Counselling Microskills

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... »

Suicide: Warning Signs and Prevention Tips

Because most people who die by suicide give warning signals of their intentions, the best way to help prevent suicide is to learn how to recognise – and then respond to – those signs. It may be helpful to think of a continuum, at one end of which is a healthy desire to live life to the fullest, and at the other end of which is a completed suicide. Somewhere on that continuum – possibly in the half... »

The Opening Micro-skills

“First impressions stick.” “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” If there is any truth in these two popular notions, then anyone working with a helpee (e.g. a therapy client, a friend, a family member, etc.) within the context of providing mental health support should not underestimate the usefulness and importance of opening micro-skills. »

Strategies to Build Rapport with Clients

Most therapists possess an innate desire to help others, and because of this emotional involvement, sometimes it can be challenging to convert the potential into practical results. Whilst we’ve tackled the basic premises which can help counsellors enter the market and attract clients, there is still one aspect of the counselling relationship which is indispensable for a counsellor’s success: clien... »

Self-Disclosure – Concepts and Applications

Although we are ultimately social beings, most humans are both consciously and subconsciously determined to improve themselves, and to derive meaning to their existence. In this context, we are faced with the everyday challenge of balancing our own needs for fulfilment and recognition with the need to co-relate with others, to promote altruism and to help people in need. This paradox takes centre ... »

Influencing Skills

Influence is a governing concept in any decision-making process, relationship and ultimately, behavioural response. It is also the raw material for the production of concepts such as power, persuasion, attraction, and many others which are highly relevant in our daily lives. In this article, however, we will focus particularly on the appropriate, positive application of influence in the counsellin... »

Five Counselling Microskills

Counselling Microskills are specific skills a counsellor can use to enhance their communication with clients. These skills enable a counsellor to effectively build a working alliance and engage clients in discussion that is both helpful and meaningful. In this article, you will briefly consider five of these core skills of counselling which alone or together can help a client to access their deepe... »

Effective Counselling and the Objectivity Challenge

Most people tend to be compassionate. Perhaps it is a human evolutionary trait, or simply the manner in which we have been trained to understand and act upon our emotions. Or it could stem from the need to help others in order to achieve a sense of belonging. In modern society - represented by large conglomerates of human beings living collectively - people have daily opportunities to help others,... »

Conflict Resolution Skills, Part 2

Conflict occurs when people (or other parties) perceive that, as a consequence of a disagreement, there is a threat to their needs, interests or concerns. This article continues from Part 1, by exploring different degrees of conflict and the skills of conflict resolution. »

Conflict Resolution Skills, Part 1

Conflict occurs when people (or other parties) perceive that, as a consequence of a disagreement, there is a threat to their needs, interests or concerns. In this article, we look at two areas that need to be considered when working with conflict resolution: childhood attachments and values. »