One of the main skills that I used during the therapy session with my client was listening. Listening is a highly regarded skill when it comes to counseling. It enables one to grasp the information being shared and in turn, give the best advice. Besides, it is an indication to the client that the therapist cares, which makes them be more open (Bodie, Vickery, Cannava & Jones, 2015). I was fully attentive whenever the client was speaking and took short notes. My active listening was also marked by maintaining eye contact with the client and nodding. Asking questions was the other skill I incorporated in the counseling session. However, I limited the number of close-ended questions and asked more open-ended questions as they help one to gather more information about the client.
The assigned Corey’s readings played a significant role in informing my therapy sessions. I read them before the interview and I learned a lot about existential therapy. More specifically, one of the PowerPoint contained information about the relationship between a therapist and a client. It was indicated that treatment is a journey for both the counselor and the patient, and that person-to-person association is vital. I used the information as a guide during my session with the client. I created a friendly environment whereby the client would feel comfortable and open up. Moreover, I showed my genuine concern and understanding when my client shared personal issues.
One of my main strengths during the interview was communication. I am good in both verbal and non-verbal communication. My client had problems with speaking English and preferred writing down on a paper. Besides, the patient used multiple body signals which were also easy for me to understand. Moreover, my patience with the client helped in making the interview successful. Therapists can easily get irritated by patients with poor communication, and this can hinder treatment (Nelson-Jones, 2015). As for me, I understood the nature of my customer and waited until I got a complete response. As for the weaknesses, I was unable to ask the client all the questions I had intended to. I later noticed that I gave we focused more on certain topics than others which are equally important.
One of the ways that I can improve my interviewing skills is through proper planning. Preparation enables a therapist to finish the interview on time with all the issues covered (Cardoso, 2016). Besides, I can perfect my interviewing skills by ensuring understanding the various types of clients. Different people need different ways to be handled. I intend to acquire more knowledge on how to interview customers through more practice.
During the therapy session. I was sure on most of the responses that I gave my client. However, I felt stuck when the client asked whether I was living a happy life. I was not sure on what to respond as people have different views on what happiness entails. The time I was more confident with my feedback to the client is when I was giving professional advice, such as the importance of managing stress. I felt less comfortable when I gave responses about my personal life.
The client had a great impact on my emotions. I felt compassionate when the customer shared personal life challenges to an extent that I almost cried. I would also say that I felt connected to the client based on what we shared and the relationship we created. My engagement with the client was a hundred percent as there was no time I got distracted.
If I was to continue therapy with the client, I would focus on strengthening our relations. I would ensure that the client was open with me and I believe this would yield positive results. I would encourage the customer to be positive about life. To achieve this, I would ask the client to frequently come for visits.
Bodie, G. D., Vickery, A. J., Cannava, K., & Jones, S. M. (2015). The role of “active listening” in informal helping conversations: Impact on perceptions of listener helpfulness, sensitivity, and supportiveness and discloser emotional improvement. Western Journal of Communication, 79(2), 151-173.
Cardoso, P. (2016). Integrating life‐design counseling and psychotherapy: Possibilities and practices. The Career Development Quarterly, 64(1), 49-63.
Nelson-Jones, R. (2015). Basic counselling skills: a helper’s manual. Sage.