How Can a Counselor Respond Accurately to a Client's Experiences, Thoughts, and Behaviours?

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RESPONDING WITH EMPATHY Empathy is the ability to enter into and understand the world of another person and to communicate this understanding to him or her. Empathy is far more than a communication technique: it is as rich or as poor as its foundations. It demands maturity of the person who uses it in terms of patience or control of impulsiveness. Effective helpers know that understanding a client is a qualitative rather than a quantitative experience. If attending and listening are the skills that enable helpers to get in touch with the world of the client, empathy is the skill that enables them to communicate their understanding of that world to the client. The Basic Formula Basic empathic understanding can be expressed in the following stylized formula: You feel … (here name the correct emotion expressed by the client) Because … (here indicate the correct experiences, thoughts, and behaviours that give rise to the feelings). The formula “You feel … because … ” is a beginner tool to get used to the concept of responding with accurate empathy. It focuses on the key points of clients’ stories, points of view, intentions, proposals, and decisions together with the feelings, emotions, and moods associated with them. Respond Accurately To Client’s Feelings, Emotions, And Moods Helpers need to respond to clients’ emotions in such a way to move the helping process forward. This means identifying key emotions to the client either expresses or discusses (helper perceptiveness) and weaving them into the dialogue (helper know-how) even when they are sensitive or part of a messy situation (helper courage or assertiveness) * Use the right family of emotions and the right intensity In the basic empathy formula, “You feel…” should be followed by the correct family of emotions and the correct intensity. Family. The statements “You feel hurt”, You feel relieved”,
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