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According to Clara Hill’s reflection of feelings, the helper in a counseling session rephrases the client’s sentences in such a manner that the client’s feelings are expressed in the rephrased sentence.  The text says that the helper can express the client’s feelings either using the exact combination of words the client used or by the use of synonymous words. However, the reflection of feelings is not limited to the client’s speech. The helper can also detect the feelings of the client based on the context of their session, from the client’s body language, or from the client’s message content.

On the other hand, disclosure of feelings is described by this text as the situation where the helper reveals his experiences or ideas to the client. These are based on the helper’s credentials, experiences, ideas, history or even strategies. Another helping skill encompasses open questions about feelings (Dryden & Feltham (1992). These sorts of questions seek clarification from a client. These questions are not limiting as they do not ask for a particular sort of information from the client. The client is then free to answer the question. However, they please as aided by their understanding of the questions posed to them.

There are instances where reflection on feelings is recommended over the latter two options: disclosure of feelings and the use of open questions. Sometimes clients will go ahead and volunteer information. If a client expresses their feelings without the helper necessarily soliciting for information, the helper might want to encourage the client to go on (Milne, 2003). Alternatively, the helper might reflect on the client’s statements so as to affirm or give the client a chance to clarify what they just said. In such a situation asking open ended questions would disrupt the client and will end up giving totally different information. The questions will influence the sort of information the client will end up giving. Disclosure of feelings in this context will not work as the client at this stage has not asked the helper to give an opinion or inform the client.

According to Rowan, (1983), reflection of feelings is essentially a good helping skill which gives the client a chance to express their feelings. This gives the helper first-hand information. Sometimes a helper is not in a position to gather some sort of information as questions posed to the client may fall short of addressing some issues. If the client talks freely and is encouraged by the helper through the reflection of feelings, they might stumble over valuable pieces of information.

There can be a focus on feelings and a focus on thoughts. Feelings are related to emotions, while thought are related to the reason. When there is a focus on feelings, a client’s emotions take centre stage. Here, the helper studies what feelings, for instance anger, happiness, distress, anxiety, depression, gratitude among others, different situations elicit from the client. On the other hand, the focus on thought evokes reason. Here, the opinion of the client about various situations is sought. This refers to the views of the clients brought about by their critical thinking. Emotions and thoughts are interlinked.

Discussing confidentiality at the beginning of exploration is vital as it helps clients open up to their helper. This is because a lot of people are apprehensive of information of a personal nature concerning them being exposed to third parties (Payne, 2010). If the client is not convinced that information shared in a counseling session will be held in confidentiality, they will shy away from giving the needed information.

When the client at the beginning of the session has nothing to talk about, the helper should convince the client about the confidentiality of the session and then engage them in a conversation to warm them up. Thereafter, the helper can engage the client by asking him questions about their problem.

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