Counseling Sessions and Psychotherapy: The Importance of Communication

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Lucille is a young lady who runs a salon and is undergoing some stress regarding a particular employee. She was seen for one session to discuss her concerns. After reviewing the transcript of the session I am able to understand more about the counseling process. No matter what the specific theoretical orientation one assumes, counseling sessions and doing psychotherapy consist of a two-way communication between counselor/therapist and client that is designed to help one person (the client) learn to understand themselves better. The goal is to help the client learn to adapt, adjust, or moderate their behavior, cognitions, and emotions in order to achieve better mental and physical health or to make their lives more comfortable (Fleming, 1967). This communication develops into a personal relationship that is bound by several variables including the personal aspects of the client, the psychological orientation of the therapist, and the particular goals of the therapeutic relationship. This relationship begins as soon as the client and counselor meet. However, the particular skills of the therapist, how they are used, what skills the therapist deems important, and how they are applied can be crucial to the development of the therapeutic relationship as well as to the therapeutic outcome (Westen, Novotny, & Thompson-Brenner, 2004). Historically there are two views on what makes psychotherapy effective: on one side are supporters of specific treatments claiming that these are

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