Being an effective counsellor involves more than just listening
Whilst listening is a key element of the client-counsellor relationship, being an effective counsellor involves more than just listening. Listening must be used in conjunction with a wide range of ther skills.
Not only must the client be heard, but the counsellor must be able to acknowledge and understand what is being said and communicate this back to the client. Carl Rogers believed that empathic response was a key component of the client-counsellor relationship. Receiving an empathic response can encourage the client to delve further into their thoughts and feelings and be more revealing of them.
The counsellor should also be able to identify the non-verbal forms of communication (tone of voice, body language etc.) exhibited by the client and also recognise the significance of what isn’t being said or which particular areas are being avoided. Sometimes an inability to understand themselves or their situation with the resources available to them can prompt an individual to enter into counselling.
The counsellor should be able to help identify sources of the clients difficulties and to assist them in finding the understanding that eludes them. These skills - once combined within a strong theoretical framework - can be successfully applied to facilitate positive change.