IntroductionMicro skills can be described as attitudes and behaviours possessed by counsellors and allow them to hear, understand, communicate and empathize better. In this paper, there will be an in-depth analysis of a counselling session from the Counselling and Therapy in Video series. The video involves Max who informs the counsellor about the strained relationship with the wife which is affecting the children. The micro skills used in the counselling session include active listening, a reflection of content and paraphrasing. Active listening can be described as hearing what is said and being attentive on how it is said to enable the adjustment of a conversation to elicit the necessary response. In building rapport and therapeutic relationship, active listening is used to for affirming and exploring the problem, responding to complaints and gaining information to get a clear picture. The reflection of content involves reflecting on what the client has said by the counsellor showing that they have heard and understood. This helps in building rapport and therapeutic relationship since it demonstrates a connection affirms the identity thereby enhance bonding. Lastly, there is paraphrasing which entails rephrasing the client's message mostly in few words for the clarification of what they have said. It is essential since it helps the client in feeling heard and understood. The evaluation of micro skills used in counselling reveal the positive impacts they have on rapport, therapeutic relationship and the outcomes of counselling session.
Summary of the Counselling Session
The counselling session involves a counsellor and a client who is a father of two and in a strained relationship with the wife. The client's name is Max married to Angelina. They have two children who are John aged nine years and Jackie aged seven years. The client explains that the wife is a control freak and gets agitated with the slightest provocation. He claims that the wife has angry and despite their ability to solve issues at first, it has reached a situation dealing with her is impossible. The strained relationship and the outbursts from the wife are affecting the client at work and also the children. The client is thinking of leaving the relationship to prevent emotional turmoil to the children. However, he is also looking for alternatives to resolve the relationship with the wife.
Part 1: Micro Skills used in the Counselling Session
Active listening is a mode of communication utilized in counselling and entails listening with all sense which includes hearing, attention, responsive gesture, and understanding, remembering and offering appropriate feedback (LoFrisco, 2012). Active listening is utilized by the counsellor to build rapport and improve the overall relationship with the client. It enables the counsellor to get a clear picture of the client's situation. It also helps to affirm, acknowledge and explore the problem. Through the information obtained and understanding, the counsellor can respond to the client's problem. The client can see the counsellor is involved and therefore it creates rapport and enhances the therapeutic relationship. Ultimately, the client opens up to the counsellor, and an appropriate solution can be established for improving the success of counselling session.
Reflection of Content
Reflection of content entails reflecting the content of the message conveyed by the client (Byrne & Byrne, 1992). Reflection of content has benefits such as building rapport and enhancing the therapeutic relationship since the counsellor shows interests, gains information and developments understanding of the client's problem. It builds rapport since the counsellor shows the client that they have heard and understood their issue and they are interested in them and what they are saying. Since the client knows the counsellor affirms their identity and is interested in them, the therapeutic relationship is enhanced (Listening skills n.d). It, therefore, means that the counsellor can get enough information thereby helping the client accept the problem and find a solution. This means it helps in improving the success of the counselling session.
Paraphrasing can be described as a micro skill used by a counsellor and happens then they listen, restate succinctly and tentatively what the client said and at the same time conveying empathy, genuineness, and acceptance (Geldard & Geldard, 2017). It has impacts on the client-counsellor relationship since helps the client feel they are heard and understood. This promotes the bond between the client and counselling enhancing rapport. It builds empathy thereby building an empathic relationship and ultimately therapeutic relationship. This increases the possibility that the client will get the answers they need at the end of the counselling process.
Part 2: Identification and Evaluation of the Micro Skills with Quotations
"00:50 Max Yes, it is, um, a bit awkward.
00:55 UNKNOWN Really.
Max, I was brought up in solving problems yourself.
"02:50 Max Well, uh, I suppose things are just deteriorated in my relationship with my wife, um, Angelina.
02:55 UNKNOWN Really.
Max Oh, we've been married 11 years now, and we've got two kiddies, John is 9 and Jackie is 7.
03:00 UNKNOWN Right (Counselling Therapies 2011)".
In this case, the counsellor uses "Really" and "Yeah," this encourages Max to explore and talk more about the problem he is facing. He points out that it is a bit awkward and the counsellor asks "really" to encourage Max to talk more. The counsellor uses "Really" and "Right" to help Max provide more information. At first, Max explains the deteriorated relationship with the wife. The counsellor uses "really," and Max is encouraged to give more information concerning the relationship with the wife.
The Referenced Theory
The use of active listening which includes verbal and non-verbal cues helps the client to trust the counsellor more and strengthen the bond. This builds rapport and enhances the client-counsellor relationship. Ultimately, the client provides more information to the counsellor which improves the outcome of the session. At the end of the session, the client agrees to continue with therapy to explore more alternatives.
Reflection of Content
"04:00 UNKNOWN Yeah. Okay. So it sounds like you've, you've got a lot of concerns about both the kids. And John's probably handling it okay, outwardly, even though obviously he's feeling it. But Jackie you're particularly concerned about because she's quite delicate (Counselling Therapies 2011)."
In this instance, Max explains the reservation he has concerning the implication of the problem to the children. The counsellor reflects on that content by voicing what Max is pointing earlier.
The References Theory
The use of reflection on content makes Max know that the counsellor is listening and acknowledges his predicament. This promotes rapport and the relationship with the counsellor (Useful Counselling 2015). Since the counsellor has the correct information, she can understand and help Max.
"11:14 UNKNOWN Right, right. Um, okay, Max, if I could just summarize what we've talked about so far. Um, you explained to me that you've become very frustrated and, and tired and I think worn out, with a lot of the anger and a lot of the volatility in the relationship that you have with Angelina. And you are very worried about the impact on both Jackie and John. (Counselling Therapies 2011)."
The counsellor paraphrases everything they have talked about. It makes the counsellor confirm the information already provided (Geldard & Geldard, 2017).
The Referenced Theory
The use of paraphrasing makes the client know that the counsellor was listening and cares thereby promoting the bond between them. This means that rapport is enhanced and therapeutic relationship strengthened.
The objective of counselling is to help the client understand and accept their situation. It entails bringing out the voluntary change in the client's life. In this paper, the counsellor aims to help the client understand the situation he is in and come up with an appropriate solution. At the start of the counselling session, the client points out that he is uncomfortable talking to a stranger. However, the counsellor uses micro skills to ensure the session is a success. The micro skills used include active listening, a reflection of content and paraphrasing. This helps in building a bond between the client and the counsellor. It aids in building rapport and enhancing the therapeutic relationship. At the end of the session, the client explains that it has been helpful and that he will continue seeking help from the counsellor.
Byrne, A., & Byrne, D. (1992). Psychology for Nurses: Theory and Practice. Macmillan publishers.
Counselling Therapies, Session 1: Person Centered Therapy. (2011). Retrieved from https://search-alexanderstreet-com.ezproxy.navitas.com/ctiv/view/work/bibliographic_entity%7Cvideo_work%7C1779357
Geldard, D., & Geldard, K. (2017). Basic personal counselling: A training manual for counsellors. Victoria, Australia: Cengage Learning Australia.
Listening skills. Retrieved from http://greenmedicine.ie/school/images/Modules/Therapeutics-Relationshipes-and-Skills/80-100.pdf
LoFrisco, B. (2012). How to Build Rapport with Clients - MastersInCounseling.org. Retrieved from https://www.mastersincounseling.org/how-to-build-rapport-with-clients.html
Useful Counselling Micro-Skills. (2015). Retrieved from https://uk.sagepub.com/sites/default/files/useful_counselling_micro-skills.pdf
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