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February 20, 2018

Three New Counseling Techniques that Work

By Dr. Richard Boyum

Recently I have implemented three new techniques in counseling that have worked well for me. They are as follows:

1. Picking Fruit. I suggest to a client that picking fruit in a store involves some specific skill. While most fruit initially looks the same, by carefully choosing a fruit, you can pick one that does not spoil. I suggest that the same technique can be used in relationships. While initially all relationships look the same on the surface, by closer observations, you can begin to identify those relationships that have characteristics predisposed into failure. We then work on identifying those factors, so then individuals can make better choices.

2. Note Taking. Counseling is basically a cognitive process. In a session many good things often happen. As counselors we know that the more ways an individual accesses material, the more likely they are going to remember and recall it. I suggest to a client that they use a note-card during the session, to write down relevant thoughts or ideas that really get their attention. They then are to review these ideas as part of their homework assignment after the session. Clients report utilizing significantly more material that occurred from one session to the next.

3. The Person You Love. Frequently I make referrals for medical evaluations to physicians. One of the things I suggest to my student client is as follows: before presenting their symptoms or requests for medications or tests, that they ask the physician to thing for a moment about the people in their personal life that they love the most. After the physician does this, I have the student client then suggest to the physician that they would like them to imagine that they are that person. The result, generally, is a higher degree of attentiveness, a more thorough examination, and more detail given to tests and medications.

See if these techniques might not work for you.