How Counselors Can Develop Their Competency in Analyzing and Responding to Client Emotions, the Therapeutic Relationship
It is very important for a counselor to establish a good rapport with the client and be competent in the way they communicate and their interpersonal skills. The counselor should also be able to listen carefully to both verbal and non-verbal communication from the client. Competence plays a major role in establishing a good rapport between the client and the counselor. Competence means the thoughts, motivations, ideas, and ways a counselor uses them to establish a good interpersonal relationship with the client. Therefore, for any therapy to be successful, the counselor should acquire the following; the counselor should have the ability to engage the client throughout the therapeutic process; should have the ability to promote and keep a good relationship between him/her and the client, as well as understand the client’s way of seeing things; the counselor should also be able to work under emotional meetings; lastly, the counselor should know how to handle the endings. (Antai-Otong & Wasserman, 2003).
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On the other hand, for a therapeutic session to end successfully in a good relationship, it is established between the counselor and the client with the intention of having positive results. Additionally, the counselor has to engage the client throughout the session and be able to build a trustful communication with the client. The counselor should also be ready to work with empathy regarding the client’s emotions, and this helps in building a strong bond of understanding with the client. (Antai-Otong & Wasserman, 2003).
Similarly, whenever the relationship between the client and the counselor is not good, the client develops a negative attitude towards the whole process. Therefore it is upon the counselor to detect these negative feelings and try to address them as soon as possible by being open, relating with the client in a warm way, accepting the client’s point of view, and encouraging them accordingly. Additionally, the counselor should always be sensitive in order to detect any negative feelings that the client might have. This makes the client be at ease throughout the whole therapeutic sessions. (Antai-Otong & Wasserman, 2003).
In order to create a good rapport with the client the counselor should acquire the following factors;
- Empathy and trust: these two factors go hand in hand. They are the foundation of creating a good relationship, understanding, and communication between the client and the counselor. They help win each other’s confidence, retain good relationships, and avoid any conflicts from occurring. Empathy, therefore, assists in developing a good rapport and trust between the client and the counselor.
- Understanding and trust: In order to create a good rapport, there should be trust and understanding between the client and the counselor. This is gained through effective listening between the parties involved in the therapeutic session.
- Listening: Listening in a therapeutic session is the most important aspect as compared to all other factors. In this case, the counselor should learn to effectively listen to the client, carefully making expressions to show that he/she is following what the client is saying. The counselor is not supposed to interrupt the client while talking. This will interfere with the client, and the information may not be delivered effectively. The counselor, in this case, should be an active listener by listening carefully to the client’s words, watching the client’s facial expressions, body language and giving back feedback through nodding of head and other signs to show that he/she is following what the client is saying. (Antai-Otong & Wasserman, 2003).
Importance of Sensory Acuity
Sensory Acuity can be defined as the way individuals look at things, study them, and try to understand everything around them. Many people around the world have no idea of what is going on around them, on the other hand, they also do not get the desired results whenever they interact with people around them. The reason for this is that they do not have Sensory Acuity in their mind.
Sensory Acuity is important in any therapeutic session because both parties are present. It is more important, especially on the side of the counselor, because he/she is able to see the reaction and facial expressions of the client hence understanding more about them. It is also important because the counselor is able to see how the client answers questions and determine if they are open or they are hiding something. (Antai-Otong & Wasserman, 2003).
Sensory Acuity is also important because it helps the counselor standardize and regulate according to the client’s behavior. Through Sensory acuity a counselor is able to;
- Access the eye cues of the client
- How the client breaths
- Tone variation
- Word use
- Body gestures and
- Energy change
Another importance of Sensory Acuity is that no one will be able to make any guess or give an opinion because all judgments are based on what is felt, seen, smelled, tasted, or heard.
In conclusion, Sensory Acuity is a very important aspect of a therapeutic session because there are neither biased judgments nor an individual’s opinion, which is not taken into consideration in this case.
Antai-Otong, D., & Wasserman, F., (2003). Therapeutic Communication. In D. Antia-Otong (ed.) Psychiatric Nursing: Biological and Behavioral Concepts. (pp. 127-150) Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Thomson Learning.