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Rogerian Genuineness

Rogerian Genuineness 

For persons seeking therapeutic services, it is important that a therapist is able to be genuine with his client. This genuineness is a bit different than perhaps one would naturally assume to be genuine, so I would like to provide you with this outline

Level 1.0

Either a considerable discrepancy exists between the counsellor’s overt response and his/her actual feelings and thoughts, or his/her only congruent responses are negative and retaliatory.  Likewise Interactive Counselling Skills striking discrepancies occur between verbal content and voice quality or other non verbal behaviours.  The counsellor is guarded, attempts to conceal feelings, and responds evasively or defensively even to direct questions.  She/he may speak with detachment or ambiguity.  Any self-disclosures she/he makes appear to emanate from the counsellor’s needs and are irrelevant or inappropriate to the client’s needs at the time.  The counsellor avoids self-disclosures that would be appropriate and helpful.

Level 2.0

Incongruence exists between the counsellor’s behaviour and feelings, and self-disclosure is shallow and minimal, with the counsellor withholding appropriate responses.  Rather than being genuinely herself/himself the counsellor responds from an artificial, contrived and sterile ‘professional’ role, altogether lacking in spontaneity.  Instead of making appropriate self-disclosures, the counsellor seems to hedge or cover up for either personal or pseudo-professional reasons.

Level 3.0

The counsellor shows no incongruence between behaviour, statements and feelings, but does not make truly authentic responses that convey her/his feelings. The counsellor is not defensive or insincere; neither is she/he spontaneously, enthusiastically nor intensely involved.  Listening and attending, reflecting, clarifying, questioning and accepting (‘uh huh,’ ‘I see’) response often typify this level.  The counsellor shares personal reaction and feelings towards the client vaguely and superficially.

Level 4.0

The counsellor’s responses and personal feelings are congruent, but she/he may have some hesitancy or discomfort in expressing them.  The counsellor voices feelings and reactions, both positive and negative, concerning the client and her/his situation when they are pertinent to the client’s experiences, concerns, or struggles or to the counselling interaction.  It is clear that the counsellor is being her/himself.  She/he expresses negative feelings in a non-destructive way that strengthens the relationship.

Level 5.0

The counsellor is openly and freely herself/himself in the relationship, interacts spontaneously, expresses feelings on her/his own initiative and is appropriately responsive to her/his inner feelings.  The counsellor openly shares positive, negative, and ambivalent feelings when they are relevant to the client’s needs or the helping situation.  She/he shares negative feelings and reactions in a constructive manner that facilitates exploration by both parties.


Shaun Brookhouse

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