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Chapter Outline

Reasons for Reflecting

Reflecting Content, Thoughts, Feelings, Meaning

The Skill of Paraphrasing

Common Problems in Paraphrasing

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Learning Objectives

5.1 Differentiate between different kinds of reflections, including paraphrases, reflections of feeling, and reflections of meaning.

5.2 Construct paraphrases of client statements.

5.3 Be aware of common problems in paraphrasing, and understand strategies to overcome them.

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Reasons for Reflecting

Verbally communicates empathy

Confirm or correct what client is saying

Stimulates further exploration of client’s experience: An opening effect

Captures relevant aspects of client’s message that may remain camouflaged

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Components of the Client’s Message

To really help, we need to get to deeper levels of the components in a client’s message:

Facts & Thoughts

Feelings

Underlying meanings

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Reflecting Skills

Reflecting skills are specialized interventions to stimulate deeper exploration and understanding

Three types:

Cognitive: client’s understanding of facts and thoughts

Paraphrasing

Emotional: client’s understanding of feelings

Reflecting Feelings

Existential: hidden meanings

Reflecting Meaning

People are usually most comfortable talking about content or facts

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How to Reflect Content & Thoughts: Paraphrasing

Not word-for-word parroting

Nonjudgmental restatement of facts and thoughts

Highlight that it is the client’s perspective

Listen carefully to client’s story

Provide neutral and condensed version of the facts and thoughts

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When to Paraphrase: Nonjudgmental Listening Sequence

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