Introduction to Counseling

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Introduction to Counseling:

Introduction to Counseling


Definitions Webster: “advice, especially that given as a result of consultation Jackson: “anytime someone helps someone else with a problem Rogers: “good communication within and between people Ohlsen: “a therapeutic experience for reasonably healthy persons”

Types of Counseling:

Types of Counseling Informational: “counseling in which a counselor shares a body of special information with a counselee” Situational: “related to specific situations in life that may create crises and produce human pain and suffering” Psychotherapy: “intervention with people whose needs are so specific that usually they can only be met by specially trained physicians or psychologists”

Styles of Counseling:

Styles of Counseling Directive: “counselor takes a live speaking role, asking questions, suggesting courses of action etc. Non-directive/Client Centered/Person Centered: “one comes actively and voluntarily to gain help on a problem………stresses the inherent worth of the client and natural capacity for growth and health” Phenomenological approach

Grief Counseling:

Grief Counseling “helping people facilitate uncomplicated grief to a healthy completion of the tasks of grieving within a reasonable time frame”

Grief Therapy:

Grief Therapy (Worden): “specialized techniques which are used to help people with complicated grief reactions” Complicated (Unresolved, Chronic) Grief: “grief extending over a long period of time without resolution”

William Worden:

William Worden 4 tasks of mourning: Task 1: to accept the reality of the loss Task 2: to experience the pain of grief and to express the emotions associated with it Task 3: to adjust to an environment in which the deceased is missing Task 4: to emotionally relocate the deceased or other changed condition and move on with life

Worden’s Goals of Grief Counseling:

Worden’s Goals of Grief Counseling 1) to increase the reality of the loss 2) to help the counselee deal with both expressed and latent affect 3) to help the counselee overcome various impediments to readjust after loss 4) to encourage the counselee to make a healthy emotional withdrawal from the deceased and to feel comfortable re-investing that emotion in other relationships

Worden’s Counseling Principles and Procedures:

Worden’s Counseling Principles and Procedures 1) help the survivor actualize the loss 2) help the survivor to identify and express feelings retroflected feelings reality testing 3) assist living without the deceased 4) facilitate emotional withdrawal 5) provide time to grieve

Principles and Procedures (cont’d):

Principles and Procedures (cont’d) 6) recognize “normal” behavior 7) allow for individual differences 8) provide continuing support 9) examine defense mechanisms and coping styles 10) identify pathology and refer “gatekeeper” role

Guidelines for Care Providers:

Guidelines for Care Providers 1) Offer yourself. 2) Be respectful. 3) Become comfortable with silence. 4) Be a skilled listener. 5) Normalize practically everything. 6) Avoid judgment. 7) Take action.

Guidelines (cont’d):

Guidelines (cont’d) 8) Don’t do everything by yourself. 9) Keep your promises. 10) Teach the “side by side” or intermittent approach to grieving. 11) Be sensitive to cultural, ethnic, and family traditions. 12) “Bracket” your “Cowbells” when they surface. 13) Be aware of and respond to your own compassion fatigue.

Ways that FDs Facilitate Grief:

Ways that FDs Facilitate Grief (Worden) 1) fulfilling their responsibility in counseling during the entire service 2) following up with post funeral counseling 3) providing contacts for the family with other support groups 4) providing a service in teaching people about grief and healthy grieving by sponsoring and presenting educational programs in the community

Interpersonal Skills:

Wolfelt: “all interpersonal relationships are either helpful, neutral, or harmful” Interpersonal Skills

Wolfelt’s Characteristics of the Helping Funeral Director:

Wolfelt’s Characteristics of the Helping Funeral Director Empathy Respect Warmth and Caring Genuineness

Helping Skills:

Helping Skills Attending/Listening: “giving undivided attention by means of verbal and non-verbal behavior” What are some barriers to listening skills?


Paraphrasing “expressing a thought or idea in an alternate and sometimes a shortened form” Paraphrasing exercise


Clarifying “the process of bringing vague content in the interaction into clearer focus or understanding” (Wolfelt)

Perception Checking:

Perception Checking “asking the person for verification of your understanding….asking for feedback about the accuracy of your listening” (Wolfelt)


Leading “anticipating where the person is going and responding with an appropriately encouraging remark” (Wolfelt) 2 types: indirect and direct


Questioning “a method of gaining information and increasing understanding” (Canine) 2 purposes: 1) to obtain specific information 2) to direct the person’s interaction with you into more helpful areas Open-ended questions are preferable in most situations.

Open-ended Questions:

Open-ended Questions allow the person to tell more about what he/she might be thinking or feeling help the person better understand focus on the feelings of the person

Reflecting Feelings:

Reflecting Feelings “expressing in fresh words the essential feelings stated or strongly implied of the person” How is this helpful to the funeral director?


Informing “sharing of facts possessed by the funeral director” (Wolfelt) Providing information that will allow the person to make an informed decision. Information must be useful to the person receiving it.


Summarizing “a method of tying together several ideas and feelings at the end of a period of discussion or the arrangement conference” (Wolfelt) How can this be helpful to the funeral director?

Barriers to Effective Communication:

Wolfelt and Van Beck Barriers to Effective Communication

Wolfelt’s Barriers:

Wolfelt’s Barriers FD dominance. Bombarding with questions. Inappropriate self-disclosure. Offering platitudes or false reassurance. Discouraging expression of emotions. Emotional distancing.

Van Beck’s Communication Blunders:

Van Beck’s Communication Blunders Interrupters Belittling Flip Answers The Bore The Questioner The Blusterer The Loud Speaker The Disputer

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