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Techniques for Self-Expression

Interventions which work on self-expression are sometimes considered as techniques which belong exclusively to the psychotherapeutic field. From our point of view, though, the counselling form must not neglect any of the guiding processes of the psyche, if it does not want to limit its effectiveness. The techniques which focus on self-expression can be divided into three areas: 1. One directs the attention of the client onto his self-expression when there is a hypothesis that the expression is unconscious: “Are you conscious of the fact that you just got tears in your eyes as you spoke?”. 2. One challenges the client to consciously go into contact with the counsellor with a certain self-expression: “Would you like to try how it is when you look at me with moist eyes?”. Here one links contact and self-expression, in order to encourage the preciseness of the self-perception. 3. One examines if the client knows about how a certain self-expression is seen in the outside world: “How do you think your closed facial expression and your clenched teeth affect the discussion with your colleagues?”. This serves to increase both, the openness for circular causalities and the understanding for the inner effectiveness (plausibility), as well as broadening the personal responsibility for the effects in the environment. One can see that all these techniques show references to other guiding processes. This is why working with the self-expression of the client is indispensable.

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