Counseling is presented as a professional approach in health care to promote physical activity in personal contacts. General principles of counseling are introduced with emphasis on client-centeredness, cooperative role relations, unconstrained interaction, and goal-oriented proceeding. The contacts with the clients or the patients are divided into three categories with different preconditions for the extent to which counseling methods can be applied and demands placed on the practitioner's counseling skills: 1, On the spot information and advice within a single contact; 2, Preplanned way of proceeding within a few repeated contacts touching the same topic; 3, Planned period of proper counseling sessions. Implications for counseling in physical activity are given.
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