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Interviewing and observational strategies

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Self-Assessment: Interviewing and Observational Strategies Here s Here Self-Assessment: Interviewing and Observational Strategies
Among the most important techniques employed during counseling sessions includes the use of interviews and observational strategies. The interview process is malleable, but generally includes the sharing of problems and personal stories by the client, as well as goal definition and solution orientation by the practitioner. A 2007 book by Ivey and Ivey includes a five-stage structure of interviews through which we may evaluate the personal strengths and weaknesses that I bring to the process.
The first stage in the interview and observation process is centered on the establishment of rapport with the client, as well as structuring. The working alliance between the client and counselor is of utmost importance in the delivery of virtually any type of therapy, and the initial establishment of rapport serves an importance that is analogous to first impressions in day-to-day interactions. Rapport helps to make the client feel comfortable with the interviewer, while structuring helps to keep the session focused and to keep the client properly informed about therapy expectations. I feel that I bring excellent interpersonal skills to the interview process that will greatly aid in establishing and maintaining rapport. However, I do not feel as confident in the regulation of interview structure. My first goal for improvement is to become more aware of structuring during client interactions, and to ensure the proper maintenance of expectations as they relate to the therapy process.
The second and third stages of the interview can be referred to as the data gathering stage, and the outcome/goal-setting stage. These stages serve to first identify the client’s strengths, weaknesses, and concerns through listening to the client’s views and stories, followed by the determination of the client’s ideal reality, and what they would like to see happen through the counseling process. These stages rely heavily on listening and observation on the part of the interviewer, and will help us to gauge the wants and needs of the client so that the process may be tailored to be in harmony with this information. I believe that I am a very strong listener who can ask relevant, probing questions while gathering valuable information for the client’s responses. In regard to the second interview stage (assessing strengths/weaknesses through listening), I believe that I have a tendency to allow the topic to wander as the client divulges more information. My second personal goal is to streamline this process by keeping the topic on-track and not succumbing to the vast amount of information that could potentially disorganize the discussion.
Determining general solutions and transferring learning are the final two stages in the interview process as dissected by Ivey and Ivey (2007). These processes, while involving both parties, places the focus upon information offered by the interviewer as they first attempt to work toward a resolution for the client’s specific problem(s), followed by enabling the client to pursue change in their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors throughout daily living. Developing a resolution that will generalize well to the real world may be the longest part of the interview session. I believe that I can be thoroughly successful in delivering these steps to clients following the strengthening of my abilities as they relate to previous stages.
The interview process is very important in bringing assistance to virtually any client. Observation during these interviews is just as pertinent to the process as offering solutions, as we must do our best to comprehend the perspective of the client if we are to offer the most appropriate and generalizable solutions. A final thought to offer is that the cultural perspective of the client has a large impact on how one should employ the interview and observation method (Ivey, D’Andrea, Ivey, and Simek-Morgan, 2006). My third goal is to continually strive to be in sync with the varying cultural perspectives of my clients. I believe that satisfying this and the other previously mentioned goals could be achieved through regular consultation with other professionals as well as by keeping up-to-date with literature in the field. In this manner, I can become a more complete interviewer and observer, thereby allowing myself to offer clients consistently high-quality services.
References
Ivey, A. E., D’Andrea, M., Ivey, M. B., & Simek-Morgan, L. (2006). Theories of counseling and psychotherapy: A multicultural perspective (6th ed.). Boston, MA, US: Pearson.
Ivey, A. E., & Ivey, M. B. (2007). Intentional interviewing and counseling: Facilitating client development in a multicultural society (7th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA, US: Brooks/Cole-Thomson Learning.

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