Counselling is a particular skill-set used with most clients, and is based in the study and refinement of appropriate listening techniques, the application of natural empathy, and practised forms of questioning. The counselling skill is learned over a period of several years in psychology training programs, and refined further during years of professional practice.
Typically, counselling initially focuses on a presenting issue, gently probing it further, to expand its meaning for the client. The counsellor’s role is to provide support, help raise awareness, present new facts and ultimately help the client achieve a reduction in impact of a troubling issue. Counselling is used to help any client to move at their own pace and style towards better recognition and articulation of vulnerable areas they may only be glimpsing when upset or distressed.
Counsellors may utilise strategies like limited experiential sharing and focally attending to the client, or they may scan situations to review shared cues in posture, body movement and verbal language tone and pace to appraise the best communication approach. Counsellors are skilled at identifying underlying social and language cues presented by their clients.