Counselling skills and qualities help us to understand ourselves and ultimately enable us to support, understand and help those around us. Whether it's to increase your capacity to listen, articulate, or empathise; counselling skills are essential skills that all of us should cultivate to enrich our personal and working lives. Here are 5 ways that counselling skills can help you to become ‘a better you’.
1. Listening skills
Counselling is all about listening to, and truly hearing others. The power to express and articulate our internal world, thoughts and emotions is important. Equally important is our capacity to listen and hear what is expressed by others.
Listening is an essential skill in counselling and everyday life. Nowadays even when we express ourselves, we can't be unsure whether anyone is listening and understands us. Take social media, where we often reduce our complex thoughts and experiences into brief messages, images, or memes on social media. Whilst in everyday life, time and patience can often be short.
As a result, we have diminished our ability to listen and to hear each other. This ca significantly impact on our relationships, mental health, and general wellbeing.
Learning skills in counselling enhances these listening abilities. Helping others to be heard also supports us in being heard ourselves.
Another important skill, like listening, is dialogue and the capacity to encourage and prompt others to talk and articulate is also very important.
Developing our abilities to talk and discuss openly, authentically, and caringly has huge benefits for our everyday relationships and encounters with others.
Allowing and helping others to express and reflect relies on asking the right questions, as well as listening and giving full attention. Counselling training builds these capacities in a formal context.
3. Awareness of others
Learning counselling skills supports us to recognise different lives, helping build empathetic skills, to see others as they are, from their perspective. It helps build our awareness of others, and the huge diversity in identities, lives and experiences of people different to ourselves. Difficulties and conflicts between humans often arise because we're unable to comprehend another’s experience.
Building greater awareness of diversity and differences between people - whether in terms of age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity or race – is essential now more than ever. Greater empathy strengthens social relationships and helps nourish rich, diverse and strong friendships and communities. At the same time, recognising differences can also reveal the opposite – identifying that which we have in common - our shared perspectives, experiences, challenges and values.
If you're pursuing counselling as a means to a career you perhaps will generally do so with the deep desire to support others. However studying counselling also requires self-reflection, helping us to understand and articulate our own experiences, emotions and responses to others.
Our emotions and behaviours - consciously and unconsciously - have a huge impact on those around us. Self-awareness developed through talking, reflective skills, and journaling can be one of the most challenging aspects of studying counselling. Yet it inevitably leads to highly rewarding self-discovery and development.
Having self-awareness helps us to have a positive impact on those around us and supports us in discovering a deeper, more authentic self.
5. Career progression and skills in the workplace
The skills and competencies gained through learning counselling skills provide huge benefits for any job or profession. Be it counselling and psychotherapy and in the helping industries or in other sectors. Positive relationships between colleagues are important for work, and counselling skills help in building essential capacities.
A counselling course is a great addition to any CV, and help is build a more healthy, more compassionate, and more collaborative workplace and working life.
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