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Body Language

Body language, just like a verbal statement, always contains a message. The understanding, though, is always on the side of those who understand. Therefore, there is no truth of body language (e.g. crossed arms mean…), even though there are numerous books in which such suggestions are made. Those who take up the signals of another person, always interpret these according to their own rules, within the context of the situation, and, thus, they only form hypotheses about the signals, they cannot know. But should such an understanding on the side of the counsellor be effective for change, then it must be verified in dialogue with the client. It is important, whether the perception and the understanding of the counsellor leads to a different understanding in the client’s own perception of himself. Phenomenology is thus not usable without dialogue. This is why this metatheory rejects concepts which establish a clear connection between perception and judgement, or between body expression and the inner state of the other person. It is not possible to directly ‘read’ a person. However, without allowing their body expression to flow into hypotheses, one cannot appropriately understand. Counselling requires phenomenological competence for this.

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