15 Communication Techniques in Counseling

Counseling according to the Big Indonesian Dictionary is guidance or providing guidance by experts to someone using psychological methods and so on.

Another meaning of counseling is counseling or providing assistance by the counselor to the counselee in such a way that understanding of one’s own abilities increases in solving various problems.

The purpose of counseling is to change the counselee’s behavior in accordance with the abilities and potential possessed by the counselee.

To support this goal, the counselor usually does various things to facilitate and provide support to the counselee, together with the counselee to make various alternative solutions for the sake of change in a direction that is better and in accordance with the objectives to be achieved in counseling (Mulawarman, 2017: 7-8).

From the understanding and purpose of counseling above, it can be seen that counseling is a communication activity carried out by a counselor who has professional abilities in handling various issues that are closely related to personal, social, career, and educational decisions as well as understanding various psychological processes and behavioral dynamics in yourself counselee. Counseling often involves interaction and communication between counselor and counselee both verbally and nonverbally (Mulawarman, 2017: 7).

Furthermore, Mulawarman (2017) explained that as a communication process between counselor and counselee, counseling generally involves the counselor’s ability to capture the message conveyed by the counselee and communicate it back to the counselee.

This counselor’s abilities include several communication techniques in counseling. The communication techniques in counseling must continue to be studied and trained by the counselor so that the communication process in counseling takes place effectively.

The several communication techniques in counseling that need to be mastered by the counselor, including:

  1. Approaching the counselee

Approaching refers to the way the counselor can be with the counselee both physically and psychologically. The characteristic of effective approaching behavior is telling the counselee that the counselor is with them so that they can share their stories with the counselor.

In addition, another characteristic of effective approaching behavior is to place the counselor in a position to listen to what the counselee has to say.

Examples of approaching behaviors include nodding the head in agreement, showing a calm and smiling face expression, body position leaning toward the counselee, the appropriate distance between counselor and counselee, and listening actively (Read also:  Application of Communication in Nursing Management )

  1. Active listening

Listening refers to the counselor’s ability to capture and understand messages communicated by the counselee, both verbal and nonverbal messages.

Active listening generally requires other skills such as listening and understanding verbal messages conveyed by the counselee, listening and interpreting nonverbal messages delivered by the counselee, listening and understanding of the counselee in certain contexts, and listening with empathy.

Some things that must be considered by the counselor include avoiding distraction, preparing themselves psychologically to listen, staying open, thinking analysis, identifying supporting arguments and facts, being objective, etc. (Read also: 10 Application of Transactional Analysis in Counseling Communication ).

  1. Be empathetic

Empathy is the counselor’s ability to recognize and acknowledge the counselee’s feelings without having to experience the same emotions as the counselee.

Empathy is an effort made by a counselor to understand the counselee world. Empathy is done by listening attentively to the counselee, understanding the counselee and understanding what the counselee is concerned about. An understanding of the counselee world must then be shared with the counselee through statements both verbally and nonverbally.

Examples of statements that show empathy are “I understand how you feel” (Also read: Urgency of Communication in Cross-Cultural Counseling ).

  1. Capture the message

The next communication technique in counseling is capturing messages. Capturing messages is a communication technique used to restate what is conveyed by the client regarding the problem at hand.

The purpose of this technique is to say back to the counselee that the counselor understands what is conveyed by the counselee and settles what has been delivered by the counselee in the form of a summary, give direction counseling interviews, and re-examine the counselor’s perception of what is expressed by the counselee (Read also: Meaning Communication in Counseling Guidance ).

  1. Give questions

So that the counselee is willing to express what he thinks, feels, and experienced to the counselor, the counselor can give questions to the counselee in the form of open questions or closed questions.

The purpose of counselors to ask questions is to encourage counselees not to use assertive communication when they want to express themselves, help counselees to refocus on problems, help counselees to re-identify experiences or behaviors or feelings that are missing from the counselee’s self, help counselees to keep trying, and help counselee to understand himself and the problem situation being faced.

Some things that must be considered by the counselor when asking questions to the counselee is to pay attention to the situation of the counseling and counselee conditions; mastering material that is closely related to the question; ask questions clearly, directed, and not out of the topic of the problem, and immediately provide responses to questions that are well and sympathetic (Read also: Effective Communication ).

  1. Give minimal encouragement

In counseling, counselors sometimes need to provide some sort of minimal encouragement to what is delivered by the counselee. The purpose of giving this minimal encouragement is so that the counselee can freely express himself and give direction to the counselee so that the purpose of the conversation can be achieved.

The right time to give this minimal encouragement is when the counselee stops the conversation or when the counselee is less focused on what is said or when the counselor feels doubt about what is delivered by the counselee (Read also: Interpersonal Communication ).

  1. Give direction to the counselee

Other communication techniques in counseling that can be applied by counselors are directing the counselee or giving direction to the counselee. The point is that the counselor invites and directs the counselee to do something such as playing a role or imagining something (Read also:  Examples of Interpersonal Communication in Nursing ).

  1. Conclude temporarily

Sometimes the counselor needs to temporarily conclude what has been discussed with the counselee so that later the direction of the conversation becomes clearer.

The purpose of the interim conclusion is to provide an opportunity for the counselee to review what has been said, prevent the counselee from repeating what has been said, give direction to the counselee, help clients to identify missing parts of the story told to the counselor, and help so that the counselor and counselee focus more on the counselee (Read also: Examples of Interpersonal Communication in Midwifery ).

  1. Leading the way of counseling

Communication techniques in the next counseling is memin the course of counseling. Counselors can also use this technique during the counseling process.

Lead technique is a technique in counseling to direct or lead the course of counseling so that the goals and objectives of counseling can be seen clearly. In general, this technique is also called the questioning technique because in its application it often uses question sentences (also read: Multidisciplinary Communication Methods in Nursing ).

  1. Focus on the problem

During the counseling process, the counselor can use this technique as a tool for the counselee to focus more on the topic of conversation.

This needs to be done considering that when counseling counselees will usually convey a number of problems being faced to the counselor. For this reason, counselors should be able to help the counselee to focus on certain issues that are more important (Also read: Effective Communication Methods with Patients ).

  1. Confrontation

The next communication technique in counseling is confrontation. Confrontation technique is a technique to challenge the counselee that is applied by the counselor when the counselor sees the inconsistency between what is delivered by the counselee with actions, initial ideas with subsequent ideas, and others.

The purpose of using confrontation techniques in counseling is to encourage the counselee to be more honest about himself. Confrontation techniques need to be done carefully by seeing the right time and time, not blaming the counselee, done with approaching behavior and empathy (also read: How to Communicate Well ).

  1. Explain unclear or doubtful words

If during counseling there are words that the counselee feels are unclear or doubtful to the counselor, the counselor can use this technique to explain or clarify the words that are unclear or doubtful.

The purpose of applying this technique is to get the counselee to convey the message clearly and logically. This technique is carried out by the counselor using preliminary words as in essence, in the book, in other words, in short, and so on (Read also: How to Create Harmony in Communication ).

  1. Reflecting the juice

The next technique that is often applied in counseling is the technique of reflecting feelings. This technique is used by the counselor to reflect back the feelings or attitudes contained behind the counselee’s statement.

This technique is done by using preliminary words, it seems, and so on. In addition, there are several things that must be considered by the counselor, namely avoiding stereotypes, choosing the right time to respond to the counselee’s statement, using words that properly describe the feelings or attitudes of the counselee, and adjust the language that is appropriate or in accordance with the counselee (Read also: Cause Success in Communication ).

  1. Shut up

Silence is one of the communication techniques in counseling that is characterized by the absence of sound or the absence of interaction between counselor and counselee in the counseling process.

The purpose of using the silent technique in counseling is to wait and give the counselee the opportunity to think before expressing himself, support the approaching behavior, provide an opportunity for the counselee to rest or organize the message, support the counselee’s empathy to the counselee so that the counselee is free to speak, encourage the counselee or give motivation to counselee to achieve counseling goals. This silent technique can be done by the counselor or counselee (Also read: The Meaning of Silence in Communication ).

  1. Make a final conclusion

The last communication technique in counseling is to make the final conclusions of the conversation that has been conducted between counselor and counselee. In general, conclusions made by the counselor include the feelings of the counselee after counseling, maturation of the counselee’s plan, counselee’s understanding, and various subjects that will be carried out at the next counseling if needed (also read: Non Verbal Communication ).

Benefits of Learning Communication Techniques in Counseling

Learning communication techniques in counseling can provide several benefits, including:

  • We can know and understand the meaning of counseling.
  • We can know and understand some of the communication techniques that are commonly applied in counseling.

Thus a brief review of communication techniques in counseling. Hopefully it can broaden our horizons and knowledge about counseling and some communication techniques that are commonly applied in counseling.


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