What Is Essential in the Helping Relationship?

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Counseling skills has provided me with a valuable insight into the helping relationship and how it is both created and maintained in order to encourage growth and development in the client. The factors involved within the helping relationship include considering Roger’s core conditions, congruence, unconditional positive regard and empathy as the three main characteristics necessary in a helping relationship. In order to fully incorporate all three of Roger’s core conditions, I as the counselor must be self-aware, as a lack of self-awareness may inhibit truly listening and understanding the client; self-awareness can be enhanced through exercises such as Johari’s window. Counseling skills such as body language and active listening also plays a role within encouraging the client to open up and can help me as the counselor convey empathy. Carl R. Rogers theorized that through providing a certain kind of relationship with the client, one in which empathy, unconditional positive regard and congruence were present, the client would “discover within himself the capacity to the relationship for growth, and change and personal development” . As a counselor empathy is essential as it allows me to enter my clients internal frame of reference, while still retaining a problem-solving stance. Entering the client’s internal frame of reference means I must consider the emotions and thoughts of the client, it is similarly vital not to get lost in the internal frame of reference as this creates the distinction between sympathy and empathy. Unconditional positive regard, also called acceptance is essential as it plays a role in creating a helping relationship in which the client feels safe to express any negative emotions or thoughts, while being... ... middle of paper ... silence, paraphrasing and reflection of feelings, as well as non-verbal skills such as body-language and active listening are all used in order to allow the client to introspect and work with their problems in a safe environment, the role of the counselor within the relationship being to support the client and help them to reach their true potential by expressing emotions and thoughts that they can’t express outside of the helping relationship, whether it be for fear of rejection or some other reason. Works Cited • Hough, M. 2010. Counselling skills and theory. 3rd ed. London: Hodder Education. • Mcleod, J. and Mcleod, J. 2011. Counselling skills. Maidenhead: Open University Press. • Rogers, C. 2004. On becoming a person. London: Constable. • Unknown. eds. 2002. Beginnings: Advanced communication skills. Stirling: Counselling & Psychotherapy in Scotland.
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