HELPING RELATIONSHIPS: STRATEGIES
The previous section identified the core conditions that need to be present for the effective development of the helping relationship. The differences between these core conditions and the strategies are the subject of this section.
The core conditions relate to specific dynamics present in the personality and behavioral makeup of counselors or therapists that they are able to communicate to clients. Strategies refer to skills gained through education and experience that define and direct what counselors or therapists do within the relationship to attain specific results and to move the helping relationship from problem identification to problem resolution.
Varying terms have been used to address this aspect of the helping relationship While some authors prefer the term strategies (Combs & Avila, 1985; Cormier & Cormier, 1991; Gilliland, James, & Bowman, 1989; Hackney & Cormier, 1994), others prefer skills (Halverson & Miars, 2005; Hansen, Rossberg, & Cramer, 1994; Ivey, 1998), and still others prefer the term techniques (Belkin, 1980; J. A. Brown & Pate, 1983; Osipow et al., 1980). The terms, however, are interchangeable.
We decided to use the term strategies, which denotes not only deliberative planning but also action processes that make the planning operational. We feel that both factors are necessary. For the purpose of the following discussion, we have grouped the strategies into the following categories: (a) strategies that build rapport and encourage client dialogue, (b) strategies that aid in data gathering, and (c) strategies that add depth and enhance the relationship.
Note that specific strategies, such as those stemming from various theoretical systems, are not included in this section. They will be presented in Chapters 3 through 16, which deal with specific theories. It is also important for readers to understand that there is much overlap between these arbitrary divisions. Strategies designed to build rapport and encourage client dialogue may also gather data and enhance relationships. With this caveat in mind, we present the following strategies.