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Attending II

Video Type: In Practice

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Sophie is 27 years old, married with two young children. A year ago, her husband had a routine surgery that went wrong and he has been unable to work since that time. Sophie has had to step into the primary breadwinner role. She is feeling overwhelmed, worried about finances, taking care of the children and her husband, and is sleeping poorly. Here, Sophie opens up with a detailed account of the challenges she's facing. What's your estimate of the percentage of time each speaker holds the floor? What seems to be the primary task Gaya is engaged with at this early point in meeting Sophie? How does Sophie respond to the way Gaya is receiving her story? What aspects of the counselor's practice might you have done similarly/differently? Often times, clients will have a lot to say initially when they meet a counselor, and the gift of the moment to them is the counselor's attention. To feel heard and witnessed alone can have a significant impact; indeed it is often cited by clients as one of the most valuable aspects of therapy. There is a time to get active and to work with clients towards “making changes”, and there is a time to drink in their stories and ensure that they are heard and that they feel heard.

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