Systemic Questioning

Powerful Essays
Interview Project: Interviewing Styles: Learning to Think Like a MFT
COUN 5220 Introduction to Marriage and Family Therapy
February 19, 2012

Abstract

Creating trust in the helping relationship is one of the fundamentals of family therapy. Not only must the family learn to trust the counselor, but also the counselor must trust that the family is there willingly to receive help and to learn how to set their own goals and access their own resources to achieve them. Rather than being a passive listening post, a counselor must strive to actively listen and must keep an active engaging mind to compare what each family member is revealing. Clients in turn use the process to try to make sense of their experience. Communication is key in counseling. Family therapy has developed several approaches to framing questions within family meetings, questions are the primary tool clinicians use to learn about the family’s experiences. These questions help gather important information about various issues. Several authors in the MFT field have described and categorized questions (circular, reflexive, and narrative). There are two types of information gathering and orienting questions, one based on linear assumptions and the other based on circular assumptions. This paper will discuss how each style of questioning affects the family therapy process.

Counseling 5220 is a course, which provides students the foundation of the MFT field of study. This project is to prepare and aide students learn the various methods of questions used to illicit information from clients for the purpose of providing quality treatment to the family. The project provides a foundation and gives the student a chance to really learn systemic and linear questions. Question Development

The questions I choose to ask my interview partner were questions pertaining to morals, beliefs and background. As a student, taking an online course, I often wonder why my peers decided on



References: Beutler, L.E., Williams, R.E. & Wakefield, P.J. (1993). Obstacles to disseminating applied psychological science. Fleuridas, C., Nelson, T. S., & Rosenthal, D. M. (1986). The evolution of circular questions: Training family therapists. Journal of Marital & Family Therapy, 12(2), 113–127. Pack-Brown, S.P. & Williams,, C.B. (2003) Ethics is a multicultural context. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Ryan, D. & Carr, A. (2001). A study of the differential effects of Tomm’s questioning styles on therapeutic alliance. Family Process, 49, 67–77. Selvini, M.P., Boscolo, L., Cecchin, G., et al. (1980). Hypothesizing—circularity—neutrality: Three guidelines for the conductor of the session Sue, D. W., Arredondo, P., & McDavis, R. J. (1992). Multicultural counseling competencies and standards: A call to the profession. Journal of Counseling and Development, 70, 477-483. Tomm, K. (1981). Circularity: A preferred orientation for family assessment, in Questions and Answers in the Practice of Family Therapy. Edited by Gurman, A.S. New York: Brunner-Mazel, 84-87. Tomm, K (1988). Interventive interviewing: Part III. Intending to ask lineal, circular, strategic or reflexive Questions." Family Process, 27(1), 1–15.

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