FRHD 3400 Chapter 10.docx

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Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 3400
Tuuli Kukkonen

Chapter 10 – Focusing the Interview: Exploring the Story from Multiple Perspectives - Focusing is a skill that enables multiple tellings of the story, and will help you and clients create new possibilities for restorying - Focusing remains the clearest way to 1) stress the importance of the individual and 2) expand awareness of how individual clients develop in social context – especially community and family - Awareness, knowledge, and skill in focusing enable you to o Increase client cognitive and emotional complexity o Better understand the view points of others, with increase in empathic understanding and cultural intentionality o Incorporate family and cultural issues, through family and community genograms o Be aware of the role of advocacy and social change as part of the focus of your interviewing practice - Focusing will help clearly identify the major areas of conflict and discrepancy that should be approached first - Focusing – use selective attention and focus the interview on the client, problem/concern, significant others, a mutual “we” focus, the interviewer, or the cultural/environmental/contextual issues. You may also want to focus on what is going on in the here and now of the interview o Predicted Result: Clients will focus their conversation or story on the dimensions selected by the interviewer. As the interviewer brings in new focuses, the story is elaborated from multiple perspectives - Selective attention is basic to focusing - People live in broad context of multiple systems – the concept of self-in-relation can be helpful - The idea of person-in-community developed by Ogbonnaya, who points out that our family and community history live within each of us - Community genograms way to understand clients history and place to identify strengths and resources - Many client problems are related to issues and events in the broader context, help clients see themselves and their issues as persons-in-community they can learn new ways of thinking - Community genograms helpful in aiding clients who place to much responsibility on themselves, help client and professional see client as being-in-relation or a person-in-community, more leading approach - As focus shifts from various dimensions of the larger client story, the client and counselor being to understand more fully the true complexity of the story - Community genograms help you see the broad cultural/environmental/contextual aspects of your client - Family genograms focuses on the family - Although tend to work with one individual, that individuals story is interconnected with stories and issues of many others, that deeply affect the clients narrative - Using multiple focusing and the two genograms (community and family) provide a framework for broader understanding and action, which takes issues beyond the individual into full recognition that challenges, issues, and problems exists in relation to others - Use community genograms as a strength and positive asset, focus on positives and identify client strengths and resources - The family genograms brings additional information about important family history - The mastery of effective counseling merges awareness of and respect for beliefs with unbiased probing in the interest of the client self-discovery, autonomy, and growth - Be aware that when working within certain agencies they may have specific policies regarding counseling around controversial issues, i.e. abortion o Ethnically clients should be made aware of specific agency policies before counseling begins - Choosing an appropriate focus can be challenging o It is important to draw out the clients story  E.g. “I’d like to hear your story” or “What do you want to tell me?” o We want to hear the clients unique experiences o Focusing on the individual is usually where to start o Also important to keep all significant others in mind in the process of problem examination and resolution, o For full understanding of clients experience, all pertinent relationships eventually need to be explored - The family is where personal values and ethics are first learned - Relationship between your self and the client – a mutual immediate focus often emphasizes the “we” in a here-and-now relationship o Working together in an egalitarian relationship can empower the client o Helping clients recognize the depth of their feelings in the here and now can be immensely valuable and powerful - In feminist counseling, the “we” focus may be especially appropriate – “we” focus provides a sharing of responsibility, which is often reassuring to the client regardless of his or her background - The mutual focus often includes a here-and-now dimension, and brings immediacy to the session - An interviewer focus could be self-disclosure of feelings and thoughts or personal advice about the client or situation – opinions vary on the appropriateness of interviewer or counselor involvement, but the value and power of such statements are increasingly being recognized – must not be overused; keep self disclosure
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