Your task in this module is to practice your skills of attentiveness, reflection of content, reflection of feeling, asking open-ended questions, providing appropriate self-disclosure, and giving information. Most of us have a tendency to ask close-ended questions (e.g., “Do you feel angry?”) when an open-ended question (e.g., “How are you feeling?”) would elicit greater feedback and deeper exploration by the client. In self-disclosure, we have a tendency to convey each communication about ourselves rather than keep the focus on others. Remember that we want our therapeutic self-disclosure to serve the client. Additionally, we want to provide information that empowers the client.
In your regular conversations with friends, family, peers, and co-workers, practice what you are learning by being attentive, using your reflective listening skills, asking open-ended questions, using therapeutic self-disclosure, and providing empowering information. Try the skills with a variety of individuals in a myriad of settings to observe the different responses.
Make a note of the responses you receive. Notice what influence it has on the relationships and the disclosures others make. Pay attention to how similar or different the interaction is from your “normal” interactions with those persons.
In a minimum of 400 words, post to the Discussion Area your response to the following:
- Describe your experience of practicing your skills, especially open-ended questions.
- What did you do well?
- How can you improve those skills?
- What was the reaction of those with whom you communicated?
- How did using your skills impact the communication?
- How will your experience of and learning from this exercise be beneficial in a counseling session?
- Provide three examples of open-ended questions you asked others this week, and the responses you received. What would have occurred if you changed these to close-ended questions? What information might you have been missing?
Support your rationale and analysis by using at least two resources from professional literature in your response. Professional literature may include the University online library resources, relevant textbooks, peer-reviewed journal articles, and websites created by professional organizations, agencies, or institutions (websites ending in .edu or .gov).