Communication Skills

Building Shame Resilience in Clients

Jungian analysts have called it the “swampland of the soul”. Other psychotherapy writers have observed how it originally served to keep us safe; the tendency to shame has been a universal one in which our desire to hide our flaws from others has saved us from being kicked out of the group (the society), which evolutionarily would have meant death (Sholl, 2013). So which is it? Is shame totally pat... »

Basic Principles of Communication

We’ve been doing it since the first humanoids appeared on the planet, so by now – hundreds of thousands of years into our existence – we have some basic notions about what governs our communication. We understand that our human interactions are purposeful, not random. We observe that we make choices, that there is usually room for another meaning from what we intend (so communication is ambiguous)... »

Understanding and Enhancing Interpersonal Communication

We’ve been doing it since the first humanoids appeared on the planet, so by now – hundreds of thousands of years into our existence – we have some basic notions about what governs our communication. We understand that our human interactions are purposeful, not random. We observe that we make choices, that there is usually room for another meaning from what we intend (so communication is ambiguous)... »

The Fine Art of Active Listening

How well-developed are your communication skills? The Carnegie Foundation claims that personal qualities account for 85 percent of the factors contributing to job success. The Harvard Bureau of Vocational Guidance, meanwhile, notes that 66 percent of people fired from their jobs were fired because they failed to get along with people (Edith Cowan University, n.d.). The truth is, you cannot not com... »

Traps for the Unwary: Ways Practitioners Build Resistance in Clients

Most practitioners would be shocked to hear it, but without realising it, many build resistance in clients – lowering their capacity to engage – through protocols and habits which communicate something very different to the client than what the practitioner is asking or intends to convey (Rosengren, 2009). In this article, we explore five ways in which practitioners may inadvertently build resista... »

The Micro-skills of Non-verbal Language

The American National Science Foundation discovered that we form an impression of someone in just three seconds (personal communication, 1984). Social scientists also claim that at least 80 per cent of our communication takes place on the non-verbal level (Young, 2005), with only 7 percent of emotion being conveyed by verbal means. Of the rest, 38 per cent is conveyed by voice, and 55 per cent by ... »

Skills and Role of the Group Therapist

Group therapy provides a unique and important way for clients to learn about themselves and their relationships, to gain confidence, develop new skills and abilities, and to give and receive support and feedback from others. For many types of problems, group therapy is the treatment of choice. In this article we overview skills and role of the group therapist. »

Group Problem-Solving Strategies, Part 3

Click here to read Part 1 of this series… Click here to read Part 2 of this series…   Group work and team building are vital at the performing stage of group development. In psycho-educational groups, teamwork and learning are promoted by emphasising how groups can achieve tasks that cannot be accomplished by individuals alone (Gladding, 2003). Groups that work to achieve consensus, promote ... »

Group Problem-Solving Strategies, Part 2

The Storming Stage is a time of conflict and anxiety within the group as it moves from primary tension (awkwardness about being in a new and strange situation) to secondary tension (intragroup conflict between members). Each group experiences the storming process differently. Some groups may encounter all the problems associated with this period where others may only experience a few of the relate... »

Group Problem-Solving Strategies, Part 1

A number of problems can occur during the formation of the group and afterwards. Some of these difficulties involve group members while others are related to group processes. One of the best ways to handle group problems is to prevent them. Where prevention is not possible, the group members and the group therapist can work together to bring about resolution (Gladding, 2003). Dealing with people p... »

Solution-Focused Communication Skills Training

Communication is the primary activity from which to build a healthy, enjoyable, and fulfilling intimate relationship. Most problems in relationships either develop from or are maintained through either a lack of communication or poor communication. »

How to Communicate Assertively in Your Relationship

Couples when they get married usually believe that they are on an equal footing and that marriage or their decision to live together gives them the permission to express their feelings and wants with an expectation that they will be respected, to state their views and opinions with an understanding that they will be listened to, and to say “no” openly without feeling guilty. »

Teaching Clients to Become Assertive

Assertiveness is the ability to express one’s feelings, opinions, beliefs and needs directly, openly and honestly, assert one’s rights whilst respecting the feelings and rights of another (Lloyd, 1998). Non-assertive individuals may be passive, aggressive or passive-aggressive. »

Principles of Active Listening

Active listening is an essential skill counsellors can exploit to develop a positive and healthy interaction with a client. There are numerous situations in which counsellors can utilise active listening to build rapport with clients and improve overall communication. Some of these are explored in this article. »

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