The Five Stages of an Interview in Counselling

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Stage One – Relationship and structure
The interview took place in a small room. There were four members from the Interviewing and Counselling class that were present; myself the counsellor, the client and the two others were technical support. The client gave permission for the other two members to be present because they helped to tape and time of the session. The setting was not very ideal, since there were two additional members and the room was available for a limited time. Nevertheless, it worked because it was a familiar setting where we practice our counselling most of the time. The setting encouraged comfort and disclosure because the door of the room was closed and the client and I trusted the other members. At the commencement of the session, I introduced myself to the client by using my name and asked her how she was doing. (for some reason this was not recorded). I addressed the client by her name and repeated her name several times during the session. I attempted to establish rapport in a casual and informal way using open ended and closed questions. For example, “How was your weekend?”, “Did you sleep in?” This was somewhat effective because eventually the client responded more verbally. Also, I had an opportunity for a self-disclosure when I indicated to the client that I liked soup. This made the client enthused and then she asked me a closed question, “Do you cook?” At this point, I recognized that the relationship was growing but I felt pressured because I had only thirty minutes to include all five stages of the interview. As a result of this, I proceeded to the structure of the interview. I could have spent a few more minutes in establishing rapport because this is the most important stage of the first interview and in some cases; it can be very lengthy and can blend into treatment. (Ivey & Ivey, 2007, p. 229). I could have asked her at least two more open ended questions so as to help in building the relationship. For...
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