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Revising the relationship with a problem

Video Type: In Practice

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David and Noah “Revising the relationship with a problem” Scenario Background Noah is a 30-year-old graduate student, married to Joanne with a 3-year-old daughter, Samantha. His life is currently very hectic, and he has been struggling with the pace of things. He has been concerned about his mood lately, saying he feels “down” much of the time. In one session, he reports distress about an incident that happened a few days ago. He was in a small town and met another young man, who, upon learning that Noah was Jewish, asked “How come you're not in the ovens?” Video Introduction David here supports Noah in describing his experience of the guilt in the moment and in sitting with it without judgment. How does he do this? What is Noah's response to being invited to sit with the guilt? How does David segue to and prepare Noah for a debriefing? What does David ask to get at Noah's experience of relating differently to the problem? Why is it important to check on this? What aspects of the counselor's practice might you have done similarly/differently? Video Analysis This excerpt is the tail end of an exchange in which Noah has been invited to be in the presence of the guilt without trying to argue with it or shut it out. David invites Noah to debrief on the experience and supports him in doing that by reminding him of some of the key descriptors Noah came up with. It's important here to evaluate with Noah his experience of doing this on the chance he finds it threatening or counter-productive. Noah seems interested, and it appears some further possibilities have opened up for David and Noah as they continue these explorations because it contributes to a “thick description” of the guilt which includes the embodied experience of it.

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