Skills Development

7 July 2016

1. Active listening through body language and minimal interventions; being physically and vocally attentive while being almost transparent in the interaction gives the client a space they rarely find available to them. Put simply, we are talking about a helper who is really listening, actually caring and not interrupting to project his or her own opinions. When I have combined this with empathic reflection the results have felt like a miracle to be part of. I have witnessed clients unravelling themselves and exploring deep and meaningful things about themselves that they somehow knew but had ‘covered over’ or ‘locked away’. I feel blessed to have been part of these instances and welcome more of the same into my future.

2. Drawing on your Reflective Journal and Skill Practice Evaluation Forms, explain how your skills have developed during the Skills Practices and / or in your personal and professional life. Coming to this course from the ‘introduction to counselling skills’, I already had some awareness of the skills and my ability to use them, be that inconsistently. At the start of this ‘certificate’ course I had a very rough toolkit of active listening, paraphrasing and empathic reflecting. I have always been a listener; I strongly suspect during my childhood my mother’s needs rewarded me for listening.

Skills Development Essay Example

However, my mother’s needs also called for validation and me having an answer that made her feel ok about herself. This need to validate people was still present at the start of the course, alongside my need to be validated as a ‘life’ expert having the answers people need; I wanted to ‘fix’ people with my views of life and the attainment of fulfilment from my years of self development and reading.

Person Centered theories have totally changed my approach. I have been amazed and overjoyed to discover this approach and witnessed it first hand as a helper/counsellor in my own professional counselling clinical settings as a personal trainer. I have been blessed during my day job to be part of a client’s self-discovery while discussing family relationships and my client’s weight loss challenges.

To help a person see their true self and the beliefs and behaviours that are locking them into a repeated pattern that is limiting their growth really gives me a deep feeling of satisfaction and pleasure. There have been instances of such great empathy within me that I have felt tears well up when a client is expressing some deep emotion or joyful moment. I don’t yet know whether this is my own inner story surfacing, transference from the client, or pure empathy at the client’s story. I have always been able to get in touch with other people’s stories; I could shed a tear at a happy emotional TV advert.

During client sessions I have experienced that without my intervention or getting into a conversation containing my views, they held the answers within themselves and were partly relieved and tearful at seeing this. All I did was to listen, empathically reflect and summarise; leading the client to focus on the things they felt most strongly about. I have enjoyed pointing out the incongruence between their words and the feelings and reactions I see in their bodies and expressions; listening to a client think down through those layers of façade to find themselves is a pleasure to witness.

This may sound arrogant and a little colloquial, I feel as though I have been handed a super power that I must wield carefully. Feedback during class based skills sessions shows me I still have a way to go in terms of framing the counselling session; initially this feels tough to take, I want so much to be ‘seen’ as being great at this. I now see that as a need for external validation and continue to practice letting that desire pass. This has lead to taking recent feedback as a chance to grow; it pleases me; I am loving the journey.

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