week 2 JC


In order to help someone, we need to learn more about what is happening inside of him/her.  Something has happened or is happening in one’s life which is affecting his/her behavior or relationships with others.  Many psychological theorists encourage the helper to explore how one is feeling as a result of what has happened or continues to happen.  The client may not even be aware of feelings, especially negative ones like anger, but yet it is affecting his/her behavior.  If someone can recognize the feelings, (s)he may be able to work on the related behaviors being manifested. 
Listening for “content” also helps one understand what is happening and why it is happening in a person’s life.  Instead of reflecting feelings, the helper reflects the content of what the client has said, beginning with “I hear you saying……”  This helps clarify things that are said to make sure one has heard the client correctly.
Paraphrasing takes the information the client has given and sums it all up.  In this way, the client knows the helper is listening and the helper makes sure that what he believes he heard is actually what was heard.  This is used when the client has indicated several things going on in his/her life, concerns (s)he may have, etc.  Sometimes paraphrasing can help the helper and client decide which concerns are most important to deal with.

  • Prepare to discuss the following:
    • In your own words, discuss why it would be important in a helping relationship to reflect feeling and content
    • Using the concepts of reflecting feeling and content, paraphrase the following:
      • Male client: “I just do not know what to do.  Things are such a mess at my house and I just do not know how to handle the difficulties.  My wife just lost her job and is moping around the house.  My teenage daughter is threatening to run away, and it looks like my teenage son is doing drugs.  My mother is showing signs of dementia and wants me to come over all the time to help her out.  To add to the confusion, my boss just told me that my office mate is going to be let go and I will have to take over most of his duties, without a raise in pay as the company is losing money badly.  It is really hard to trust in God in times like this, and I am just feeling so overwhelmed by it all.  Please help me know what to do!” 
    • Respond to this question with a paragraph which includes the following:
      • How is the client feeling?
      • Paraphrase things that are happening as briefly as you can

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