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Power of Silence in Therapy

 

silence

        You can only hear when you listen!

There are two powerful assets that make up a successful counselling session. Skills which must be used by students and therapists alike.

They are Active Listening and the power of Silence

Listening is an active process and an important technique in counselling. This article evaluates the role of listening in counselling sessions and discusses common reasons for silences. Theoretical views of silence as resistance, research on silence in the session, and the values of silences in sessions, as well as how counsellors deal with silence, will be explored.

The idea behind therapeutic silence in counselling sessions is it allows clients to think of an expression, which allows them to come up with more profound awareness. It allows the clients to dig deeply into their feelings, to struggle for alternatives for action, and to weigh decisions. Listening to silence also has a calming effect on clients, as well as counsellors. It prevents them all from racing ahead. It prevents counsellors from pushing too hard, or at the wrong time, and it is a capping mechanism for clients’ emotions that are out of control.

Listening is a process that elicits non-speaking verbalizations and body language, as well as words, from the person being heard. In most models and theories of counseling, theorists and counseling professionals agree that listening skills play a paramount role (Cihangin-Cankaya, 2012; Knapp, 2008; Landary, Hill, Thompson, & Obrien, 2004; Duba, 2004; Levitt, 2001), although listening is often not included on the list of counselor skills. In fact, seasoned counsellor professionals agree that this skill is one of the most difficult. Lane, Koetting, and Bishop (2002) think that if the counsellor does not use silence with skill and sensitivity, then clients may feel that the therapist is disengaged, which places the therapeutic alliance in jeopardy. A plethora of blogs and a number of peer-reviewed articles stress the meaning and understanding of silence used by both clients and counsellors (Cihangir-Cankaya, 2012; Haque, 2012; Thomason, 2012).

 

To read the full paper by Dr Oppawsky from the University of Phoenix click on – `Silence is a Counselling Skill

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