Monday, May 17, 2010


,.. a process in which the counselor assists the counselee to make interpretations of facts relating to a choice, plan, or adjustments which he needs to make.

,.. a process which takes place in a one-to-one relationship between an individual troubled by problems with which he cannot cope alone, and a professional worker whose training and experience have qualified him to help others reach solutions to various types of personal difficulties.

,.. the process by which the structure of the self is relaxed in the safety of the relationship with the therapist and previously denied experiences are perceived and then integrated into an altered self.

,.. that interaction which a) occurs between two individuals called a counselor and client; b) takes place in a professional setting, and c) is initiated and maintained as a means of facilitating changes in the behavior of a client.

,.. the process involving interpersonal relationships between a therapist and one or more clients by which the former employs psychological methods based on systematic knowledge of the human personality in attempting to improve the mental health of the latter.

,.. helping an individual become aware of himself and the ways in which he is reacting to the behavioral influences of his environment. It further helps him to establish some personal meaning for this behavior and to develop and clarify a set of goals and values for future behavior.

,.. a process by which a troubles person (the client) is helped to f eel and behave in a more personally satisfying manner through interaction with an uninvolved person (the counselor) who provides information and reactions which stimulate the client to develop behaviors which enable him to deal more effectively with himself and his environment.


1. is no the giving of information, though information may be given in counseling.

2. is not the giving of advice, suggestions and recommendations (advice should be recognized as such and not camouflaged as counseling).

3. is not influencing attitudes, beliefs, or behavior by means of persuading, leading, or convincing, no matter how indirectly, sublly, or painlessly.

4. is not the influencing of behavior by admonishing, warning, threatening, or compelling without the use of physical force or coercion (counseling is not discipline).

5. in not the selection and assignment of individuals for various jobs or activities (counseling is not personnel work even though the same tests may be used in both).

6. is not interviewing (while interviewing is involved, it is not synonymous).


1. Counseling is concerned with influencing voluntary behavior change on the part of the client (client wants to change and seeks counselor’s help to change).

2. The purpose of counseling is to provide conditions which facilitate voluntary change (conditions such as the individual’s right to make choices, to be independent and autonomous).

3. As in all relationships, limits are imposed upon the counselee (limits are determined by counseling goals which in turn are influenced by the counselor’s values and philosophy).

4. Conditions facilitating behavioral change are provided through interviews (not all counseling is interviewing, but counseling always involves interviewing).

5. Listening is present in counseling but not all counseling is listening.

6. The counselor understands his client (the distinction between the way others understand and counselors understand is qualitative rather than quantitative and understanding alone does not differentiate counseling form other situations).

7. Counseling is conducted in privacy and the discussion is confidential.


Counseling is an interaction process, which facilitates meaningful understanding of self and environment and results in the establishment and/or clarification of goals and values for future behavior.


1. Counseling is concerned primarily and systematically with the personal development with the personal development of the individual.

- The concept of personal development assumes that it is desirable for individuals to have opportunity both to think about the kind of self they are building and have built and to confront themselves with he meanings they attribute to their experiencing and the consequences such attributions will have on their future self.

- All aspects of life: emotions, physicals thoughts, behavior, strengths, weaknesses attitudes etc.

2. The primary mode by which counseling is conducted lies in individual behavioral processes.

- Personal world of the client.

- Counselor utilize, personal interviews counseling relationships, test, interpretation, coping mechanism and the like to enhance client’s understanding of their own internal structures.

- Through these methods client can examine the world they create for themselves and the meaning to be derived from personal experiences.

3. Counseling is oriented toward cooperation not compulsion.

- Counseling takes place by mutual consent of the individuals involved. Consent is given either explicitly or implicitly.

- Counseling depends on releasing the internal motivation and / or willingness to change, rather than on external coercion or threat.

- Duress creates mistrust, not improvement.

4. Humans have the capacity for self-development.

- People have the capacity for improved self-actualization and that specific behaviors and attitudes influence and are influenced by all areas of person.

- Changes in human behavior occur best through the learner’s active involvement.

5. Counseling is based upon recognizing the dignity and worth of the individual as well as their right to choose.

- Respect is accorded persons because they are individuals having worth and dignity and because they are human.

- Counseling rests on a belief in fundamental dignity and importance of the individual, in the essential equality of human beings and in their need to exercise freedom.

- The core of freedom is self-determination and freedom of choice.


Most basic skill of helping is LISTENING specific and observable.

3 key dimensions comprise attending behavior:

1. Eye contact

- Look at them, no need to stare

- Just be aware that you are talking to another person

- “Eye contact breaks”

2. Attentive body language

- Slight forward

- Lean with a relaxed easy posture

- 85% of our communication is non-verbal

- Communicate that you are involved

3. Verbal following

- a frequent basic question of beginning helpers is “ what do I say? ”

- respond in a natural way

- direct whatever you may say to what the helper has just said or said earlier in your session

- simply stay with what has already been said


- The client comes into an interview with something that she feels is a problem

- The initial task of the helper is to stay out of the helpee’s way so as to find out how the client sees her situation

- Most useful in determining is the technique of providing limited structure through the use of an open invitation to talk

Open : Could you tell me a little bit about your marriage?

Closed : Are your married? Do you get along with your wife / husband

Open invitations to talk are extremely useful in a number of different situations. The following are some examples:

1. They help begin an interview

(What would you like to talk about today?

How have things been since the last time we talked together?)

2. They help get the helpee to elaborate on a point

(Could you tell me more about that?

How did you feel when that happened?)

3. They help elicit examples of specific behavior so that the helper is better able to understand what the helpee is describing

(Will you give me a specific example?

What do you do when you get depressed?

What do you mean when you say your father is hard to get along with?)


- small indicators to another person that you are with them

- encourage helpee to keep talking

- assist helpee in exploring herself / himself

Non-verbal minimal encourages should be considered first. They are basic elaborations of the body language dimensions of attending behavior:

- eye contact

- a body which is learning forward with interest

- an absence of distracting nervous movements

- appropriate gestures

- head nods

Verbal minimal encourages are brief utterances which show you have tuned in with the person you are helping. Examples:

1. “Oh?” “So?” “Then?” “And?”

2. The repetition of one or two key words

3. “Tell me more”

4. “Umm-humm” “Uh-huh”

5. Simple restatement of the exact same words of the helpee’s last statement.

Silence - give time for helpee to respond or to continue

- value of silence in freeing the helpee to think, feel and express


- The key purpose is to help another individual pull his or her thinking together

- To check on whether or not you, as helper have fallen into distortion

- Indicated that you have heard the entire story (or at least the portion)

- A summary puts together a number of client paragraphs, an entire session, or perhaps even issues expressed over a series of several interviews

Examples of summarizations covering both emotional and objective content:

Eg.1 To a middle class teacher trying to understand the causes of poverty in our culture, the helper might say:

As I understand what you have been saying over the past few minutes, there seem to be 3 key dimensions:

- For eg. A client may speak more quickly when communicating enthusiasm, more slowly when communicating discouragement


Helpee : So I’m wondering if you can help me find a new major….(pause)

I suppose if I did find one, I’d just bungle things again….

Helper : You feel that it’s pretty futile to try again

1. You seem to be angry about economic injustice in America

2. You express concern about your lack of knowledge of these things in the past

3. As I look at you now, you seem very puzzled as to where you want to go with this new information

Eg.2 To a parent troubled by a son taking drugs *after 3 sessions)

You now seem to be feeling very aware that your control of your son, making him “toe the live” on every issue, may have been overly harsh and one of the causes of him joining the drugs scene. This contrasts with your feelings of anger the first time we met when you said that the school was a fault. How do you reconcile these feelings and thoughts right now?


- one of the most basic tasks of the helper is to her the helpee clearly

- paraphrasing is a special type of attending tgo another person which demands that you demonstrate your ability to “give back to that person what he had said accurately”

- implies a giving of self to another person to help them gain increased clarity

Example 1

Helpee : I don’t know about him. One moment he’s nice as can be,

and the next minute he is looks fierce

Helper : He’s pretty inconsistent then

Paraphrases serve 3 purposes:

1. they convey to the helpee that you are with him, that you are trying to understand what is being said

  1. they crystallize a helpee’s comment by making them more concise thus helping give better direction to the interview
  2. they provide a check on the accuracy of the perceptions of the helper
Example 2

Helpee : What do you think I ought to do – run away, get a divorce, or just give in and take it?

Helper : You feel really low about your chances to resolve this right now

Example 3

Helpee : You know, its funny, but when I talk to you, I just feel shaky.

It’s the silliest thing! Why should I do that?

Helper : Right now you feel very shaky talking to me; it confuses you to feel that way.


- How can you help others to express the central concerns they are experiencing?

- One way is to listen for and respond to the feelings of the client

- Try communicating ”I can accurately sense the world as you are feeling and perceiving it” – facilitate toward more complete self-awareness and self-understanding

- More specifically, being alert and responding to the feeling being expressed

- What the client is saying is the content portion of the message

- One must also listen to how the client gives a message

Reflection of feeling is a skill, which is appropriate at any time regardless of the nature of the feeling (positive, negative or ambivalent) and regardless of the direction of expression (toward self, others, the counselor and counseling situation).

In short, reflection of feeling help keeps you, the helper in tune with the helpee’s emotions.

Specific behaviors and things to think about as you summarize:

1. Use question, minimal encourages, paraphrases, reflection of feeling, to indicate to the helpee that you are attending and with her / him.

2. Note consistent patterns throughout the interview (s). Note especially inconsistencies or polarities if feelings or facts. Most people have mixed feelings toward important people or situations and reflecting to the helpee these mixed feelings may be especially valuable.

3. When the helpee is making a decision, give special attention to central threads of information throughout the session. Note the main issues so you can give them back later.

4. At several points during the session, time your comments appropriately and summarize for the helpee what you have heard in the interview.

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