Scheflen: Non Verbal Communication

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Scheflen is known for his work in non verbal communication such as body language or kinesics. Kinesics is the understanding of body language through posture, body movement, touch, facial expression, dress and language. Scheflen views communication as a social level process. Human relationships are organized into a hierarchy of integrated levels such as groups or societies. Human relationships are programmatic and structured, when put in a situation people will come up with a cause and then a solution. When two people share the same common tasks, goals, events, punishments and rewards, Scheflen views this as sharing a culture. Two people understand each other because they share the same cultural background, also known as sharing a coding system. …show more content…
In “The Gift of Therapy”: chapter 63, Irvin D. Yalom discusses not being afraid to make physical contact with patients. Yalom talks about a time when he had to hold hands with his patients in a group session. He had never held hands with a patient before, but doing so made him feel like a part of the group. Yalom talks about a patient who held on to his hand with both of her hands for a long time. From that interaction he was able to determine that the patient was feeling something emotional and he was able to address it in their next session. In therapy we can use touch for a patients’ interpersonal …show more content…
Clients may view certain behaviors as positive or negative depending on their cultural background. Sommers-Flanagan takes proxemics into consideration along with kinesics. Proxemics is the distance between two people and all the objects in between them. In order to avoid a barrier, some therapists will arrange furniture to keep themselves closer to clients. Therapists will use body language examples based on mainstream cultural norms in Western cultures in order to connect with a broad range of cultures. These examples are: leaning towards the client, an attentive posture, being careful with hand gestures, minimizing movement in general, and matching facial expressions. Therapists also use a technique called mirroring as a part of body language communication. Mirroring is seen to strengthen empathy and a connection between therapist and client. These examples are also agreeable to Scheflen’s idea that a person might mimic someone else’s posture if they are in agreement with them. Sommers-Flanagan discusses cultural differences having an affect on therapeutic interviews. “There are also significant cultural differences in normative attending behaviors. Furthermore, within cultures, there are expected differences for interactions between and/or with men, women, children, and elders. Effective therapists pay close

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