• Uncategorized

Immediacy, Empathy and Confrontation

Immediacy,Empathy and Confrontation

Institutionof Affiliation

Abrief summary of the techniques

Counselinghas become part of our everyday activities. We all have at one-timesort guidance from a professional or colleague or we might have atsome point in time offered to help our fellow members who have facedchallenges in life. The skills in this paper entail some of the basictechniques we require when administering advice. Counseling is amethod of helping clients see things from a different dimensionaltogether or trying to impact positively on a customer’s feelingsand emotions to facilitate positive change. Counseling does not,however, help the client in making decisions. The counselee issupposed to be guided to making decisions for themselves and bythemselves without any direct influence whatsoever.

Immediacyis one of the essential skills a counselor should possess (Egan,1976). This power involves the instructor using the availableresources presented by the client including time and generalappearance to gather enough information related to the customer.Immediacy also includes the professional establishing a healthyrelationship to try and explore what the client could be implyingabout the state of things at his or her virtual world.

Accordingto Egan (1976), the first form of immediacy is the overallrelationship immediacy whereby there should be a give and takerelationship between the counselor and the counselee. The clientshould speak out their problems while the professional should listenand contribute to the conversation by asking relevant questions.

Thereshould also be an event focused immediacy which focuses on theprevious event that has occurred and also the self-involvingstatements which involve the client communicating their exactfeelings.


Egan(1976) in his revised edition also discusses another importantcounseling skill. Confrontation in real life situations meanschallenging your opponent concerning a discrepancy. In counseling,however, it is a unique ability the counselor applies on the patientto help them understand an area they might have overlooked or theymight have despised earlier. The client could have avoided giving outsome details by regarding them as non-essentials in the counselingsession.

Thecounselor identifies this left out information by inconsistencies inthe client`s message expressed either verbally or through non-verbalcues. After identifying these missing details, the guide should makethe customer aware of them in a manner not displaying personalinterests in the matter but as a point of concern. Finally theprofessional should help the client highlight these areas thenconduct and evaluation of their progress to determine theeffectiveness of the counseling sessions.

Purpose/strengthsof the technique

Confrontationis one area that helps a client to understand themselves. It enablesthem to realize where they are wrong and what they should dodifferently. This helps them to fit better into the society byaccepting the decisions of others and by taking challenges posed tothem as positive challenges.

Confrontationis also a technique that shows concern. The client feels special andcared for when the counselor can point inconsistencies. It alsoserves as a reflection of the past incidences and revisiting themhelps them understand these areas better and in details.


Advancedaccurate empathy is about projecting smart guesses in the path ofcounseling (Egan 2002) which is aided by reading between the lines.Empathy involves the counselor helping to make the implied. Sometimesit could be offensive to keep asking the same questions to the clientwho could be already stressed and losing patient concurrently. Thecounselor should, therefore, join the dots and make meaningful andprecise conclusions. They should also understand the theme of thestory and make relevant connections that may have been omitted. Thecounselor should also share educative pieces related to the theme ofthe story. This could be done by citing other related cases. Finallythe professional should draw accurate conclusions from the premises.

Strengths/weaknessesof empathy

Empathyinvolves the counselor sharing the client’s state of emotions ithelps the two parties to connect further and to ease the burden onone party. The client feels loved and they are also able to watch howothers would react to their problems. This is a good moment toreflect and feel relieved. Empathy could, however, cause thecounselor to be overwhelmed by the emotions making the client feelmore burdened, and it could also make them feel like they are facinga humongous challenge that is even capable of shaking theprofessionals.

Theappropriateness of the Technique for Multicultural Populations

Multiculturalcounseling happens when the counselor and counselee come fromdifferent cultural groups. Due to demographic changes in the UnitedStates, multiculturalism has become considerably essential(Suthakaran, 2013). Multiculturalism has been regarded as the fourthforce of the other forces including behavioral counseling methods andtheories, humanistic /existential and psychodynamic. Gathering enoughknowledge in all the four areas is important. The understanding andknowledge of the four forces improves the process of counseling andat the same time ensures the effectiveness of counseling in amulticultural context. It was, therefore, imperative for theAmerican Counseling Association (ACA) to endorse the multiculturalcompetencies which were established by the Association formulticultural counseling and development. In the faculty ofcounselor education, students are encouraged to appreciate and oftencelebrate diversity (Dollarhide, 2010). However, the average studenthas not been well equipped with the knowledge of the components ofthe respectful counseling cube. The respectful counseling cubeincludes religion, sexual identity, economic class, spirituality,psychology maturity, trauma, unique physical characteristics, racialidentity, ethnic, chronological stage and geographical location.

Counselingskills have evolved from an ill-defined process to that which hasclearer delineated approaches. They have been five pioneers who havemade an excellent contribution to this evolution of writing skills.They include Robert Carkhuff, Norman Kagan, Carl Roger, Stanley Bakerand Alan Ivey. The pioneers were responsible for the establishment ofthe following concepts. The human resource development, microcounseling, narrative review approach, person-centered therapy andinterpersonal process recall. There are elements from the trainingapproaches that have been used to develop a skilled counselortraining model (SCTM) (Wang, 2016).

The(SCTM) uses the art of modeling, persuasion, arousal, supervisoryfeedback and mastery. In this model skills are divided into threestages. The exploration, understanding and acting stage. Theexploring stage assists the counselee to establish whether he/she isin a relationship with the challenge he is facing. One component ofthis juncture is attending which involves eye contact, verbaltracking, reflecting process, questioning and body language(Dollarhide, 2010). The questioning part involves asking open-endedquestions, paraphrasing and making a summary. In this stage, thecounselee should be engaged, and there should be minimalinterruptions by the counselor. It is at this juncture that theinstructor communicates empathy and a positive regard. Regardless ofwhere the client comes from, they should feel completely accepted andfully supported in exploring their issues at the end of exploringstage (Suthakaran, 2013).

Clients can understand their position in the relationship andestablish where they want to be regarding the issues they are facingin the understanding stage. The technique of confrontation isaddressed during this juncture. The counselor confronts the clientconcerning inconsistencies in attitudes and behavior (Wang, 2016).The counseling process involves interchangeable empathy whereby, thecounselor puts themselves in the shoes of the counselee and statestheir feelings and content, self-disclosure and asks them to produceconcrete and particular expressions. In addition to the listedaspects of empathy, the counselor also involves immediacy, identifiesthe general problem situations, the actions taken and feelings andadopts a caring confrontation. At the end of this stage, the clientis expected to have a fresh perspective and is in a position togenerate new viewpoints regarding their life challenges (Wang, 2016).

Contributionthe Article Makes to the Field of Counseling

TheJournal of Humanistic Counseling,which is a peer-reviewed academic journal, focuses on humanisticcounseling and the promotion of diversity, human rights andtolerations as well as development. The journal has had a directcontribution to the counseling profession through its emphasis oncounseling and human education. It focuses on wanting to know theclient or the counselee as a person rather than conducting adiagnosis. It has had a continuous championing the ethical regard forthe dignity of all individuals (Dollarhide, 2010). It has thereforebeen instrumental in defining the counseling profession as one uniqueand separate profession separating it from other professions such aspsychology and social work. It has helped in promoting the wellnessand mental health of most clients and counselors. It has conductedmany community social responsibility programs as a way of givingback. The article has provided a venue for exploring the issues andtopics of interest in the counseling profession (Dollarhide, 2010).


Dollarhide,c. (2010). A Vision of the Next Three Years for the Journal ofHumanistic Counseling, Education, and Development. The Journal ofHumanistic Counseling, Education, and Development, 49(1), 3-4.

Suthakaran,V., Filsinger, K., &amp White, B. (2013). Using Analogies as anExperiential Learning Technique in Multicultural Education.Multicultural Perspectives, 15(2), 92-97

Wang,Y., Hogge, I., &amp Sahai, N. (2016). One Size Does Not Fit All:Ethnocultural Empathy and Everyday Multicultural Competencies. TheCounseling Psychologist, 44(2), 205-215.

Egan,G. (1976). Confrontation. Group&amp Organization Management,1(2),223-243. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/105960117600100208

Irving,P., &amp Dickson, D. (2004). Empathy: towards a conceptual frameworkfor health professionals. InternationalJournal of Health Care Quality Assurance,17(4),212-220.