VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
Reflecting Character: Counseling With a Virtue Vocabulary
Scott E. Hall and Michelle E. Flaum Hall
While professionals in the field of counseling have long established that the micro-skills of empathy help build the therapeutic alliance, over the last decade increasingly more attention has been paid to using language of character, virtue, and strengths. Language of this sort that a counselor strategically uses can not only further support the therapeutic alliance, but also empower clients to develop a strength-based orientation grounded in positive psychology and virtue practice. This article presents a rationale for using a virtue vocabulary with empathic affirmations and emphasizes the benefits to both counselor and client. It also provides examples that highlight therapeutic dialogue using virtue language.
Keywords: virtues, character, therapeutic alliance, microskills