Attitudes likely to promote trust
There are a number of things you can do to encourage a young person to trust you in addition to following the general guidelines for effective counselling.
Stop reading for a moment and think about the things you can do to encourage young people to trust you.
Try to understand the way young people feel; remember how you felt in early adolescence (10–14 years of age) and how your feelings and ideas changed as you got older. When you are face to face with a young person, try to:
- be genuinely open to their questions or needs for information
- avoid judgemental words or body language that suggests disapproval of the young person or their questions and needs
- understand that the young person has various feelings of discomfort and uncertainty. Be reassuring in responding to the young person, making them feel more comfortable and confident
- demonstrate sincerity and willingness to help
- reinforce their decision to seek counselling and/or healthcare; do not give them the impression that you think their visit was unnecessary
- exhibit honesty and forthrightness, including an ability to admit when you do not know the answer
- demonstrate responsibility in fulfilling your professional role
- exhibit confidence and professional competence in addressing adolescent and youth reproductive health issues.