Counseling Skills Midterm (set 1)

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created 2 years ago by Katie_Koo
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Basic listening sequence

  1. attending/ empathy skills
  2. observation skills
  3. questions
  4. encouraging, paraphrasing, summarizing
  5. reflecting feelings

5 stages of the counseling session

  1. empathic relationship
  2. story and strengths
  3. goals
  4. restory
  5. action

Interviewing vs coaching vs counseling vs psychotherapy

interviewing : basic process used for gathering data, providing info to clients, and suggesting workable alternatives . Interviewers in many settings

coaching: partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that helps them maximize personal/ professional potential

counseling: intensive, personal process. about listening and understanding client's challenges and developing strategies for change/ growth

psychotherapy: focuses on deep-seated difficulties, which often require more time for resolution. includes psychiatrists, CMHC, clinical psychs, etc


intentionality and cultural intentionality

  • basis for increasing flexibility to reach a wide variety of clients

intentionality: the importance of being in the moment and responding flexibly to the changing situations/ needs of clients. Speaks to being adaptable while using your skills and knowledge

cultural intentionality: the interview occurs within a cultural context and we must be aware of diversity and difference. Counselors understand people respond differently based on their unique backgrounds/ frame of reference


key goals of counseling and psychotherapy

  1. self actualization
  2. resilience
  3. resolution of client problems

self actualization

goal of counseling; related to cultural intentionality and resilience. Intrinsic growth to reach full potential and achieve goals in life.

being in relation to others



goal of counseling; help clients bounce back and recover when they encounter serious life challenges. Also helps prepare them for future difficulties


Microskills (definition)

ID the behavioral foundations of intentional counseling and psychotherapy

specific communication skills that provide was for you to reach many different types of clients

effective use of microskills enables you to anticipate how clients will react or respond to your interventions


Ethics (Definition)

rules, typically prescribed by social systems and in counseling, as professional standards. They define things that are to be done

can be summarized as: do no harm; treat them responsibly with full awareness of thesocial context of helping


Components of ethical counseling

  1. maintain confidentiality
  2. recognize your limitations
  3. seek consultation
  4. be aware of individual and cultural differences
  5. treat the client as you would like to be treat; treat clients the way they want to be treated.
  6. give special attention to ethical treatment of children and their rights

multicultural competence

based on awareness, knowledge, skills, and action.

self and other awareness and knowledge are critical, but one must also have the skills and the ability to act



10-dimension model that provides a way for you to ID the past/ present voices that affect your own thoughts, feelings, behaviors. This is a basic awareness and knowledge opportunity.

R- Religion

E- economic/ social class background

S- sexual identity

P- personal style and edu

E- ethnic/ racial identity

C- chronological/ lifespan challenges

T- trauma/ crisis

F- family background and history

U- unique physical characteristics

L- location of residence, language differences


intergeneration transmission of trauma

trauma of severe abuse treatment can persist over generations

epigenetic changes in the genome can be transferred from one generation to the next

e.g. soul wound (of historical trauma)



(social) power given to people through cultural assumptions and stereotypes


political correctness (PC)

term used to describe language that is calculated to provide a minimum of offense, particularly to the racial, cultural, or other identity groups being described.

originated as an attempt for people to use proper and respective names for those unlike themselves



hope, confidence, cheerfulness. A trust that things will work out and get better, a sense of personal power, a belief in the future

associated with healthier lives, suffer from less physical illnesses, and feel better about themselves/ their abilities


therapeutic lifestyle changes (TLC)

key route in identifying and encouraging an engaged lifestyle (helps to build resilience)

includes: physical exercise, nutrition/weight/supplements, social relations, cognitive challenge, mediation/ relaxation, multicultural pride and identity

these are all things that can be done/ taught in session and carried over irl



brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people of color


What forms a basis for all counseling and therapy?

  1. attending behavior
  2. attention
  3. selective attention

attending behavior (definition)

essential to empathic relationship

supporting your clients with individually and culturally appropriate verbal following, visuals, vocal quality, and body language/ facial expression

listening as the core skill of attending behavior andis central to developing a relationship andmaking real contact with a client


how to demonstrate attending and listening

  1. V-Visual/ eye contact
  2. V- vocal qualities (tone)
  3. V- Verbal tracking (tacking the client's story and stay with them)
  4. B- Body language/ facial expression

training as treatment

the method and goal of social skills training

-teaching listening to clients, for example. Always demonstrate and practice skill in session


levels of empathy

  1. subtractive
  2. basic
  3. additive

subtractive empathy

counselor responses give back to client less than what the client stated and even distorts what the client has said. listening/ influencing skills are used inappropriately


basic empathy

counselor responses are roughly interchangeable with those of the client. This is the most common counselor comment level in interviews


additive empathy

counselor responses that add something beyond what the client has said. Adding a link to something the client has said earlier, congruent idea or frame of reference that helps the client see a new perspective


mirror neurons

fire when one is feeling or being empathic. these neurons fire when humans/ animals act and when they observe actions of others

these do not fire as much or at all in individuals with conduct disorders


observation skills

nonverbal behavior is often the first clue to what clients are feeling underneath the language they use... thus observation skills are important and necessarily to the empathic process

  • facial expressions
  • body language (and mirroring)

be careful of acculturation issues in nonverbal behaviors - i.e. the idea that not everyone holds normative behaviors


verbal behavior to keep track of

  1. key words
  2. concreteness vs abstractness
  3. I vs other statements

key words

clients will repeat certain words. Identifying these and bringing them to client awareness can help them recognize how they see the world and their situations.


concreteness vs abstraction

concrete/ situational: clients who provide specific stories with considerable detail. Helping clients reflect on their situation may be difficult. They typically look for counselor for direction and specific action

abstract/formal operational: tend to talk in a more reflective fashion, analyzing thoguhts and behaviors. Often good at self-analysis. May not provide easy examples (Stories). Person centered is a good approach here.


"I" vs "other" statements

the type of statements a client makes will demonstrate their ownership and responsibility for issues. Sometimes I is appropriate and sometimes it is not (sometimes someone takes responsibility for something and it isn't their fault)


Examples of internal conflict in client

  1. discrepancies in verbal statements
  2. discrepancies between statements and nonverbal behaviors

Examples of external conflict in client

  1. discrepancy and conflict between people
  2. discrepancy between a client and a situation

Key styles of questioning

open and closed


open questions


  • who, what, where, when why, how
  • Could, can, would (sometimes)- depends on client's response. Gives client opportunity to expresses as much as they want

Allows client to give more detail and talk more. Gives power to the clients

helps to elaborate/ enrich client stories


closed questions


  • do, is, are

provide specific information or clarification. Closes client off from talking more but can be useful in clarifying information


"what" questions

often leads to facts from client


"how" questions

often leads to exploration of process or feeling/ emotion from client


"why" questions

often leads to discussion of reasons. Use with care.


"Could," "Can," "would" questions

gives client the power to determine their response and how much to respond



validate your clients and affirm them. This can be pointing out their strengths in session.

Most stories that are told are negative.. so affirming the client and pointing out strengths is a useful and helpful reminder that clients are strong


Potential difficulties with questions

  1. bombardment/ grilling
  2. multiple questions (at once)
  3. questions as statements (enforce own values on client)
  4. why questions (make clients defensive)

ABC model and questions

  1. antecedent- draw out linear sequence of the story (what happened first?)
  2. behavior- focus on observable concrete actions (what did the other person do?)
  3. consequence- help clients see result of the event (what happened afterward)

helpful to focus on thoughts/ emotions first


questions with hesitant clients or children

  1. build trust at client's pace
  2. search for concrete specifics

active listening skills

communication process that requires intentional participation, decision making, and responding to client conversation

  1. encouraging
  2. paraphrasing
  3. summarizing

leads to clients being more willing to open up to us as counselors

  1. more effective executive brain functioning (improved cognitive understanding and emotional regulation

checkout/ perception check

periodically checking in with the client to discover how your interviewing or skill was received. "Is that right?" "Did I hear you correctly?"


encouragers (definition)

verbal and nonverbal expressions the counselor uses to prompt clients to continue talking

includes: ummm, uh-huh, open handed gestures, head nods, positive facial expression, restatement



type of encourager in which the counselor repeats short statements, two or more words exactly as used by theclient



type of cognitive empathic listening skill

continues to feedback key words and phrases, but catches and distill the cognitive essence of what the client has said. Clarifies a confusing client story

usually consists of 4 dimensions:

  1. a sentence stem (using the clients name, or it looks like...)
  2. key words (that the client has used)
  3. essence of what the client has said (but in briefer and clearer form)
  4. a checkout for accuracy (is that how you see it?)


encompasses a longer period of conversation than paraphrasing;a t times it may cover an entire interview or even issues discussed by the client over several interviews

puts together and organizes client conversation


reflection of feeling

identifying the key emotions of a client and feed them back to clarify the affective experience. helps clients experience and understand their emotional states more fully. Will also prompt more in-depth discussion of their feelings.


primary emotions

  1. sad
  2. mad
  3. glad
  4. scared
  5. disgust
  6. surprise

areas central to affective empathy

  1. amygdala (emotional driver, takes in info from senses and passes it on)
  2. prefrontal cortex (labels emotions as feelings and regulates action)
  3. hippocampus (memory center)
  4. hypothalamus, pituitary and glands (physical roles of emotion)

what to do when clients increase/ decrease emotional expressiveness

  1. observe nonverbals
  2. p[ace/ encourage clients to express more emotion
  3. tears/ rage/ despair/ exhilaration occur=keep balance and maybe cautious self disclosure
  4. reorient session toward emotion regulation
  5. caution- may reawaken issues (trauma)