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Chapter 6: Responding to and Confirming Meaning
Chapter 5 looked at the receptive dimension of therapeutic conversation, focusing on how counselors read meaning into the text of a client's sharing. The chapter also concluded with some practices for encouraging that sharing. This chapter introduces ways of responding that go further—practices for engaging in a back and forth with clients to consolidate mutual understanding. When counselors respond to confirm their reading of the client's experience, there is a switch from (primarily) monologue on the part of the client to dialogue between counselor and client, a movement from one voice to two.
On first meeting a client, or early in a repeat conversation with a client, it's usually appropriate to do more listening than speaking, ...