Tag Archives: verbal

Non-Verbals in Session

Posted by: Andrea Cashman on April 23, 2015 10:21 am

Approximately 90 per cent of communication is exchanged non-verbally and most of that is done in an unconscious way. We use 30 of our 90 facial muscles to convey non-verbal communication (www.counsellingconnection.com) The body’s innate intelligence is an untapped resource in psychotherapy (www.sensorimotorpsychotherapy.org).

communicateYou have learnt about non-verbal communication in your counselling graduate studies. It is an essential skill to be able to pick up on subtle non-verbal cues your clients exhibit in session. Most times, a client may not be able to put into words or articulate how they really feel. Non-verbals can speak for them. These non-verbals demonstrate a client’s status in their eye contact, facial expressions, their body movements and in their posture. For example, a depressed client may exhibit a slumped body posture, with their head mostly down, shoulders down, eye contact limited and they may seem to reflect a body posture that turns inward and makes them appear smaller. Most times a client’s non-verbals will match what they are conveying to you verbally about their situation and sometimes there will be an incongruency between what is verbalised versus expressed in body language. It’s an important skill to notice non verbal communication and another skill to be able to incorporate that into therapy by reflecting back what you have observed. Often times client’s are not even aware of the messages their bodies are conveying. Helping them become aware can facilitate body awareness in times of relationship conflicts where others may perceive their body language as threatening or in any other negative fashion.

There are many theories and therapies that utilise nonverbals. Sensorimotor psychotherapy, developed by Pat Ogden in the 1970’s, correlates the disconnection trauma victims feel in their bodies with their physical patterns and their psychological issues. Sensorimotor psychotherapy joins somatic therapy with psychotherapy (www.sensorimotorpsychotherapy.org). Somatic therapy is another holistic therapy that studies the relationship between the mind and the body in regard to psychological past. The word “soma” is a Greek word that means living body. Somatic therapy shows how trauma symptoms and their effects on the autonomic nervous system and how these effects can fester into prominent physical symptoms, digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, sexual dysfunctions, depression, anxiety and addictions (http://psychcentral.com/). In addition, other therapies utilise non verbal communication to some degree. Emotion focused therapy relies on body language to convey emotions and work directly with them. Biofeedback is another therapy that tracks specifically body language by use of monitors or biofeedback machines to ease anxiety and stress. There are many more, of course. Can you think of one that has intrigued you or one therapy that you use specifically in your therapy sessions that utilises the body/body language?
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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Child Favoritism

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on November 19, 2012 1:21 pm

What is favoritism? Favoritism in simple, is the intentional or unintentional preferential treatment of an individual or group of persons.  Parents who favor one child over another, are subscribing to the notion that one child is better behaved, more attractive, similar in personality to the favoring parent, or they have preferred kinship.  

Favoritism is commonly associated with a bond that develops between the child and the parent.   Moreover, the favoring parent may have a guilt, remorse, or negative emotion associated with the unfavored child.   In some cases, a detachment occurs because of some major traumatic event or a major life challenge.   Such cases can breach the bond between the parent and child.   If a child is conceived unexpectedly or without a desire, the parent may withdraw emotionally, cognitively, and physically from the child.  Children who are born with physical birth defects, psychological or psychiatric challenges, or a comorbidity of issues simultaneously, can prove burdensome to the oppositional or unattached parent.  

Favoritism is not always intentional.  Favoritism can occur when a child favors or resembles a parent whether physically or through a particular personality style.  Moreover, favoritism is not always related  to a resemblance of a parental figure, rather it is a fondness established between a parent and a child.  In some cases, if a child is too much alike the parental figure, then this too may cause a rift between the parent and child.   The parent may ultimately see qualities in the child that they dislike or distain.  The heart of the matter is such parents want ease and comfortability.  

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Fostering Achievement

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on January 19, 2012 3:32 pm

Do you embrace your children’s accomplishments, achievements, and successes?  When was the last time you spoke words of praise unto your children?  Have you taken time out to encourage your children?  Do you encourage only the “big” successes, or are you offering praise for the little ones as well?  Do you respond to failure as a bad thing? Are you offering encouragement when your children fail to succeed?

Children thrive on positive affirmations, strokes, and encouragement.  Children who live in environments where they are belittled or berated; have a higher likelihood of giving up on their dreams and life ambitions. Likewise, a child who is belittled or berated is more likely to have a lowered self-esteem and self-awareness. 

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA