Attending behaviors are the most basic interviewing skills, but they are crucial for successful client interaction. Attending includes the ways in which the marriage and family therapist or couples counselor interacts with and responds to the client family, encouraging further communication. Attending behaviors are both verbal and nonverbal, though the former are more easily controlled than the latter. The focus of this entry is nonverbal communication, which can include body posture, hand gestures, eye contact, facial expressions, spatial distances, touch, vocal qualities, and any other means of communication that do not include words. In fact, the use of silence or the absence of speech is a powerful form of nonverbal communication.

Marriage and family therapists must be aware of their own nonverbal communication, since they ...

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