Rehabilitation Unit Liverpool Hospital
Rehabilitation Directorate (BIRD) NSW Agency for
Recognise verbal and non-verbal components of communication about
Verbal and non-verbal components
of communication about sexuality
both verbal and non-verbal.
People with head injury can retain the ability to respond to tone
of voice even when understanding of the meaning of words
is lost. Even when there is no loss of understanding, people who have
had head injuries may respond to tone of voice instead of the actual
is commonly revealed in tone of voice. In dealing with clients' sexual
issues, workers' emotions (such as embarrassment or anger) can show
in the tone of voice, even when the words used are appropriate for the
situation. As workers, we need to listen to how we talk and we need
to be able to speak unemotionally when that is necessary.
language also provides important clues in communication,
for example gesture is often used with people who have aphasia and no
longer understand the meaning of words.
is also revealed in body language.
For example, when someone is angry he or she may move more quickly than
when calm, or someone who is embarrassed may break eye
contact and look away.
also provides information in an interaction between people. If we are
working with someone who has problems with disinhibition and control,
our "don't touch" message will work better if we are not wearing
Matching verbal and
non-verbal communication to get a message across effectively
Strategies for matching
modes of communication include checking that words, tone of voice, facial
expression, body language, eye contact, clothes (where appropriate)
are all saying the same thing and that there is no confusion between
different parts of the message.
If the verbal message
is "Masturbate in the bedroom, not the lounge" and the non-verbal
message is disapproval, the client will conclude either that he/she
is in trouble, or that masturbation is disgusting, or that the worker
does not like him or her. The intention of confining sexual activities
to private instead of public space may be missed altogether.