Psychological communication: Theories, roles and skills for counsellors by van der Molen, Lang, Trower, & Look (second edition) – Chapter 5 summary

A goal refers to what the client or clinician would like to achieve (e.g. reduction of problems). There are two types of goals:

  1. Process goals
    This refers to goals aimed at creating the right condition for effective counselling (e.g. creation of a good atmosphere).
  2. Outcome goals
    This refers to goals aimed at reaching a (pen)ultimate goal.

The choice of outcome goals is primarily the client’s responsibility and goals may change and need to be adapted throughout sessions. The clinician needs to adopt a role and this role may change. There are four roles:

  1. Confidant role
    The goal of this role is to help the client talk and think through the issues. The clinician needs to create clarity and calmness during the session and the clinician needs to be attentive (1), understanding (2) and encouraging the client to speak freely (3).
  2. Communicative detective role
    The goal of this role is to obtain a clear picture of the client’s thoughts and actions. It includes asking questions and openness in the communication with the client (e.g. explain reasoning behind a question).
  3. Teacher role
    The goal of this role is to provide the client with a more effective approach to their problems and discussing how the client can put this to good use. The clinician takes up an explanatory role and introduces new perspectives in an empathetic way.
  4. Coach role
    The goal of this role is to help the client generalize new behaviour and thought patterns outside of the counselling environment. The clinician guides and helps their client by discussing and evaluating the outcome of their experiments with new behaviour in real life.

Overgeneralization (e.g. “all Scottish people suck”) may occur when the client shows too little differentiation and too quick integration. All new information is immediately slotted into an existing mental framework. The client may also show too much differentiation and too little integration, meaning that there are too many nuances and information is not arranged into a clearly defined whole. The communicative detective role should be used if this is the case. However, this role should not be used if the confidant role deems sufficient.

The helping model (i.e. Egon’s model) refers to a framework that contains a set of guidelines for carrying out counselling. The model allows

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Summaries & Study Note of JesperN
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“Clinical Skills: Developmental Psychology – Course summary (UNIVERSITY OF AMSTERDAM)"

This bundle contains everything you need to know for the course "Clinical Skills: Developmental Psychology" given at the University of Amsterdam. It contains all the lectures and the following chapters of the books:

Clinical assessment

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