Textbook Notes (280,000)
CA (170,000)
U of G (10,000)
FRHD (1,000)
FRHD 3400 (100)
Chapter 3

FRHD 3400 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Eye Contact, American Middle Class, The Counselor


Department
Family Relations and Human Development
Course Code
FRHD 3400
Professor
Carol Anne Hendry
Chapter
3

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Chapter 3: Attending Behaviour and Empathy
Attending Behaviour: The Foundation Skill of Listening
o Attending behaviour, which is essential to an empathic relationship, is defined as
supporting your client with individually and culturally appropriate verbal following,
visuals, vocal quality, and body language
o Listening is the central skill of attending behaviour and is core to developing a
relationship and making real contact with our clients
o Listening is more than hearing and seeing
Attending Behaviour: The Skills of Listening
o Attending behaviour will have predictable results in client conversation
When we use each of the microskills, you can anticipate how the client is likely
to respond, but these predictions are never 100% perfect
If your first attempt at listening is not received, you can intentionally flex and
change the focus of your attention or try another approach to show that you are
hearing the client
o Attention is the connective force of conversations and of empathic understanding
We are deeply touched when it is present and usually know when someone is
not attending to us
Attending and observation are the places to start for effective listening
o Attending behaviour is the first and most critical skill of listening, as it is a necessary part
of demystifying all counseling and psychotherapy
o To communicate that you are indeed listening or attending to the client, you need to
follo three V’s + B
Visual/eye contact: look at people when you speak to them
Vocal qualities: communicate warmth and interest in your voice
Veral trakig: Trak the liet’s stor
Body language: be yourself authenticity is essential to building trust.
Face clients squarely, lean slightly forward with an expressive face, and
use encouraging gestures, and smile.
o As ou liste to our liets, ou ill e ale to osere the liets’ eral ad o-
verbal behaviour
Note their eye contact, their changing vocal tone, their body language, and
topics to which your clients attend and those that they avoid
o These attending behaviour concepts were first introduced to the helping field by Ivey,
Normingtom, Miller, Morrill, and Haase (1968)
Although there are cultural variances of this
Inuit sitting beside clients is more effective than direct eye contact
Attending Behaviour in Action: Getting Specific About Listening and Individual and Multicultural
Difference in Style
o Listen before you leap!
A oo tede of egier ouselors is trig to sole the liet’s
difficulties in the first 5 minutes
SLOW DOWN and listen
Visual/Eye Contact
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o Clients often tend to look away when thinking carefully or discussing topics that
particularly distress them
o Eye contact relates to comfortability
o Cultural differences in eye contact abound
Direct eye contact is considered a sign of interest in North American middle-
class culture.
Maintain eye contact while listening and less while talking.
When client is uncomfortable, try not to make too much eye contact
African Americans: opposite; look less when listening and look more when
talking
Some traditional native and Latin groups think eye contact from the young is a
sign of disrespect
Some cultural groups, like native American, Inuit and Aboriginal Australian
generally avoid eye contact all together
People with disabilities represent a group that receives insufficient attention.
Eye contact varies, as we have to be careful not to label them
Vocal Qualities: Tone and Speech Rate
o Your voice is an instrument that communicates much of the feeling you have about
yourself or about the client and what the client is talking about
Changes in pitch, volume, and speech rate, as well as breaks and hesitations,
convey the same things as the nature of your eye contact
Throat clearing may indicate that the ords are’t oig easil
o Verbal underlining is another useful concept
Louder volume and increased vocal emphasis on certain words or phrases
Significant things are said more softly and critical issues are expected at lower
volumes
Verbal Tracking: Following the Client or Changing the Topic
o “taig ith our liet’s topi to eourage full elaoratio of the arratie
Chage topis he the are’t ofortale
In US this is appropriate, but in Asian cultures it is not
o Helpful to both the beginning counselor and the experienced therapist who is lost or
puzzled about what to say next
o Build o the liet’s topi
Central Role of Selective Attention
Human brain is wired to attend to stimuli in a way that focuses on coping with
the environment and what is near at hand
Selective attention is central to counselling and psychotherapy
Clients tend to talk about things they think the therapist wants to hear
How you selectively attend may determine the length of the session and
whether the client returns
A famous training film (Shostrum 1966) shows three embient counselors all
counseling the same client. The client changes the way she talks and responds
very differently with each counselor
The client intended to match the language of the three counselors
Each expert used verbal and nonverbal behaviour to influence what
they wanted the client to talk about
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In the beginning, you should allow clients to talk about their experiences in their
own language, not yours.
o Often the last thing the client says in a list of problems is the thing that needs to be
focused on, either now or later.
The Value of Redirecting Attention
o There are times when it may be inappropriate to attend to the here and now of client
statements
When the client keeps talking about the same thing over and over again,
intentional nonattending may be useful
Through failure to maintain positive contact, subtle shifts in body posture, vocal
tone and deliberate jumps to more positive topics, you are facilitating the
redirect of the session
Ask about details in the repeating story
The usefulness of silence
o Sometimes is the most useful thing you can do
When a client is crying, you may want to offer immediate support, but
sometimes it is just best to stay quiet and consider offering a tissue to show you
care
BUT do’t follo the silee for too log, searh for a reak ad atted
accordingly
o The brain is still functioning during silence
The auditory cortex remains active when you are attending or listening to
silence, and your brain is highly sensitive, as it is before you are consciously
aware of seeing an object or person
o For a beginner counselor, silence can be scary.
When you feel uncomfortable with the silence, look at the client
If the client looks comfortable, mirror that body language and join in the
silence
If the client looks uncomfortable, rely on your attending skills
- Ask a question or mention something from earlier
Talk time
o Clients can’t talk while you do
o Who talks ore… ou or our liet?
The percentage of talk time for your client should be higher than your talk time
With younger children, the counselor may need to talk more to engage the child
Body Language: Attentive and Authentic
o Anthropologist Edward Hall examined film clips of Southwestern Native Americans and
European North Americans and found more than 20 different variations in the way they
walked
o Comfortable conversation distance in North America is about an ar’s legth, ad the
English prefer further distances
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