The Five Stages of an Interview in Counselling

Topics: Time, Management, Goal Pages: 6 (2484 words) Published: March 20, 2011
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 Example, “What do you do in your spare time?” or “What is your favourite television program?” A board game could have been effective as well. I think this could have led the client to become more verbal and comfortable. I continued by briefly outlining the structure of the interview. I indicated that we had thirty minutes to talk. There was silence which was okay but I was concerned because the client appeared shock. I think at that moment, the client was astonished because I may have prematurely outlined the structure. A more effective way of structuring the interview would be to indicate how I conduct my counselling sessions and how I talk, for example, my voice tone. I did not check with the client to find out if she was comfortable with the plan. Instead, I asked a closed question. “Is there anything specifically you would like to talk about?” I could have asked her if she was comfortable with the thirty minutes session and if she was comfortable talking about her issue within such as short time frame. This would have made the client feel more relaxed and less pressured. Despite this, I was collaborative because I gave the client an opportunity to choose what she would like to talk about and I was interested to hear what she had to say. I was client-focus and was non-judgmental. Finally, in this stage, my goal was to establish rapport and structure as well as to build trust between the client and myself. This stage sets the pace of the interview and is considered the most important stage. (Ivey & Ivey, 2007 p. 229). Stage Two: Gathering Information

The client said that she was stressed out because she was not doing well in school as she would like to. She stated that her parents paid her tuition fees and they expected her to excel in school. She also said that her parents were dissatisfied with her grades and they were pressuring her to get high grades. She indicated that the pressure from her parents was causing a lot of stress in her life. The...
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