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COUN 505: Immediacy & Reflecting Meaning

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Anita Knight

on 20 June 2012

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Transcript of COUN 505: Immediacy & Reflecting Meaning

COUN 505: Immediacy &
Reflecting Meaning Reflecting Meaning "There is nothing good or bad
but thinking makes it so."
-Shakespeare "A foolish man tells his wife to 'shutup'.
A smart man tells her, 'Your lips look
beautiful when they are closed.'" Meaning...behind the words People tend to bring their core beliefs or schemas to everything... so two people could experience the same event and take it two different ways!

For example, a teenage boy has a crush on a girl and
he sees himself as attractive and funny. He things she will too. He sees her and says hello. She smiles at him. He feels good all day and thinks back on her smile as an indicator of how pleased she was to see him and how much she must like him.

The next door neighbor outside gardening witnessed this interaction, and saw a smirk on the young girl's face and over enthusiasim in boy's wave. She had seen many boy come by and show interest in her neighbor, and she interpreted the smirk to mean that the young girl was not interested but humored at his excitement & disinterested by his eagerness. Constructivism

Humans construct their own reality based on
experiences, language, beliefs, &interactions with others. The point is that experiences are not what is important, but it is attributions (or what client's makes) of experiences that matters. Each person has a unique take or perception...
For example:You go to the grocery store and check out and the clerk is short with you, does not speak at all, and has a look that might be disgust on his face. You take this to mean he is having a bad day. The person behind you takes this to mean they are incompetent and should not have the job and complains to the manager they should be fired. The experience was the same, but the meaning you made of it was different. We don't see things as they are.
We see things as we are.
- Anais Nin Questions for Reflecting Meaning:

“What does it mean about (for or to) you that…”

“What sort of message do you take away about yourself [others…the world] from this experience?”

“What do you tell yourself because this happened?”

"How do you explain the reasons behind these events?" Identifying values helps identify meaning

For example (ID values):
It seems that honesty is something you really value.

For example (ID values & feelings):
It seems like hard work is something you really value & when your employees do not work hard you feel very disappointed. Reflecting Meaning Will help the client make connections
between his or her worldview & his or her experiences
of others and the outside world. This states the personal significance of the client's story, and helps them to gain awareness. Helps them go to a deeper level of disclosure and transformation. Identify the roots of meaning

1. World view
Perceptions of self, others and the world.

2. Values
What is highly prized & considered of utmost importance. Identifying Value

Questions to ask:

In this situation, what is most important to you?

(dig to find out what makes this important)

At your funeral what would you like people to say about you?

If a biography about your life was written, what would you want readers to take away? Takes Detective work

Like peeling an onion to get to the innermost layer

1st layer= content

2nd layer= feeling

3rd layer = personal meaning To Do

Keep the client focused on deeper issues

Provide a safe atmosphere

Identify values

Identify worldview


Highlight the significance of the meaning Remember:

The meaning behind the words
is part of the unique way the client sees
the world! For Example:
Joan's Story

Joan worked in an
organization that split between two groups called, "The Red
Birds" and "The Blue Birds."

One of the Red Birds had confided in Joan before the split that he struggled
with alcoholism. Joan let this leak to the Blue Birds and betrayed his confidence
he was called out by this boss and seen as a threat to the company. Joan made an appointment
with an EAP counselor. Joan shared the events with the counselor... p. 162. What to do when you have been working with a client long term, used all your skills appropriately, but they seem uncomfortable with digging deeper into meaning? The Inner Circle Technique: Journey Inward A. Inner Circle. Here are the people that know your most personal information. Secrets, immoral or dishonest, anger, sexual history, resentment, and more. E. These are issues that might be discussed with
anyone upon first meeting. B.C. D. & E. Other rings in between A and E
represent increasingly personal areas of disclosure. Strategy founded by Arnold Lazarus

Confront (challenge while supporting)

Counselor Intervention:

We seem to be talking about topics in the
D category. More effective work happens
at the A & B category. I am sensing you may not
feel comfortable going deeper. Trust is an important pre-requisite for moving into
deeper personal disclosure. Attachment Theory

Theorist, John Bowlby
Premise that children need a caring/safe relationship with a primary caregiver to progress through normal developmental stages
If a child has this type of consistent primary care giver then secure attachment results
If there are issues or problems, then attachment problems may develop Self Rule: I am worthy of love.
Others Rule: Others are competent & able to love me. Self Rules Avoidant Attachment Self Rule: I am worthy of love.
Other Rule: Others will not love me because they are incompetent & unable. Secure Attachment Other Rules Disorganized Attachment Self Rule: I am unworthy of love.
Other Rule:Others will not love me
because they are unable & I am unworthy. Ambivalent Attachment Self Rule: I am unworthy of love.
Other Rule: Others are able to love
me, but won't because I am not
worthy. How does attachment relate to reflecting meaning?

Trust/relationship rules make it difficult to trust

Meaning sometimes closely linked to core beliefs about self/others

This is part of a person's lense through which they see themselves & others & make meaning The helper may strategically
mirror to help the client see himself/herself from a DIFFERENT

Sometimes meaning (core beliefs, relationship rules, or schemas)may be

Mirroring helps a client see more clearly
their true motives, intentions, values, and
reasons for behaving as they do. With advanced skills
such as CBT techniques
counselors help clients
see errors in schemas/attributions.

This can help clients from hurting themselves
or others PRACTICE TIME!! Draw a small circle like the one on page 165. Create circles around the circle, so that you have five total.

In the inner circle right down the people that know about your deepest most personal issues.

Identify issues in rings B, C, & D that would be hard to disclose to a counselor.

Who are the people in your inner circle and how did they gain your trust? Superficiality == Result of traveling too fast horizontally



Result of slowly using the skills &digging deeper into the elements of the story; going vertical Going deeper into feelings:
A Gestalt Example Sometimes too much talking on the part of the therapist
can take the light off the client & there can be less movement The effectiveness of the skills- Carl Rodgers
Person-Centered Therapy with Gloria Formula for Reflecting Meaing

You are feeling ____(insert feeling) because ________
(insert value or belief behind feeling). Two ways to reflect meaning:

1) Ask an open question regarding values.

2) Listen & suggest your hypothesis. Reminder:

Complete Intake for Wed.
practice time. Immediacy Being in the present with the client. "Immediacy provides
timeliness..." (Ivey, 2007) Some people live in the future. (Anxiety)

Some people live in the past. (Sadness)

Immediacy brings people to the present. The Present...

A popular press book was published not
too long ago about the value of living in the present.
Written by Spencer Johnson. Immediacy
Also represents the relationship
between the counselor & client
The more personal the more immediacy
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