Although one may feel anxious and impatient when helping someone, one need to thoroughly explore the situation before attempting any form of intervention. Nothing is more dangerous than jumping in to solving problems when one only knows a small fraction of the real problem.

Some problems assessed are usually symptomatic of other problems beyond one’s awareness. Some undiagnosed malady may be present. The problem presented by the client may not join the main problem he is facing. The problem could be a smokescreen, a test, a distraction, or even a cry for attention. There are usually no direct ways of detecting these problems unless one conducts a thorough assessment and exploration.

The same process for assessment and exploration holds true with the helping process. During exploration, one is collection the relevant information about the problem as soon as possible that will be helpful with the diagnosis and treatment planning. For effective diagnosis and treatment, one needs to have good exploration skills so that all relevant information is elicited from the client. The counselor needs to act as a mirror as best as he can, to reflect back exactly and without distraction what he observes, hears, senses, and feels. Is this is done well, then the client will put understand their problems based on the diagnosis given and hence stay in a better place in solving the issue.

This paper explores various exploration skills that are important to any form of aid to others. It touches on best practices that therapeutic or other counselors follow when assessing a problem and coming up with most proper solutions. The editorial derives its arguments from various relevant sources.

Internal attitudes

Helping someone usually begins with what one does inside his head and heart. There are particular attitudes, different from those of normal life operation, one should adopt when working with a client. Some people might critical and judgmental when walking around everyday objects. Such attitudes do not apply when helping a client. One should try his best to hide these critical judgments. However, others become exquisitely sensitive to the inner state of a person. They can discover when judged harshly and feel disdain. A disadvantage of true emphatic connection is that some clients know what is thinking about just as one at time read people’s minds. It is important that one does not pretend particular internal attitudes. Moreover, suspicion and criticism should be suspended and a clear internal where one feels clear headed and poised state adopted. The best way to begin an assessment is to cleanse one’s breath, just like in meditation, in which one closes his eyes for a moment, takes deep breath, and forgets all distractions. This helps in giving full attention to the client. Any time distracting ideas, intruding thoughts, or critical judgments seem, brushing them aside is the best thing (Brew & Kottler, 2007).

Attending behaviors

On one side, one should concentrate all the energy on remaining clear, and on the other side do everything to communicate total interest. Some of the best attending behaviors include:

Facing the client fully, communicating intense interest, maintaining eye contact, giving undivided attention, being sensitive to cultural beliefs, making facial expressions, nodding one’s head, and authentic presentation.

The body posture is very vital. Obstacles such as desks or chairs between one and the client should be gotten rid off. Adjusting a comfortable distance between one and the client is important. Face to face communication is also imperative, without leaning forward to the extent of intruding the client’s face. One should communicate effectively without divided attentions (Thompson, 2003).

Eye contact is one of the best exploration tools. Keeping things natural is very important. If more than one client is present, eyes get used in drawing their attention. Sensitivity to personal and cultural differences plays a major role because some people feel rather satisfied by deep scrutiny.

Proper facial expressions should not miss. Clients normally watch someone closely to check one’s response to their issues. This is in a bid to check whether one understands their problems. Many people do not have good listening skills and that is why clients scrutinize whether one really pays attention, and if so, whether one feels and senses what is being expressed. Facial expressions get used mostly to show that one is intently listening and resonates with what the client is expressing and feeling. One can use words that express one’s understanding of the problem or use his face to communicate the same thing.

Nonverbal gestures are other significant behaviors. This lets the client know that one is tracking the conversation. They include nodding one’s head and gesturing one’s hands. All these attending behaviors help one use his power to communicate his total and complete concentration on the issue.

Practice makes perfect

In truth, people usually have divided interest of other people. For instance, if one takes a personal look at his life and tracks how people respond to them, he will notice this. Count the number of multiple tasks that take place at the same time one is listening to you. Watch their faces when listening to you, even one’s beloved relatives. One will notice that people’s attention wanders and so do their interests. If one monitors how people often speak about them and at the same time doing other things- waving at other people, shifting papers, answering the phone, grooming themselves- one will notice that people have poor listening and attending behaviors (Ruch, 2011).

One should show interest in what one has to say. Food attending behaviors entail all the above mentioned behaviors and above them whole is undivided attention.

Presenting yourself

When one is studying his clients and trying to come up with the cause of the issue, what their real needs are, what the most helpful step to take, clients expect a lot from someone and keep checking out as well. They try to come up with what how best they can help you help them through their communication. Some wonder if they are doing the right thing consulting someone; maybe it would work best if they just handle those things on their own. One needs to give great attention to such issues especially the ways of presenting oneself to others. Some scholars say that image is everything. One should follow this advice to the extent that one feels confident in this part.

Dressing code should resemble that one uses when given a chance to do a play. This greatly influences one’s advice and diagnosis. Clients feel more secure when handled by people who are well groomed because most of them assume that with smartness come better solutions. Good dressing comes with good perception from others. One should look professional, but also relaxed. When one is working mostly with children, one would dress down a bit. Working with people in the business world warrants that one dresses appropriately. One should always dress to the occasion (O’sullivan, 2005).


This is the most crucial skill in the assessment and exploration of a problem. Real and deep listening entails complete concentration that one cannot do anything else at the same time. One focuses not only on the words expressed loudly, but also on what goes on deeply in the issue. Considering the context of the situation, the background, beliefs, and culture of the client, nonverbal cues presented should work best. One should:

Clear his mind, empathize with the client (s), concentrate completely, watch for nonverbal cues, listening carefully, ask about what the client is talking about, notice underlying feelings and surface contents, and use one’s heart, as well as head, to derive meaning (Wislon, 2013).

Eliciting information

The main task during exploration is to come up with information about what is going on with the client. The least important thing that one expects is what the client sees as the problem. One usually wishes to learn many things that would tell the decisions and actions in coming up with a diagnosis and treatment plan.

Asking questions

This is a mixed blessing. This is because if gives one information in the most direct fashion, but often hardly. One should ask questions when one do not have another way of getting information needed. When questions get relied upon in eliciting background information, mixing up with other skills is important. One should set up a predictable pattern whereby one maintains responsibility for and control of the interview.

Assessing strengths and resources

It is often that when one thinks about assessment and diagnosis, one links this process with identifying difficulties, classifying signs of mental disorder, and uncovering maladaptive behaviors. Clients do hold this assumption when presenting the problems that affect their lives. Although it is crucial during exploration stage of helping to assess the problem areas and come up with properly diagnosis that might yield treatment strategies, it is also vital to make people understand what is happening in their lives, as well as see the problem. This entails identifying internal resources, social supports, and evidence of resilience that will be very useful during the helping process. The task of taking inventory strengths and weakness is very challenging. Many people believe that services of a helper come as a result of complaining everything that is wrong; they do not expect exceptions yet people should focus on strengths that they have.

Formulating a diagnosis

The immediate response to a problem depends on what is going on. It depends on the type of depression one is dealing with and what it means to the client at that particular moment.

Depression and other forms of emotional problems are very tricky and many people still do not understand. Most people know that anxiety or depressions are not single conditions that come with consistent interventions. An anxious person could actually be diagnosed with situational stress, which comes from a crisis in his life. Someone may also portray symptoms of generalized anxiety that have remained relatively stable. Panic attacks, post-traumatic stress, or phobic disorder is another problem one may experience. Each type of anxiety involves a different treatment plan (Chrzastowsk, 2011).

The paper above has discussed various exploration skills. The skills are very important to anyone who intends to help someone with a problem. The discussion is based on a deep research on the most proper exploration skills when helping others. The paper is very important to any student of research or scholar who needs to familiarize himself with explorations skills. It is of vital importance to therapeutic counselors.

Works Cited

Brew, L., & Kottler, J. A. (2007). Applied Helping Skills: Transforming Lives. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Chrzastowsk, S. K. (2011 ). A narrative perspective on genograms: Revisiting classical family therapy methods. Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry , 635-644 .

O’sullivan, T. (2005). Some Theoretical Propositions on the Nature of Practice Wisdom. Journal of Social Work , 221-242 .

Ruch, G. (2011). Where Have All the Feelings Gone? Developing Reflective and Relationship-Based Management in Child-Care Social Work. British Journal of Social Work , 1315-1332.

Thompson, A. G. (2003). Questioning practices in health care research: the contribution of social surveys to the creation of knowledge. Int J Qual Health Care , 187-188.

Wilson, G. (2013). Evidencing Reflective Practice in Social Work Education: Theoretical Uncertainties and Practical Challenges. Br J Soc Work , 154-172.