Counselling Skills for Nurses, Midwives, and Health Visitors

By Dawn Freshwater | Go to book overview

Chapter 3
Beginning a relationship

The places where we are genuinely met and heard have great
importance to us. Being in them may remind us of our strength and
our value in ways that many other places we pass through do not.

(Remen 1996: 242)

Establishing a rapport in the initial stages of a caring relationship requires, amongst other things, the skills of active listening, good attention, responding with genuineness and empathy. This chapter concentrates on the counselling skills that may be used specifically in the early stages of forming a relationship, and more generally throughout the life of a therapeutic relationship. A significant part of any counselling intervention, whether it is the use of counselling skills in a professional role or as a professional counsellor, is the process of assessment. This chapter therefore provides practical examples of the skills of questioning, silence, summarizing, paraphrasing and reflecting, and how they may be used in the communication of basic empathy between nurse and patient in the early assessment of the patient's needs.

Communication is what links us with other people and helps us to stay connected to society as a whole. There are many forms of communication and not all of them are speech related. There is a range of non-verbal communication skills which can be used effectively to get a message across without the use of language. Where language is used it can either serve to make people feel included or excluded. I begin by exploring accurate listening, perhaps one of the most important skills in establishing an inclusive relationship with another person, and one which consists of both verbal and non-verbal aspects.

-33-

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Counselling Skills for Nurses, Midwives, and Health Visitors
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface x
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction 1
  • Chapter 2 - The Process of Counseling 14
  • Chapter 3 - Beginning a Relationship 33
  • Chapter 4 - Sustaining the Relationship 49
  • Chapter 5 - Facilitating Change 62
  • Chapter 6 - Professional Considerations 76
  • Chapter 7 - Caring for the Carer 92
  • Appendix 107
  • References 112
  • Index 119
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