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NUR1 220 Lecture Notes - Nonverbal Communication, Facial Expression, Eye Contact

Course Code
NUR1 220
Sonya Laszlo

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Nonverbal Communication and the
Therapeutic Relationship
- Nonverbal communication allows the expression of emotional
experience of illness that is difficult to verbalize
- Nonverbal is conscious and unconsciously done intentional
and unintentional
o Facial expression, eyes, voice, touch, body posture and
gestures, physical appearance and presence, use of space
and handling of time
Facial expression:
- You see fear, distress or sadness
- Even practitioner’s show emotions on their face
- Eye contact can expression
o Guilt, fear, confidence or support
- Helps decipher truth
- Indicate positive or negative relationship
o Look longer and more often at those they trust, respect,
and care about
- Normal pupil dilation- not controlled
o Dilate when pleased
o Contract when they are displeased
- Intonation
o Convey meaning of words eg. When describing
- Rhythm
- Pitch
- Intensity
- If vocal information contradicts verbal information, vocal
information will dominate
- Feelings are transmitted through vocal cues
- Love and affection
o Behavioural development of babies deprived of them
health problems eg. Allergies and eczema
- Produce reactions on emotional and interpersonal levels, issues
of trust, intimacy, respect and power
Body posture and gestures:
- Express attitudes
o Relaxed posture /postural orientation= liking of and
respect of other
- Emotional state = seen by how ppl walk, stand, sit
- Can show self-confidence, energy, fatigue, or status <gestures
and body movements need to be interpreted in context
Physical appearance and presence:
- State of cleanliness, dress, smell and grooming
- Clothing you see personality, attitudes, mood, values
o Identifies sex, age, socio-economic class and status
Proximity, space, and environmental cues:
- Tone of office = arranged furniture
o Sense of hierarchy and agenda
- Comfort lighting, cleanliness of office = respect and sense of
importance to the patient
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