Stage one is further broken down into three separate phases. Initially, the client should be provided with a safe environment where they can tell their story in their own way.
As this is very early in the relationship, the counsellor must utilise good active listening skills and open questioning in order to help the client explore their situation and open up.