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Vol. 90 • No. 4 • August 2016the JourNAl of DeNtAl hygieNe221“Immediacy is defined as the degree of perceived physical or psychological closeness between two peo-ple.”1 Social psychologist, Albert Mehrabian, is rec-ognized for defining the concept of immediacy which states “people are drawn toward persons and things they like, evaluate highly, and prefer; and they avoid or move away from things they dislike, evaluate nega-tively, or do not prefer.”2 Immediacy encompasses ver-bal and nonverbal communication techniques that can be applied across multiple settings. Reducing stress and establishing a rapport with clients requires inte-grating the finesse of an educator and compassion of a quality clinician. Educators use immediacy techniques to educate their students; these same methods can be applied in a clinical setting. Like academicians, den-tal hygienists rely on finely honed verbal and nonver-bal communication skills to impart health education information to motivate and educate pat...