Eliciting Information Skill in Counseling
Therapists are necessary personnel within the society because they help people overcome the problems bedeviling them. As such, they require a high level of expertise for their efforts to gain currency within the community. Having an attending skill is important because it aids in winning the client’s trust. This outcome facilitates a friendly environment that helps both parties interact with a genuine desire to get solutions to the problem. It also creates a rapport between them, which is necessary for further exposure to the challenges faced by the client.
Eliciting Information Skill in Counseling
Counseling is a vital job within the society because it helps people cope with many personal and official issues. It is imperative that such sessions remain confidential since the matters under discussion are sometimes sensitive. Counselors require different skills when dealing with clients in need of their services. Such abilities are vital in the extraction of information from the patients (McLeod, 2013). Counseling is an emotional process that is lengthy and demands the appropriate use of the available time. Attending is the most important skill for counselors because it enables them to be “with” a client both psychologically and physically leading to full disclosure of information.
Buffer-something that reduces the impact of an occurrence;
Phishing-the action of extracting information from someone;
Travail-the suffering undergone by an individual;
Ambience-the physical environment.
Collation of texts contained in journals about psychology reveals that all counselors should seek to make a connection with their clients from the very first meeting. In fact, these scholarly periodicals assert that people who search for counseling services usually exhibit signs of anxiety and constantly need reassurance for them to be successful in the recovery phase. As such, counselors have to show their genuine desire to help the patients by giving them their undivided attention. It should be abundantly clear to the person that the counselor is willing to offer all forms of assistance in pursuit of his/her wellbeing.
Examination of an ideal counseling session reinforces the notion that attending is the most necessary skill for any counselor. The examination entails the use of facial expressions, body language, proximity to the client and psychological awareness of the experiences under discussion. It is noteworthy that the skill is better utilized within an environment with minimal distractions. Attending involves nodding of the head, maintaining eye contact, making use of one’s hands when expressing something, smiling when appropriate, public exhibition of emotions in tandem with the course of the session and displaying a sense of vulnerability that rhymes with the client’s experiences. It also dictates that the counselor sits at a reasonable distance from the patients, which is close enough to make him/her feel valued while allowing some space in between to avoid hogging his/her area.
Attending is often used depending on the client’s narration. For example, it would be prudent for the counselor to nod when in agreement with the views expressed and exhibit empathy upon the mention of harrowing tales (Nelson-Jones, 2016). It is also visibly used whenever a professional detects doubt and worrisome behavior amongst the clientele. As such, the emotional roller coaster is aligned with the nature of the discussions as a way of showing the counselor’s ability to comprehend the issues. This skill is also applicable when the conversations shift to general topics that all human beings have undergone during their lifetime. In such instances, the counselor takes the lead and prompts the client after the latter would acknowledge that he/she is not alone in the struggle. It is advisable for the therapist to have an intense gaze during highly sensitive and traumatic narrations.
The skill is helpful in the creation of a connection between the therapist and his/her client. It enables the former to gain the trust of the latter, which is vital in the phishing of information. The counseling session becomes livelier and the additional material provided aids in the measurement of the client’s temperament. The session is an integral part of the process because it offers insight into the personality one is handling, and the counselor can recommend appropriate remedies to issues at hand. Attending helps in guiding the discussions geared towards the making of more revelations. In fact, it creates a buffer from dwelling on mundane issues and guides the session into the serious experiences that warrant speedy responses. This skill aids in the tweaking of information to expose any hidden feelings and thoughts. It offers a relatable approach and facilitates the buildup of a friendly environment where an individual can freely express himself/herself. Such an atmosphere provides an opportunity for the therapist to mine information, which is an integral step for making informed decisions on the suitable recovery path.
Clients have varying personalities, but counselors with an attending skill manage to strike a core within them leading to a faster exposure of information. The physical and psychological awareness of the therapist convincingly nudges the client into trusting his/her desire to help. In fact, this skill demonstrates that the counselor cares about the client’s welfare and in return, the latter feels compelled to talk more about the underlying issues. As such, the patient “opens up” easily without second-guessing the motives of the therapist. The concurrence that emanates from a counselor’s acknowledgment of certain experiences provides a safety net that reassures the client of the company in his/her travails (McLeod, 2013). It eliminates feelings of loneliness and vulnerability, replacing them with confidence and a higher self-esteem. An individual becomes more assertive and is receptive to corrective measures proposed. This is made on the assumption that such counseling sessions are aimed at improving his/her well-being.
The success rate of this skill in counseling sessions is very high. A holistic study of numerous archival records shows that attending helps in the creation of a rapport between the stakeholders. Such a close relationship is instrumental in the disclosure of information and implementation of the prescribed behavioral traits under the therapist’s supervision. A majority of clients who have experienced counselors with this ability have consciously and subconsciously felt the urge to provide regular updates about their conditions, challenges, and progress. Both parties feel a sense of obligation in front of each other because of their shared goal in making the client overcome the suffering. It is a matrix that has proven useful in tracking the recovery process and ensuring that an individual returns to normalcy. Several “patients” have successfully overcome their problems based on this approach. The integration of this approach into the work ethic of different therapists has enhanced their information gathering techniques, which simplifies their workload. It is, therefore, a useful tool for counseling sessions.
The ability of the skill to cultivate a close bond between the counselor and the client should, however, caution the therapists against developing an emotional attachment to the “patient”. All sessions should be conducted in a professional manner with the counselor observing restraint, especially when the client is of the opposite sex. The vulnerability is a common phenomenon amongst seekers of counseling services because of the enormity of the challenges they face (Nelson-Jones, 2016). They are bound to be gullible upon encountering a friendly service provider. It behooves counselors to confine their words and actions within the structured ethical standards as outlined in their profession. Unnecessary physical contact should be avoided and the clients discouraged from revealing too much personal information that is irrelevant to the issues under discussion. Such an approach would aid in creating a professional ambiance and ensure that the counselor’s role is not blurred by romantic feelings. Therefore, it is vital for all therapists to cautiously exercise this skill in all their counseling sessions.
Counseling is an integral step in the physiological healing process for individuals facing different challenges in their lives. Therapists are highly trained personnel with the requisite knowledge of handling clients with varying personalities. Possession of an attending skill is a vital requirement in this endeavor because it provides a physical as well as a psychological level of awareness during such sessions. It involves the usage of facial expressions and rational anecdotes that are coordinated with the client’s experiences. This skill facilitates the dissemination of information because of its ability to foster trust between the parties. In fact, it creates a friendly atmosphere that makes both entities comfortable with each other. Under such circumstances, the client divulges more details and arms the counselor with enough materials for him/her to base appropriate corrective measures. However, it is however important for therapists to stick to their professional code of conduct by avoiding taking undue advantage of their clients and establishing emotional attachments. Such an outcome would be detrimental to the recovery of the “patient” and clouds the counselor’s judgment. Over the years, therapists with an attending skill have had easier and more fruitful discussions with their clients.
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McLeod, J. (2013). An introduction to counseling. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
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Nelson-Jones, R. (2016). Basic counseling skills: A helper’s manual. Los Angeles: SAGE
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