Several essential skills are utilised by counsellors to effectively communicate with their clients and attain the best results while helping them. These facilitate the conversation and helps the person to identify which solution best fits his/her problem. The acronym ‘SOLER-sitting’ is used to describe the counsellor’s recommended position. It displays genuineness and respect towards the affected individual.
S: Sit squarely and adopt a good position that should not annoy the patient.
O: Open posture to create free space, which allows the client to feel safe and welcomed.
L: lean forward when necessary because bending backward might indicate opposite meaning and lack of interest.
E: Eye contact should be kept on point to display concentration and interest.
R: Relax and avoid unnecessary activities such as fiddling with pens or your fingers. This comforts the client and creates a conducive atmosphere for counselling.
Crucial communication skills exist for the counsellors. These include paraphrasing, summarizing, probing, empathizing, and active listening. Egan (1998), founded these skills and emphasized on listening (which has four skills) and attending, which includes SOLER sitting. Counsellors should pay attention to verbal communication, interpret client’s non-verbal messages, listen with empathy, and get to understand words in the client’s context to attain the best results.
Moreover, probing is essential as it helps to dig out more info from non-assertive persons. Paraphrasing shows the client that you are actively listening, and you would like to know more. Counsellors summarise at the beginning, when the conversation seems stuck, and at the end of the session. This helps to highlight what has been said as well as get the client’s approval. Counsellors tend to integrate different communication skills to help them handle difficult situations professionally.
Law, R. H., Haselwood, C. A., & Goetz, J. W. (2019). Key Communication and Physical Environment Concepts for Financial Counselors. In Financial Counseling (pp. 111-126). Springer, Cham.
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