Are you a good listener? Hone your skills by learning popular counselling theories and techniques.
Counsellors use a wide range of counselling skills and techniques. These can also be used by other professionals within their daily role. Counselling skills fall into three main areas: attending skills, listening skills, and influencing skills.
You will learn about:
- Listening skills
- Non-Verbal communication
- Influencing skills
- Defense mechanisms
- Our perception of others
- Covariance theory
- Lay epistemology
(and many more such things that may not make sense now but will by the end of the book).
1. Where can counselling be used?
2. How to see behind the mask.
3. Emotions and attitudes.
4. How to communicate better when all you have is words.
5. Theory versus practice.
6. Diffusing difficult situations.
7. Golden rules or tips.
Extract from book:
We don’t know for sure how much of our communication is non-verbal. Estimates vary from 50% to the 80%. Non-verbal
communication becomes more significant, the more mixed the messages are. So if a person is saying one thing, but their body is saying something else, we will tend to pay more attention to what their body is saying to us. Most of us are aware that this is a sign of attempted deception.
Meharabian (1971) carried out a study to see how people decide if they like each other. They looked at facial expressions and spoken words. Participants had to listen to a recording of a female saying one word “maybe” in three tones of voice – neutral, like and dislike. The subjects were then shown photographs of a female face with three expressions – neutral, like and dislike. They were asked to guess which emotion the person in the photograph, the person on the
recording and both together were experiencing.
The participants were more accurate in guessing the emotion of the photographs than the voice at a ratio of 3:2.
Meharabian also carried out another study where participants had to listen to nine words. Three showed liking (dear, thanks, honey), three showed disliking (brute, terrible, don’t) and three showed neutrality (oh, maybe, really). The words were spoken in different tones. The participants were asked to guess the emotions behind the words. They found that tone carried more meaning than the word.
They concluded that:
¦Without seeing and hearing non-verbal messages, there can be more chance of misunderstanding.
¦A lot of communication does come through non-verbal communication, but we are still unsure as to the exact amount.
¦When we are not sure about a particular word, we pay more attention to non-verbal communication.
¦When we do not trust a person, we pay more attention to non-verbal communication.
There are many myths about body language. For example, crossing your arm means defensiveness, covering your mouth means you are lying and so on. But we should rely more on other factors such as:
¦Clusters of factors (showing more signs of non-verbal communication).
¦Non-verbal behaviour at the time a question is asked, particularly if the question is embarrassing or difficult.
¦Situations where the other person may not be trying to control their non-verbal behaviour.
As we said above, it is important to consider your own non-verbal communication. BUT not to such an extent that you try to control it all the time, which can make it appear false or give mixed messages from you.
Like this? You might also be interested in ACS Distance Education's Counselling and Psychology Courses.