Community-based psychological support – Module 3: Supportive communication

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

In times of crisis, “supportive communication” is the recommended communication style. This implies communicating empathy, concern, respect and confidence in the abilities of the affected person, as well as practical information. The most basic skills for supportive communication with affected people are covered in this module. While it is likely that you already know and practise many of the ways of communicating, even experienced psychologists can benefit from an occasional refresher course in this area.

A skilful helper must use every available tool to help people in need. Because you will encounter people at various levels of distress, of various ages and backgrounds, different genders and under varying conditions, this section attempts to anticipate and address those differences with helpful suggestions. However, situations will always arise that defy expectations where you will need to be flexible, confident, and creative as required.

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