Counselling skills and counselling theory

It is important to make a distinction between theory and skills in the context of counsellor training. At a basic level, the word ‘skills’ refers to the interpersonal tools which counsellors need to possess or acquire in order to communicate effec- tively with clients. These essential tools or skills include those of:

Q listening and attending
Q paraphrasing
Q summarising
Q asking questions
Q encouraging clients to be specific
Q reflecting their feelings
Q helping them to clarify their thoughts
Q encouraging them to focus on key issues
Q offering forms of challenge when needed.

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