Voice Awareness for Counsellors (Albany Centre Professional Dipoma in Counselling, St Albans)
I always enjoy running this session for students on The Albany Centre’s Diploma in Counselling programme in the beautiful setting of their yearly residential. We start the session by addressing how the voice works, which involves running through a varied repertoire of vocal exercises and warm ups. My middle session looks at the voice of both therapist and client; in particular, counsellors need to be acquainted with how emotions physically affect the voice, breathing and speech of clients – how blocks occur in posture, speaking and the flow of breath because of feelings, and how these tensions arising in the throat and along the vocal tract manifest themselves and can be worked through. We also look at how counsellors can be aware of their own voices, speech and use of language. The final section covers other communication problems (stammering, deafness, aphasia following stroke, speech/voice problems generally and post surgery), and looking at how the voice ages, finishing with how to look after your voice effectively.