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Counseling Interview in Family and Relationship Therapy Report (Assessment)

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Updated: Mar 30th, 2021

Background

Family and relationship therapy have in the recent years been appreciated for its support and provision of confidential and safe space where problems like bereavement, anxiety and depression are solved in a broad-minded way (Arribas-Ayllon & Sarangi, 2014). Earlier on, the significance of the role of counselling in family therapy and related issues went unnoticed. As a learner, I regard family and relationship therapy as a vital supportive tool that aids in understanding relationship patterns, individuals’ view of life and behaviors that spring from family origins.

Question development

Since historical periods, counseling has been a key facet for solving underlying issues and providing individual programs which are aimed at tackling particular needs (Houssemand, Pignault & Meyers 2014). My choice of questions for the interviewees on matters related to life, relationship and family will be designed as linear and systematic questions to aid in formulating an assessment (Arribas-Ayllon & Sarangi, 2014).

Linear questions

The adoption of a hypothesizing posture in interview questions is guided by a deliberate application of cognitive resources with an intention of finding explanations (Aasen & Skolbekken, 2014). Linear questions will aid in obtaining direct answers on family and behavioral responses. In my choice of linear questions, the greatest is the conceptual posture of lineal hypothesizing. In the interview, both open and closed questions will be asked to generate a yes or no answer and to allow respondents to provide their own independent information. Some of the questions that will be asked include:

  • What are some important values and beliefs about life that you hold as an adult?
  • Have the values changed from what you had while you were young?
  • What are the differences?
  • How was life different then?
  • How would you explain this change?
  • What else was different then?
  • How does you past life, relationship and behavior differ from how it is now?
  • How would it be different in the next one decade and will your values on life change? What will you do differently?

The above questions are open-ended. They fit well in this counselling approach since they allow respondents to provide more information. The therapeutic communication questions are directed at one respondent and are timed to engage the respondent in a form of discussion.

Systemic questions

The simplified model of systemic approach is based on the notion that respondents or clients might limit or broadly provide information regarding their problems. It is on this basis that systemic questions will be categorized under those that broaden a respondents understanding by drawing connections to life or relationship contexts, and those that limit generalizations by a respondent by drawing distinctions. Some of those questions will include:

  • Who has most influenced the development of your values and beliefs?
  • In what ways does your spouse and children influence you?
  • Can you say that you share similar values with your spouse? What could be the different values?
  • What is your explanation for this difference?
  • Who do you think shares most of your values?
  • What does marriage mean to you?
  • If you would have been married to a different spouse, would your life have been better or worse? How about your dreams, goals and work, would they have been better or worse?
  • What would you do differently to improve the relationship between you and your spouse?

Systemic and circular questions involve more than one person. These questions as reflected above are ranked in feelings and thoughts, enquire about possible futures and relationships and seek to generate definitions. Besides, they also seek alternative perspectives and allow the attaining of different viewpoints. The disadvantage of this model is that it creates difficulties in raising awareness on behavior and tracking problems in a neutral manner.

The interview

Learning from an interview is an active process that requires careful planning, framing of questions and careful consideration of objectives of the interview. In my perspective, it requires careful, insightful and guided quest for practical and theoretical application. Besides, an understanding of the various interview themes and setting up structured questions meet various needs should be designed to provoke clarity, flexibility and generate greater sense of identity while facilitating cognitive progression.

Interview themes

Theme of alternative perspective

The theme on alternative perspective explains the role of circular questions in trying to generate a respondent’s view on possible substitute solutions to a problem. One such question is what would you do differently to improve the relationship between you and your spouse? The perspective will be to figure out the respondent’s ability to find a way out of a problem.

Theme of relationship

The theme of relationship is presented using questions that touch on interactions between two individuals or family members. One of the circular questions presents this theme. The question in this case is: what does marriage mean to you?

Theme of behavior and belief

Behavior and beliefs are core components which are critical in a counselling process. The theme of behavior and value tries to generate answers on respondents own set of values with regards to life issues and how they influence behavior patterns. One such question is: can you say that you share similar values with your spouse? What could be the different values?

Theme of generate definitions

Many interview questions tend to seek reasons or reactions to problems. The theme of generate definition explores this. One such question is; how would it be different in the next one decade and will your values on life change? What will you do differently?

Theme of ranked responses

This theme explains how interview questions rank feelings and thoughts. One such question is: who do you think shares most of your values? It creates different levels of thoughts crucial for understanding a respondent’s viewpoint.

Theme of possible futures

Various respondents have diverse perspectives of how they would want their lives, families and relationships to be in the future. To obtain answers to possible futures, an interviewee asks questions that reflect on future possibilities. An example of that question will be: What would you do differently to improve the relationship between you and your spouse?

Interview role and lessons learnt

My role in the interview was that of an observer-participant for the systemic questions. To obtain answers, the structure of the questions was simple open ended questions and gender and diversity issues were considered. I learnt that this ensured a balance in opinion and adhered to ethical considerations of counselling. The use of systemic questions was fascinating as it revealed vast perspectives. This was important for changes, progress and healing linked to counselling.

References

Aasen, T., & Skolbekken, J. (2014). Preparing for and communicating uncertainty in cancer genetic counselling sessions in Norway: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Health, Risk & Society, 16(4), 370-389.

Arribas-Ayllon, M., & Sarangi, S. (2014). Counselling uncertainty: genetics professionals’ accounts of (non) directiveness and trust/distrust. Health, Risk & Society, 16(2), 171-184.

Houssemand, C., Pignault, A., & Meyers, R. (2014). A psychological typology of newly unemployed people for profiling and counselling. Current Psychology, 33(3), 301- 320.

Appendix I

Linear Questions

  • What are some important values and beliefs about life that you hold as an adult?
  • Have the values changed from what you had while you were young?
  • What are the differences?
  • How was life different then?
  • How would you explain this change?
  • What else was different then?
  • How does you past life, relationship and behavior differ from how it is now?
  • How would it be different in the next one decade and will your values on life change? What will you do differently?

Systemic questions

  • Who has most influenced the development of your values and beliefs?
  • In what ways does your spouse and children influence you?
  • Can you say that you share similar values with your spouse? What could be the different values?
  • What is your explanation for this difference?
  • Who do you think shares most of your values?
  • What does marriage mean to you?
  • If you would have been married to a different spouse, would your life have been better or worse for you? How about your dreams, goals and work, would they have been better or worse?
  • What would you do differently to improve the relationship between you and your spouse?
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IvyPanda. (2021, March 30). Counseling Interview in Family and Relationship Therapy. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/counseling-interview-in-family-and-relationship-therapy/

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1. IvyPanda. "Counseling Interview in Family and Relationship Therapy." March 30, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/counseling-interview-in-family-and-relationship-therapy/.


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IvyPanda. "Counseling Interview in Family and Relationship Therapy." March 30, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/counseling-interview-in-family-and-relationship-therapy/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Counseling Interview in Family and Relationship Therapy." March 30, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/counseling-interview-in-family-and-relationship-therapy/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Counseling Interview in Family and Relationship Therapy'. 30 March.

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