Beginning Sessions

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    • 00:02

      [MUSIC PLAYING]

    • 00:11

      MICK COOPER: My name's Mick Cooper.I'm a Professor of Counseling Psychologyat the University of Roehampton.In this tutorial, we're going to be looking at starting session,thinking about the kind of thingsthat you need to be thinking about when you begin timewith someone.So what do you need to think about whenyou begin a session with somebody?Well, maybe the first thing is just very naturallyto be warm, friendly, and welcoming.

    • 00:34

      MICK COOPER [continued]: It can really scary for somebody coming to talk to you.Maybe they're talking about a problem for the first time.Maybe they're very afraid of whatyou're going to tell them, that maybe you'regoing to tell them that they're mad or something.So make sure that you're warm, make surethat you're welcoming, make sure that youmake somebody feel relaxed and comfortable when they get thereand when they see you.

    • 00:58

      MICK COOPER [continued]: So if you're seeing somebody for the first time,it can be pretty scary for yourself.You might be feeling quite anxious.You might be feeling quite awkwardand worried about what's going to happen.But it's important that you help the person who'scoming to talk to you.He's probably even more scared to feel comfortable,to feel that you're somebody that they can talk to,that you'll be relaxed, and you'llbe open to whatever they say.When you begin time with somebody,it's really important to just be natural, be relaxed.

    • 01:20

      MICK COOPER [continued]: Don't have to be some big professional, somebodywho's very rigid.Somebody is going to find it easiest to talkto if they feel that you're just another human being who'sthere to listen to them talk about their problems,focus on their issues as one person to another.If the person doesn't know what they want to do with the timetogether then you can maybe suggest something, maybesuggestion something that they've talked aboutbefore that they might want to carry on talking about.

    • 01:48

      MICK COOPER [continued]: You might want to ask something like what's bothering you?What's concerning you?What's on your mind at the moment?Something which will get them going and then youcan sense whether it feels like a useful thing to work onor not to be talking about.So somebody comes to you for the first timeand they really don't know what theywant to talk about then it might be usefulfor you to ask them a question like what'sdifficult in your life?

    • 02:09

      MICK COOPER [continued]: What are the things that you'd liketo change about in your life?Where would you like to be in a few months timeas a way of getting them thinking about what they'dlike to change in their lives, what they'd like to work on.Somebody who really doesn't have anythingthat they want to talk about it may justbe that they don't want to be there and in a sense,it's better to be honest about thatand have a conversation about what you'regoing to do if someone doesn't want to be there then tryingto do 50 minutes, an hour, of counselingwith somebody who it's actually not going to be helpful for.

    • 02:41

      MICK COOPER [continued]: Something else that can be reallyuseful to do at the beginning of time together with somebodyis agreeing on ground rules.So it might be things like how much time you've got together,that you let that person know you'vegot 50 minutes or an hour togetherand also anything around confidentiality.So you're setting the frame for the conversation.If somebody can feel safer to begin to talk about thingsthat are going on for them.

    • 03:07

      MICK COOPER [continued]: So in this tutorial, we've lookedat how you start sessions with somebodyand also how you start counseling workwith somebody as a whole.Just the importance of really making somebodyfeel welcome, that you're pleased that they're there,and that it's a space that they can talk about things,and you're opening things up for themto begin to start exploring their difficulties.

Beginning Sessions

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Abstract

Prof. Mick Cooper suggests different ways to conduct a first counseling session.

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Beginning Sessions

Prof. Mick Cooper suggests different ways to conduct a first counseling session.

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