Competent Mindful Listening Also Interpersonal Co

You will also reply to the threads of at least 3 classmates (200–250 words each). When addressing each specific topic, integrate relevant ideas from the various course texts and materials. In your replies, extend the discussion by analyzing and building upon your classmates’ ideas. Replies must demonstrate course-related knowledge and assertions be supported by references in current APA format. Use first person and single-spaced formatting and indent new paragraphs. Your threads and replies must be well written, well organized, and focused.

1. J. S Posted….

According to France and Weikel in their book Helping skills for human service workers: Building relationships and encouraging productive change (France & Weikel, 2014), they explore the importance of empathy in counseling. Counseling was rated by its effect by the clients when they could sense empathy from their worker. It is important that the client perceives that the counselor understands and feels for them. Being able to reflect how the same type of situations have happened in your life are a way for you to share those experiences with the client and voice what they have not verbalized yet (France & Weikel, 2014, pp. 56-57).

According to Stewart in Bridges not walls: A book about interpersonal communication, it is important for your client to know that you are listening and are not going to interject something into a conversation that does not relate to their point of view. It is important to be actively and empathically listening to them so they feel heard (Stewart, 2012, p. 194). This will allow them to have a safe space to open up and feel a better connection with you as the counselor. In order to effectively empathically listen, one must learn how to use their focusing, encouraging, and reflecting skills in counseling.

Focusing skills uses body language to communicate that you are listening to your client. Maintaining eye contact and staying engaged are helpful tips to maintaining focus (Stewart, 2012, p. 195). Encouraging skills helps pull information and feelings out of the client so they can fully express their emotions. Asking open-ended questions will help the client to open-up and share (Stewart, 2012, pp. 196-197). Lastly, using reflecting skills helps to summarize what you heard from the client to best understand what they mean and their perspective. This helps work out any kinks in communication between the client and counselor (Stewart, 2012, pp. 198-199).

Reference

France, K. & Weikel, K. (2014). Helping skills for human service workers: Building relationships and encouraging productive change (3rd ed.). Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas Publisher Inc. ISBN: 9780398081089.

Stewart, J. (2012). Bridges not walls: A book about interpersonal communication (11th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education. ISBN: 9780073534312.

2. L. A Posted….

In the France & Weikel text, the authors talk about the characteristics of effective leaders and note, “Wise leaders seek to understand the essential core of situations and challenges, to communicate in effective ways, and to help develop wisdom in others (France & Weikel, 2014, p.62). This statement sums up the important factors of empathy, warmth, and genuineness that also build a successful client-helper relationship. When the helper seeks true understanding, the client feels cared for. In effective communication, the client has confidence that they are being heard. And when the helper leads the client in developing their own wisdom, the client finds autonomy, which leads to an intrinsic change, and long term success.

The Stewart text has several similar references in implementing the skills of empathy, warmth, and genuineness with others. Shafir’s article notes that mindful listening plays a part in effective communication, as the listener gives their full attention to the sharer, and is careful to accurately interpret what is being spoken (Stewart, 2012, p. 187). Competent mindful listening also communicates warmth to the client, where they feel recognized and accepted by the helper. The beginning of healing is often found when a suffering client finds that they have someone who simply sees them and hears them in their distress.

The Stewart text further notes that empathic listening requires focusing, encouraging, and implementing good reflecting skills to further effective communication (Stewart, 2012, p. 194). When we choose to focus on the client, they feel respected and heard, and when we accurately reflect on their struggles and feelings, the relationship is strengthened. When we successfully implement focus, encouragement, and accurate reflection, this also signifies genuineness to the client – we are there with them, and for them. The client not only feels that they have an ally in their situation, but they are propelled to continue sharing with openness, and they find the motivation to continue their endeavors towards healing and reconciliation.

France, K. & Weikel, K. (2014). Helping skills for human service workers: Building relationships and encouraging productive change. Springfield, Ill: Charles C. Thomas

Stewart, J. (2012). Bridges Not Walls. A book about interpersonal communication. (11th ed). New York, NY. McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

3. B. H Posted…..

In this week’s reading material, France and Weikel (2014) spoke to the importance of empathy, warmth, and genuineness to establish a therapeutic alliance with clients in the human services field. When workers exhibit facilitative levels of these three interpersonal skills, they convey understanding, respect, caring, and honesty. Empathy is understanding another person and communicating your understanding to the individual. Warmth is unconditional positive regard. Genuineness is meaning what you say. When a client feels these things, they are more likely to build a genuine rapport with someone than if they cannot observe these characteristics. When working with clients in the helping field, the success or failure of your interaction with your client can easily be hinged on how well you display these characteristics to the client. Generally speaking, no one truly feels comfortable talking to someone about close, personal things when they do not get the impression that they are sincerely being listened to or that they are not the true focus of the person with whom they are speaking. Listening to the client is a major part of this.

The primary ingredient for dialogic listening, as stated by Stewart, Zediker, and Witteborn (2012), is your willingness and ability to collaboratively co-construct meaning you’re your conversation partner. In order to do that, we have to arrive at the place where we are more focused on the point than just our individual ideas. Being an empathic listener means that instead of focusing primarily on your own thoughts and feelings, you focus on the other person’s. We have to be willing to focus, encourage the other party to freely express what they need to by urging them to express themselves and drawing more from them when or if they start to appear reluctant, and additionally, be able to reflect on what has been said to show the other party that you heard them and that you understand what they said. Creating an alliance with the client ensures that they will be sincere and completely open with you, almost to a state of vulnerability. This is why it is extremely important to make sure the client has the proper level of trust in you as their counselor and that while in that role, all ethics are considered and upheld to preserve the integrity of the client-counselor relationship.

Reference

France, K., & Weikel, K. (2014). Helping skills for human service workers building relationships and encouraging productive change. Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas, Publisher.

Stewart, J. R. (2012). Bridges not walls: A book about interpersonal communication. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

 
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