M2 Discussion: Engagement and Counseling Skills in a First Session Name Institution Affiliation Counseling micro-skills are skills that a counselor may use to enhance communication with clients for better outcomes. The skills enable the counselor to build working alliance effectively and engage the client in a discussion that is meaningful and helpful. The skills also enable the counselor to build rapport hence establishing trust with new clients and allow a free-flowing communication (Tryon, 1986). In the case of Dr. Oaklander’s and Blake’s session, the counselor employed three micro-skills to get Blake to explore and express his feelings regarding his current life situation. She was very effective in using these micro-skills because she was able to develop a relationship with Blake and to get him to open up his feelings. Dr. Oaklander in the session was able to reflect what Blake had told him about having made a whale from clay by informing Blake that he was not any different from the whale as he could swim and consume fish too. By so doing she showed that she was interested in listening to all Blake had to share and that she understood. She was able to listen and give Blake time to process his own words which made him feel accepted and self-aware. This skill helped her build a “trusting relationship” with Blake who saw that she was not only listening to him but also valued him as a person. Through reflection, Blake was able to understand himself which is an important factor in his own growth. Blake was also able to understand deeper aspects of him through the relevance Dr. Oaklander showed between him and the whale. The other micro-skill that Dr.