Important Questioning Techniques In Counselling Sessions

Have you ever been to a Counselling session?

Are you aware of the questions you might be asked in a Counselling session?

Before searching for an answer, let’s check some facts about counselling.

What is Counselling?

Counselling is a method of helping another person who is unable to make sense out of anything. It is a profession that deals with couples, individuals, students, families, and groups to deal with a wide range of problems and provide assistance to them. Counselling mainly focuses on emotional problems such as anxiety and depression; relationship issues; social issues like homelessness and prejudice; environmental issues such as coping with a natural disaster; or biological problems like chronic illness or infertility.

Counselling is also very important for school children and most schools recruit professional counsellors to bring out the best in children. Counselling students in a school will not only guide them to build their career and motivate them in their daily life but prepare them for life after school and what to expect in the different fields they might opt for.

The role of student Counsellors is to provide all-round development and support to students dealing with academic, social, emotional and behavioural challenges.

The process of counselling might involve certain kind of techniques and methods but the goal remains unchanged i.e. to relieve distress and encourage change. It helps students who are facing certain difficulties, to lessen their burden in their lives by asking questions and clarify them through counselling.

Now that you have gained an idea about counselling, let us focus on the questions that might be used in counselling.

In a counselling session, you might be faced with several questions that can help to open up new areas for discussion. They can provide guidance and help you to focus on the issue and also assist you to give clear information that might seem confusing at first to the counsellor. Questions that encourage an individual to think or recollect information can undoubtedly help in their self-exploration journey.

A counsellor should possess knowledge regarding the types of questioning techniques, including the appropriate use of them and likely results. One must also be careful and aware of over-questioning.

When a counsellor asks too many questions, it indicates that the counsellor is in control and may even create a situation in which the person who is attending the session might think that the counsellor has all the answers. In determining effective questioning techniques, it is important to keep in mind the nature of the client, their ongoing relationship with the counsellor and the issue/s at hand.

Questions asked in counselling are divided into two categories: (1) Open and (2) Closed.

Open Questions

Questions that cannot be answered in short are termed Open Questions. These questions encourage the student to talk and provide an opportunity to the counsellor to collect information about the client and their concerns.

Open questions usually begin with: why, what, how or could.

For example:

  • What has brought you here today?
  • Why do you think that?
  • How did you come to consider this?
  • Could you tell me what brings you here today?

Closed Questions

Questions that can be answered with a minimum number of words (often as little as “yes” or “no”) are termed Closed Questions. Closed Questions help the counsellor to collect very accurate information from the client. Such questions begin with: is, are or do.

For example:

  • Is that your coat?
  • Are you living alone?
  • Do you enjoy your job?

While questioning in a counselling session, the counsellor must keep in mind to use the interview techniques positively and focus on the issues properly as too many questions can also harm the session. The wrong set of questions or questioning techniques, asked at the wrong time, by an unskilled interviewer or counsellor, can cause unnecessary discomfort and confusion to the client.

Therefore, while looking for student counsellors, look for candidates who possess social perceptiveness and the required experience with career, personal, and educational assessment. Be aware of candidates who lack patience, strong communication skills, and compassion for students and their challenges.

A career in counselling is gaining popularity each day. So, if you are interested in making a career in Counselling, a program to upgrade Counselling skills for Teachers can be of utmost help. Wait no more and grab a course to build a successful counselling career!