What are the basic reflecting skills in counselling?

There are four basic different reflecting skills in counselling which are essential for every counsellor to be known.


1.Reflecting feelings-

    • Focus on feeling not details
    • Both verbal and non verbal
    • Read body language even if feeling not expressed verbally

2.Paraphrasing /Restating / reframing

    • Saying what you understand
    • So client will know you understand , if you don’t you are willing to be corrected
    • Tips-
      • Use your own words
      • Slightly different word with same meaning
      • Rephrase both content and feelings
      • Convey empathy, acceptance and genuineness

3.Affirmations (Self talk)

    • Ellis’s reformulation of Epictetus’s dictum can be stated as, “People disturb themselves by the rigid and extreme beliefs they hold about events. So he gave importance to self talk and affirmations.
    • If we want to become psychologically healthy, we had better stop blaming ourselves and others and learn to fully and unconditionally accept ourselves despite our imperfections.
    • We have strong tendencies to transform our desires and preferences into dogmatic shoulds,” “musts,” “oughts,” demands, and commands
    • Thus, Albert Ellis’s Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) gave A-B-C Framework to replace  irrational beliefs with rational beliefs (Ellis, 2008).
    • Restructuring involves helping clients learn to monitor their self-talk, identify maladaptive self-talk, and substitute adaptive self-talk for their negative self-talk (Spiegler, 2008).

4.Summaring / Summarizing

    • At the end of a session, After listening to the statements of the client , the counsellor summarizes the content presented by the client.
    • Through summarizing, the counsellor tries to find out if s/he has properly understood the frame of reference of the client
    • Helps the client to place his/her problem in perspective.


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