Here are five benefits of using basic counseling skills in our everyday practice:
1.) Establish Trust and Rapport – The more your patient trusts you, the more likely they will be to adhere to your advice.
2.) Understand Needs, Perspectives, and Goals – Successful outcomes are most often achieved when they incorporate the specific priorities and points-of-view of the patient and family.
3.) Adapt How You Relay and Clarify Information – Patients are often confused about the “whats” and “whys” central to our practice and their treatment plan. Their improvement often depends on their full understanding as well.
4.) Evaluate and Fit Clinical Tools to the Patient – We have many techniques and tools at our disposal – and these tools are most effective when adapted to the individual patient. It’s often useful to simultaneously identify and address multicultural factors too.
5.) Recognize and Address Barriers – Sometimes we’re mystified about why our approach isn’t working. Once we gather information about the barriers and identify what we can do to overcome them, we better our chances of success or realize we need to enlist a colleague’s expertise.
As a clinician, your time is limited. You don’t have extra minutes to spend on another approach. Counseling skills can be integrated into what you are already doing, regardless of patient or clinical context – kind of like an overarching upgrade to the way you are communicating with your patients. In turn, these simple upgrades can yield greater information, increased patient engagement, and promote better outcomes for your caseloads
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