Outline the Primary Skills Used in Counselling Relationships

2623 words 11 pages
Outline the primary skills used in counselling relationships
This essay intends to introduce the reader to the most important skills involved within developing and maintaining a therapeutic relationship between a client and the therapist or counsellor. The onus will be on Humanistic counselling but many of these skills are central to all counselling types.
Humanistic counselling is a process whereby the eventual goal is to facilitate the client in developing a personal understanding of self, and form a realisation of their own psychological needs and desires. It is, in essence, a route to empowerment for the client. Carl Rogers, father of client-centred therapy, described the client as an ‘organism’ whose natural tendency is a need to
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The skill of the therapist, in this scenario, then lies in their ability to be congruent, even when they don’t really feel like it. This is a skill that comes from much practice. The therapist learns to leave their emotional baggage at the door and concentrate solely on the client’s issues. If a therapist finds themselves faking congruence towards the client then it would be appropriate to question whether the therapist is working within the correct career sphere.
I have faced such a quandary during my experiential work, upon taking part in a role play session, whereby I was playing the role of the therapist and my colleague the role of an obstinate teenager whose parents thought he had a drug problem. I found it very hard to feel genuine feelings for the client in this case, as his issue seemed to pivot on the fact that he didn’t really want to grow up and get a job, but preferred instead to just get lost in a miasma of drug-taking. On deeper reflection, after the session I realised there must be more to the issue and I felt then ashamed that I hadn’t really both considered it and followed up on it. I also realised that was being too judgemental of this person, and I was obviously bringing my own emotional baggage into the session. It may have been role play but it had a deep impact on my skill-set development.
When the client understands that their therapist is being


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