ERIC Number: ED273898
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Analyzing the Psychotherapist: Clients' Interpretations of Counselor Nonverbal Behavior.
Brey, Clare D.
Research has shown that a counselor's level of expertise, attractiveness, and facilitativeness may be communicated to the client largely through nonverbal behaviors. A review of the research on counselor nonverbal communication reveals that: (1) counselor nonverbal behavior has been shown to be the basis of determining the presence of facilitative therapeutic conditions; (2) inconsistent counselor verbal and nonverbal messages lower ratings of counselor genuineness and decrease client proxemic behavior; (3) a nonverbally unresponsive counselor can add little to his credibility through verbal interpretations; (4) the effect of nonverbal behavior is influenced strongly by contextual and subjective factors; (5) nonverbal cues play a central role in determining the quality of reflection of feeling responses; (6) directive counselors using much nonverbal behavior may overwhelm clients, whereas increasing amounts of nonverbal activity can enhance the ratings of affective counselors; (7) nonverbal behavior accounts for most of the variance in perceived counselor expertness and attractiveness when compared to use of jargon and formality of attire; and (8) expert nonverbal behavior is consistently more effective in determining client perceptions than is objective evidence of specialized counselor training. Counselors can communicate nonverbally with clients through various arm positions, leg positions, head nodding, smiling, eye contact, leaning forward, and movement. Studies examining the effects of these body positions and movements have revealed that specific nonverbal activity does convey consistent messages which clients regularly decode. Counselors need to be aware of how their body language is interpreted so that their use of nonverbal behavior will enhance the therapeutic process. A 2-page reference list provides 23 citations. (NB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Doctor of Psychology Research Paper, Biola University, California.