Reflection on My Counselling Micro-Skills
The engagement phase of counselling is where micro-skills are of critical importance (Bogo, 2006). Listening and silence, exploring with questions that are neither judgmental nor leading, and the use of nonverbal body language, are the micro language of rapport building and really hearing what the client is saying.
These are many methods and techniques that combine to assist practitioners such as myself to form an integrated and holistic understanding of a client such as Dianne Brown. From this exercise, I have come to more fully appreciate and understand the engagement process used to engage a client and to explore their issue whilst letting them lead the way to share their narrative.
In this role play the micro-skills required to build rapport were critical, as I just turned up on Mrs Brown’s (Dianne) doorstep, to talk about her child’s absence from school of which she was not aware, and, unbeknown to me, Dianne was already quite worried about Darcy.
In hindsight I am surprised that she even let me in! The embarrassment she must have felt at having to tell me that her phone was cut-off, that she feared school Principles, and that she had difficulty with her writing. This brought home to me the essential nature of micro-skills to build trust and respect (rapport) at the beginning of a session relationship (Cummins, Sevel, & Pedrick, 2005).