Week 3: Content and Feeling
Have you ever heard someone say, “It was so noisy in the room I couldn’t hear myself think?” Sometimes people who are grappling with an important decision or challenged by an issue that has many aspects interpret their own thoughts and feelings as distracting as noise so they cannot hear themselves think. That is, they may really know the solution to their problems, or at least be able to isolate the issues and discuss them in a clear way, but cannot do so until they are able to present those thoughts to someone who really listens.
When a listener reflects person’s own thoughts in a skillful way, people may gain a sense of clarification, as if they are hearing these familiar thoughts clearly and openly for the first time. An interviewer may use paraphrasing or summarize to reflect thoughts. When an interviewer paraphrases, a person has an opportunity to hear his or her own thoughts as expressed by an interviewer. An interviewer may choose to summarize what a person is saying when an interviewee adds superfluous information, talks in circles, or seems to be stuck on talking about the same issue at length. Summarizing can help clarify the gist of what an interviewee is saying and move the discussion forward.
Reflecting feelings can be even more important. Emotions are often felt, but less often identified and talked about. Unidentified feelings can turn dealing with an issue into an emotional minefield. People often have feelings that they do not or cannot acknowledge, such as anger at loved ones, feelings of failure or inadequacy, or even pride and joy. When an interviewer skillfully identifies a person’s feelings, the person can come to acknowledge and own the feeling. This greater self-knowledge can empower a person to find solutions to problems and to deal with perplexing issues. Reflecting thoughts and feelings is an important, essential, and often pivotal part of a successful interview. This week, you will increase your reflecting skills.
Be sure to review this week’s resources carefully. You are expected to apply the information from these resources when you prepare your assignments.
Evans, D. R., Hearn, M. T., Uhlemann, M. R., & Ivey, A. E. (2017). Essential interviewing: A programmed approach to effective communication.
Read Chapters 4 and 5
Week 3 – Assignment: Prepare a Lecture on Reflecting Content and Feelings (11 Points)
This assignment has two parts. You will conduct a mock interview, and then prepare a lecture based on your analysis and critique of the session.
Part 1: Conduct a personal interview by videotaping or audiotaping the interview (video is preferred), and then analyze your interview.
(Note: Maintain copies of the interviews you make; you will reuse some of these interviews during the course and will need to have them available.)
Prepare a tape recorder or video camera for use. Find a friend, peer, or family member, and then ask that individual to role-play the scenario described below.
Scenario (Same as Week 1):
You are interviewing a student at a local college. At the moment she/he is experiencing emotional stress with the required studies. The main concern is the time, pressure, and assignment overload, in addition to his/her other responsibilities. She/he fears not being able to cope and finish the degree in the expected timeframe, which may lead to quitting the program and being “stuck” in his/her current place in life.
Your task is to effectively apply the skill of reflecting the content and feeling. Be sure to continue using appropriate attending skills learned earlier while adding reflection to your skill set. Remember, your intention in this interview is still not to develop any change strategies with an interviewee, it is simply to use basic attending skills and reflection of content and feelings to make an interviewee feel heard and understood.
Support your assignment with at least three scholarly resources. In addition to these specified resources, other appropriate scholarly resources, including seminal articles, may be included.
Length: 4-6 pages, not including title and reference pages
Your lecture should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course by providing new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards where appropriate. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy.
Upload your document and click the Submit to Dropbox button.
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3
- Select interview techniques for various purposes of psychology.
- Critique one’s own communication skills needed in helping professions.
3. Portray human communication skills used in professional settings.
Section 2: Interviewing in Various Contexts
Recall that successful interviewing in the helping professions assists people by using three main processes: 1) actively listening as interviewees explore their concerns while helping interviewees to clarify their thoughts and feelings; 2) working with people and organizations to plan and facilitate appropriate actions designed to create the change they desire; and 3) engage in a successful termination of an interview. So far, you have addressed the first of these tasks, developing an effective working relationship with interviewees through the mutual exploration of their concerns. This second section moves forward into the action phase of the helping process, where you help the people and/or organizations to set goals and you intervene to generate change based on those goals. In short, an interviewee and an interviewer build upon the relationship developed during the attending stage to formulate and carry a plan for change.
Become familiar with these change-producing skills and their therapeutic implications. You will have an opportunity to both evaluate their use by experienced therapists and to practice employing them yourself in mock sessions.