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c hallenging a client to change

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Module 9 Part B Introduction In this essay I have chosen to write about challenging client's responses, I will look at the Gestalt theory of challenge and then use a counselling session with a client to describe how I invited challenge to move forward with my client's issues. Challenging a client's responses Counselling is more than active and empathetic listening. Part of effective counselling might also mean confronting the client with certain aspects of, for example, self-defeating behaviour or thoughts and feelings that are odd with progress. Using the basic active listening skills may take the client someway along the path of self-awareness, yet more may be needed to help the client gain a deeper understanding of the problem and its root cause. In this essay I will write about the insight into the skills the counsellor uses to facilitate understanding. These skills, unfortunately termed" challenging and confronting", invite clients to examine their behaviour and its consequences. In other words, by encouraging clients to come face to face with themselves, they develop the skill of self-challenge and the potential to change. However, it needs to be borne in mind that in the context of counselling, challenges and confrontations are always offered with the client's best interests at heart, as a gift, not an attack. The skills need to be used with great sensitivity, care and respect. They need to come out of the deep empathy with the client, and should not be used until trust has been established. The aim of challenging is to provide accurate information and to offer our perspective. We challenge the strengths of the client rather than the weaknesses. Pointing out the strengths, assets and resources which the client may fail to fully use. Challenging and confronting helps clients develop new perspectives. Confronting a client: Confronting clients with something they might prefer not to see, might not want to hear, or might not want to know, is not easy. ...read more.


Chris takes anti-depressants to help him cope with the stress. Chris is currently in discussion with the college human resources as to where they may be able to help him. Chris enters the counselling session appearing tired and withdrawn. Counsellor: Hello Chris, what would you like to discuss in your session today? Chris: I'm not sure, I've had a tough week Counsellor: Would you like to expand on your tough week? You appear tired today are you well? Chris: I'm finding it hard to sleep at the moment, my mind is working overtime, I'm very restless, I keeping thinking that the college will just make me go back to my job, Counsellor: what makes you think this? Chris: Well, I had a meeting with HR this week and they said that there is a job there for me at the college doing my old job, but I know that I am unable to go back into the education department, I feel as though if this happens it will just put me back to where I was twelve months ago. Counsellor: I'm sorry to hear that, you say it will put you back to where you where twelve months ago, how was that? Chris: I was extremely stress all the time, I couldn't manage my workload, the college had placed too much responsibility on my working week and they had unrealistic expectations that I could manage the workload in the time they had given me, but they had given me enough work for two lecturers. Counsellor: That feels demoralising, as though they where expecting too much from you .Do you have any support at work? Chris: yes, I have some, I go and speak with the union Alan is really helpful and whilst I've been off they have brought another lecturer in to do my job, and I have become friendly with him, even he says that the workload is too much. ...read more.


Counsellor: We can talk about this next week, if that is ok. Chris: yes that's fine. Counsellor: well once again we have run out of time, before you go can I just check that you're okay Chris: yes I'm feeling fine thank you, I will see you again next week, and hopefully I won't be coming back saying my mood has dropped again. Counsellor: Just take some time out to think about our work and try and use the skills you have learnt and you should be fine. Summation with client Throughout the two sessions I have discussed in my essay, I have challenged my client on many aspects of his behaviour. Having built a working relationship with Chris, I knew that he would benefit for participating in practical exercises where he can see his issue from a new aspect. As my client could see his actions and options open to him throughout the two session's and then reflected upon the discussion over the period of several weeks he could see change could be achieved, with trust building and my reflection on what he was saying and feeling my client could move from old patterns of behaviour to new one's and start doing this in a save environment where he wouldn't be humiliated, belittled and all decisions made would be done with his own choosing. My client found the practical exercises very helpful to change, and for me as a counsellor challenging my client was much easier using practical exercises. The exercises gave my client his power back that had been lacking within himself. For my client even accepting this power was a challenge for him, through demonstrating how this power can be used to benefit situations it allowed my client time in his own thought processes that though the challenges I was asking the client to participate in, over a short period of time my client trusted me to help him make choices that where right for the client to move on. in the here and now. ...read more.

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