Counselling is about to give help rather than advice, advice frequently means telling people what they should or ought to do, and this has no place in counselling. Counsellors look at what is possible, but do not tell clients what they should do. That would be the counsellor taking control rather than the client gaining control. The primary difference between counselling and other forms of helping is the way in which the counsellor listens. A counsellor should always be factual within their notes, you should always take notes after a session while fresh on your mind, taking notes in a session can cause clients to maybe feel worried or nervous on what you’re putting down and also keep you interested and proven to be listening.
The difference between advice, guidance and counselling
Advice: Mainly a one-way exchange, giving an opinion, making a judgement, making a recommendation =Persuasive. Guidance: Mainly a one-way exchange, showing the way, educating, influencing, instructing =Encouraging.
Every person who uses counselling skills is designated a counsellor. We can distinguish two broad groups of people who use counselling skills, people who are called counsellors who engage in counselling as a distinct occupation and others who use counselling skills as part of their other skills. They would be temporarily in the role, for example we go to our doctor for something medical or a psychiatrist for something spiritually wrong these establish a helping relationship. What they offer is not counselling however they use counselling skills, they may also be trained counsellors so the dividing line is not clear cut.
The difference is that the person knows when counselling is taking place and has agreed to it. Other skills you pick up on when counselling are:
Values inform principals. They represent the important way of expressing a general ethical commitment that becomes more precisely defined and action-orientated when expressed as a principal.
Principles direct attention to important ethical responsibilities, there are six ethical principles that are used which also help on making decisions when looking over them, they are as follows:
The practitioner’s personal moral qualities are of the utmost importance to clients. Many of the personal qualities considered important in the provision of services have an ethical or moral component and therefore considered as virtues or good personal qualities. It is inappropriate to prescribe that all practitioners possess these qualities, since it is fundamental that these personal qualities are deeply rooted in the person concerned and developed out of personal commitment rather than the requirement of an external authority. Personal qualities to which counsellors and psychotherapists are strongly encouraged to aspire include: Empathy: The ability to communicate understanding of another person’s experience from that person’s perspective. Understand and letting them know that you understand Sincerity: a personal commitment to consistency between what is professed and what is done. Being honest, saying something and meaning it. Being able to be sincere and listen to your client rather than talking. Integrity: commitment to being moral in dealings with others, personal straightforwardness, honesty and coherence.
Trust is very important. Resilience: the capacity to work with the client’s concerns without being personally diminished. Being able to hear what your client is saying to you and being able to stay there and not feeling the need to leave or cry with your client because of their story you are hearing, being able to hold your own. Respect: showing appropriate esteem to others and their understanding of themselves. Appropriate esteem and understanding themselves, respect that the person respects themselves. Not judging why they got to that point and help them understand why they got to this point. Humility: the ability to assess accurately and acknowledge one’s own strengths and weaknesses. Believing your good at something, work towards not feeling that you’re put down and low. Competence: the effective deployment of the skills and knowledge needed to do what is required. Keep improving skills, knowing you know what you are doing but you can build on it. Fairness: the consistent application of appropriate criteria to inform decisions and actions. Knowing your able to meet your clients’ needs and if not discuss you could refer them to someone else, also about being fair to self, make sure your always being fair to your clients in the decisions you make. Wisdom: possession of sound judgement that informs practice. Sound judgement, understanding boundaries. Courage: the capacity to act in spite of known fears, risks and uncertainty. To be able to sit and listen to your client’s story, having the courage to be honest to your client.
Awareness of non-verbal communication between the listener and the talker; we try to be aware of how we use our own bodies and how the talker uses their body to communicate.
Minimal encouragers are a form of verbal communication. They are brief sentences or a single word. Examples include:
Using some of your minimal encouragers will help to keep your client talking and prompt them to continue in there story.
A reflection is offering back what the talker has said but it includes the feeling that the listener thinks was communicated. Feelings might be contained in the words the talker is using or feelings might also show themselves in how the talker presents i.e. looking sad or showing that they are angry.
Gives client confidence that the listener is actually paying attention in what the client is saying
Gives the client the option of discovering what they are actually feeling for themselves.
Gaining your clients trust to build a relationship.
As your allowing your client to hear what they are saying and showing that the feeling you may be providing them with helps them to know you are truly listening to them.
Paraphrasing is to offer back in a few words what the talker has said in order to check understanding and communicate your attention. Paraphrasing can be good to help your client to hear what they have said and they know you have heard what they have said. Helps to show you are trying to understand what your client is saying.
As it can be very helpful for your client to hear back what they have said.
It also gives your client confidence that you have listened and heard what they have to say.
It helps your client maybe feel more confident and open to talk more freely. Example:
It’s been a rough week. I’ve done nothing but argue with my partner, the house has been burgled, there’s bad news from the hospital…at least I got a win on the scratch-card.
Listener 1: You got a win on the scratch-card
Listener 2: It’s been a rough week.
Listener 3: You’ve been arguing with your partner
I think listener 2 is a much better response to what the client has said as leaves the story open for the client to decide where they want to go next.
Listener 1) is very in appropriate as quite a few bad things gone on for your client.
Listener 2) leaves it open for your client to choose what to talk about
Listener 3) is also a good thing to say but doesn’t give the client a chance really to decide what they would prefer to talk about. * What other responses can you think of?
Maybe number 2) but also ask client to describe maybe the worst part about the week?
A summary is an overview of what the talker has been talking about during the session. A summary can be used during the session as well as to end the session. Think about the main points of a session and say it back to your client. Summarising really helps letting your client know you are really listening and heard what they have said. Knowing if a silence is that your client is thinking, or gone quiet as maybe a bit lost so you could recap what your client has told you. Re capping can help to start your client talking again. Near the end of a session say to your client you have a few minutes left so let’s summarise and the pick out points, once relayed back ask your client if they would like to add anything else.
Having a contract helps your client to know what’s expected of them, also what is going to happen.
Offering confidentiality is part of a counsellor’s contract with their clients but there are limits to this at which point further action will be needed.
If at any time you hear you client talk about any of the limits you have discussed, you need to make your client aware that you have to break the confidentiality. Other limits include: