- Parent Category: Training
- Created on Wednesday, 07 December 2011 05:50
- Published Date
Counselling is a complex conversation which requires the listener, to not only unpack what is being said into a manageable problem but also correctly identify the client’s feelings towards a given situation or person.
It is true that feelings will almost always determine behaviour.
We have found in our work in the counselling field that the concept of helping a client explore their feelings and being able to provide an opportunity for safe exploration of options is a challenging process for even the most experienced clinician.
Some of this difficulty can be attributed to the fact that cultural norms impact language.
It is the norm for most cultures to give advice to a younger person. This advice may not include exploring that persons feelings or even providing options for self-determination. It is also not seemingly correct to acknowledge that the older generation can get guidance from someone a lot younger especially in the area of sexuality and life style choices.
There are gender issues in the counselling process where men believe that women are not equipped to hear them, or that women seldom listen, but are quick to give advice.
South Africa is plagued with diseases that do not always require medication, but rather the exploration of the actions and feelings which led to poor life choices and ultimately to disease. It’s the clinician’s role to provide a safe space for individuals to give information irrespective of age or culture.
It is this challenge which many trainers in the counselling field face. We believe these challenges can be overcome in a 5 day hands on training programmes and it is possible to bridge these divides and teach a skills set that is not only meaningful but helpful to the learner.
Most course writers in adult education would agree that adult learners need to know for sure what is in it for them within the first 10 minutes of the training event. It is for this reason that we have realised that to hold a therapeutic conversation you need to be both client and leaner simultaneously. That the learner needs to learn the skill of counselling through the skin so to speak so that the counselling skill set acquired becomes part of the marrow of the learner bones in their next conversation with a friend, college, client or loved one.
The course points out that adults should not learn lists of trite answers to give in a conversation, such as the proverbial uhhum or how does that make you feel? Rather individuals are taught to give meaningful responses which enables both client and counsellor to know that this specific therapeutic conversation changes the way the client will view the future and that the exchange will enable decision making which will change outcomes.
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