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Running Head: Counselling Transcript

Asynchronous Activity #4-Counselling Session

Lindsay Birchall
University of Calgary

Interventions to Promote Social-Emotional and Behavioural Well-Being EDPS 674

Dr. Erica Backenson
March 26th, 2015


Statement of Confidentiality
Helper: Okay, so before we get started, I just wanted to go over confidentiality if thats okay?
Client: Yup
Helper: So your privacy is really important and this session will be most effective if you feel comfortable and you are able to speak
openly. So, everything that we discuss during our session is kept completely private and in strict confidentiality and only with your
written consent would I disclose information to other people, like maybe a teacher r pediatrician..
Client: good
Helper: However, there are some exceptions where I cannot legally keep information confidential.So, if you pose a threat to harm
yourself or another person then I will have to take steps to prevent that potential harm from happening.that could include contacting
your family or the police or the medical communityAlso, if I receive a court order issued by a judge that wants me to release
information, then I will have to do that as well.So, do you have any questions about the confidentiality piece?
Client: no, I understand, thank you

Dialogue Segment

Helper: So, what brings you here today?

2012; Ivey &
Glenn, 1993)
Permissions to

Purpose of Skill

Making an opening
statement to invite

Met Desired

Yes- the
resulted in

Critique: Positive aspects,

improvements, future changes

client to tell their story her

(Nelson-Jones, 2012,
the issue
Client: Okay, well, Ive been having
Paraphrase and
some difficulty with my son Rileyhes Reflect Feelings
five and its the way he behaves in public
thats the issue, so he runs away, he
throws things, he takes thing off shelves,
he wont stay seated in restaurantslike
Ihonestly, its just so embarrassing, and
I dont want to take him anywhere
anymore, hes totally out of control
Helper: Okay, soyoure feeling
frustrated with some of your sons
behaviours and feeling embarrassed
Client: Uh-huh

Open ended

Helper: Can you go on a little more about

Client: Yeah, um, he screams and he cries
and he lies on the floor when I say he
cant have something like a toy or a
candy. Its terrible because other people

Reflect Feelings
Open ended

Accurately identify
and reflect back the
clients main feelings
in a brief and succinct
way-Communicate to
client I understand
how they feel by
paraphrasing what
they have said
(Nelson-Jones, 2012,
p.56, 57)

Yes she

Help client to
elaborate share more
of their experience,
(Nelson-Jones, 2012,
Confirm client


-Used an effective open ended

question that elicited more

Yes she
and provided
more detail

-Effectively used an open ended

question elicited more specific
information about how they manage
Rileys behaviours

Help client elaborate

-Accurately reflected feelings

-Could have been more succinct in
my delivery So you are feeling
frustrated and embarrassed because
of your sons behaviour

are always looking at me when hes

doing these things and then my husband
makes it even worse because he chases
Riley around the store like its a game.
But my son just doesnt listen to anything
anyways so I guess it doesnt even really
Helper: you think
back to the last time that you had him out
and his behaviour made you upset?
Can you describe what that experience
was like?
Client: Umhmmmmokay, well, there
was this time that we went shopping to
go get groceries and Riley asked me to
see the toys and I said no. So what
does he do? Well, obviously he goes off
and runs to the toy aisle. I run and I
catch him and then he just runs off again.
So there I was chasing him all over and
yelling at him to stop and, of course, he
thinks its hilarious. And I end up
running into this older lady in the store
and she said, you know that kid just
needs a good spank!. Can you believe
that?! Like, how embarrassingits just
mortifying! (silence-5 sec) So, anyways,
I finally catch him and I put him in the

by describing details
of a recent eventobtain more
information about
how they manage
Rileys behaviours

about a

-Should have explored the statement

mom made that is doesnt really
matter she sounds defeated may
impact her motivation to change her

(Nelson-Jones, 2012,
p.56, 57, 61)

Reflect Feelings
Probe: asking
questions that
focus on feelings

what client has said
and communicate my
understanding of what
they have said-help
focus on whats
Reflect Feelingsclarify that she was
Probe: prompt mom to
identify other things
she is feeling

Yes she
feelings of
anger and
said it was

-Should have probed that mom

stopped what she was doing when
Riley protested valuable
information about how she may be
giving in to Rileys behaviours
-Succinct paraphrase mom
presented a lot of detailed
-I should have not said more
embarrassed, that maybe
emphasizes that feeling too much or
may be seen as inconsiderate on my
part, embarrassed would have been

shopping cart and he starts to cry and he

screams, so obviously I stopI was so
embarrassed as it was! And then he
pulls off cereal boxes from the shelves
and hes throwing them on the
floor.What I had to do was literally
take him by the hand and leave the
storeit was just awful
Helper: Okay, so you were chasing him
all over the store, and then a women
made a comment to you that probably
made you feel more embarrassedhow
else did you feel in that situation?
Client: Well, uhI feel embarrassed and
I also get so angry and frustrated when he
behaves this way. I dont want to take
him anywhere because of it. Its just

(Nelson-Jones, 2012,
p.56, 57, 61, 70)

Open ended

elaborated on
with Riley

-Paraphrase was clear and accurate

used moms language

that her and

-Succinct paraphrase

-Question did elicit more information

about how dad interacts with Riley

Question-Elaborate on
how dad engages with

Helper: Yeah, you also mentioned that

dad chases him, like its a game and
Riley thinks its really funny. Can you
tell me more about how dad reacts to
Rileys behaviour?
Client: Yeah, so, basically if our son cries
when hes told that he cant have a toy or
candy, or something that he wants then

identify previous
information about
dads interactions

-Probing more how she felt: mom

clearly explained Rileys behaviours
and her feeling of embarrassmentgood question to prompt mom to
discuss how else that incident made
her feel: helped me identify her
perception of the situation

(Nelson-Jones, 2012,
p.56, 57, 61)


Confirm accuracy of

my husband just buys it for him so he

will stop crying. He says he does it so
my son wont have a meltdown. So,
basically thats why he never says no to
Helper: Okay, so your husband doesnt
like saying no, so he tries to turn things
into a game to avoid making Riley upset
Client: Yeah, we just arent on the same
page with our discipline methods. Like
my husband just doesnt like when our
son cries or feels hurt, so he gives in.
Every time Riley puts up a fight he just
gives in. It makes me angry because I
know its not good for Riley. And,
anyway, I get frustrated because I want
my husband to back me up
Helper: Youre feeling angry and
frustrated because you and your
husbands approach to Rileys behaviour
is different

communicate my
understanding of what
mom has said
(Nelson-Jones, 2012,


accuracy of statement
in a more succinct

Reflect Feelings
Reflect feelingsperceiving the
emotional state of the
(Nelson-Jones, 2012,
p.56, 57)

her husband
use different
more detailed
confirms she
is the
and provides
more info
about her
approach and
her feelings
about how
Riley feels
about her

-Succinct paraphrase highlight the

relevant issue of different
-Not sure if I should have inserted
feeling angry, mom didnt say she
was angry, just frustrated I thought
angry may have been implied, but
I am unsure

Client: Thats right. I feel like the

disciplinarian. I feel like my child
doesnt like me anymore because Im
always the one doing the discipline. I
feel like my son loves his father more.
They get along better, they do more fun
stuff together. Like, I mean, I try to do
fun stuff with him, but it always ends up
in a fight because he ends up being so
Helper: Okay, so you are feeling
frustrated and embarrassed by Rileys
Client: Uh-huh
Helper: And you also feel that your
husbands approach may be contributing
to the behaviour difficulties
Client: Uh-huh
Helper: And your son and your husband
have a really close relationship
Client: Yep
Helper: And you would like to have a
better relationship with your son as
wellis that all correct? Is that all

Reflect Feelings

-Confirm accuracy of

Clarify accuracy

-Ensure I have a clear

understanding of
information presented
so far-clarify accuracy
of my understanding
communicate to the
client that I am
understanding her
what she has said
-Wanted to summarize
before moving on to
problem solving
keep with a
productive session
(Nelson-Jones, 2012,
p.56-59, 66-67)

was accurate
according to

-Stopped as the client agreed with

what I was summarizing (uh-huh), I
provided some silence to let her
comment as I summarized what had
been discussed up until this point
-Accurate summary including
reflection of feelings and relevant
-Good opportunity to confirm
accuracy mom has provided a lot
of information
-Started each sentence with andcan expand my vocabulary here and
reword my sentences
-I brought forth that her husbands
behaviour may be contributing to the
issue mom did not say this
directly, I felt it was implied,
however, I am unsure if I should
have implied that?

Client: Yeah, thats exactly how I feel

Helper: So, what are your goals in this
situation, what would you like to

Open ended
Problem Solving

Purpose was to
prompt the client to
think specifically
about what her goals
(Nelson-Jones, 2012,
p. 61, 98-103)

Client: Well, I really think that the goal is

to make Rileys behaviour better. So, I
mean, I will try anything at this point for
sure. I just cant handle the situation
anymoreI get so angry. Im honestly
afraid I might do something Ill
eventually regret


Confirm moms goal

for the session
ensure I have an
(Nelson-Jones, 2012,
p. 56)

Helper: So, a successful outcome for you

would be improving Rileys behaviour

Client: Yep, thats my goal, to change

Rileys behaviour

Less-Open Ended

Helper: Okay, would you have any goals

for yourself?

Problem solving

Wanted mom to think

about her own
behaviour goals,
rather than just goals
for Riley

continues to
focus on
rather then
hers and her

-I was hoping my question would

lead mom to identify goals for her
and her husbands behaviours, rather
than Rileys. However, mom brought
the focus back to focusing on Rileys
behaviours only

moms belief
that the goal
should be
about Riley.
But, mom
said she
would try
reflects her
to participate
that her and
her husband
need to be

-I should have probed what

something she will regret meantthis may be a relevant and could be
cause for concern (i.e. physical

-This more direct question got mom

thinking about how her and her
husbands inconsistencies may be
impacting Riley
-Good question to change the

(Nelson-Jones, 2012,
p. 61, 98-103)

Client: Um, yeahI want my husband

and I to get on the same page. Our sons
behaviour isnt going to change if we are
doing different things and have different
rules, right? Thats the bottom line.
Helper: Okay, you want for you and your
husband to be on the same pagewhat
do you think that would look like?
Client: Well if my husband and I had the
same rules for my sons behaviour then
we would be on the same page. And,
maybe if we would react the same way,
like because when Riley gets upset with
my husband, or he gets silly, or when my
husband gives in to his protest, and I say
no and get angry, it gets complicated,
so we need to be on the same page. But,
even if we can just come up a couple of
rules that are the same between us, like
no means no could be one of them

Open Ended
Problem solving

Open Ended
Problem solving

Confirm accuracy of
moms statementprompt to have mom
begin problem solving
to address the issue

consistent in

identifies an
example why
Riley may be
and generates
(Nelson-Jones, 2012,
a possible
p. 56, 61, 98-103)
-Paraphrase to
confirm relevant issue generates a
of inconsistency and
viable option
moms idea of one
(taking with
her husband)
to approach
-Have mom think of
solving the
how to problem
problemsolve/approach the
mom also
issue of inconsistency brings up
obstacles to
-Open ended question- solving the

direction of the problem solving

-Question may have been too direct,
it would have been better for mom to
identify that her and dads behaviour
may need to change
-I should have confirmed her
statement that thing wont change
with different rules, she asked
right? at the end of that statement
-Good open ended question to get
mom thinking about how to address
the inconsistent parenting approaches

-My paraphrase could have been

more succinct If you and your
husband can agree on consistent
rules, you feel that would help
Rileys behaviour.
-Good open ended question to
facilitate problem solving for mom
-Open ended question did prompt
mom to identify reasons that her
husband and her may be inconsistent.


Helper: Alright, so, if you and your

husband can have consistent rules, or
even one consistent rule, and ways to
deal with Rileys behaviour, that would
help. How would you approach making
that change or achieving that?
Client: Um, well I need to talk to my
husband about the rules for our son for
sure. Im nervous about it though
because I have brought it up in the past
and you know my husband just doesnt
want to change. He doesnt want Riley to
get upset and he really feels like he needs
to be friends with Riley

identify moms
perspective on
problem solving

(dads beliefs
and values)

This is valuable information for me

identifies an
obstacle ad
generates a
asks for help

-Open ended question did bring for

the new information this was
successful in prompting mom to
discuss dads perspective

generates a

-Good to clarify new information

presented by mom about how she has
attempted to problem solve in the

(Nelson-Jones, 2012,
p. 56, 61, 98-103)
Open Ended
Problem solving

Helper: Okay, so your husband isnt

really interested in changing how he
interacts with your son or changing his
behaviours, umm, could you maybe think
of a different way to kind of approach
discussing this with him?

-Paraphrase to
confirm I have heard
the new information
that her husband
doesnt want to
change his behaviours
(wants to be friends,
doesnt like when he
gets upset)
Problem Solving-help
mom continue to
problem solve and try
to generate a way to
approach dad

-My probing question, ummm, can

you maybe think of a different way
to kind of approach this with him
was too wordy. Should have said,
Can you think of a different way of
approaching this with him?

(Nelson-Jones, 2012,
p. 56, 61, 98-103)
Client: Yeah, yeah, I mean like mostly
mostly in the past Ive brought it up to
my husband when Im upset or when Im

Clarify accuracy

my understanding of
moms new insight in


frustrated because, you know, I had to

of information
discipline Riley again. So I end up
yelling at my husband about it, so usually
what he does is he walks away or goes
into the garage. So, like we havent
really ever sat down and talked about it.
So, I guess Id like help with discussing it
better with my husband

to how she has

approached dad in the

means to

Clarify that mom

would like help with

-Identifying the obstacle has

prompted mom to think of another
way to discuss things with her

(Nelson-Jones, 2012,
p. 56, 59)

Helper: Okay, so in the past you havent

made specific times to sit down and
discuss some of the strategies that you
and your husband would use for Rileys

past this confirms a specific

obstacle that has prevented her from
solving the problem in the past

-Good to clarify that mom is asking

for help with a specific area of
problem solving

Client: Um-hum
Helper: And you would like some help
with that.
Client: Yeah, I think, like Ive been
talking with my husband about this
situation at a set time, like when we are
both home and everything is calm and
settledI think that would be a good
Helper: Okay, so setting a specific time
when you are both kind of in a calm
place and ready to discuss some of those

Problem Solving

that I understand
moms idea for
problem solving
Facilitate problem
solving specifically
identify with mom
how she would
accomplish this goal

chooses a
specific way
to approach
the problem
(choosing a
set time)
when they
can have a

-Again, use of words and phrases

like kind of, ummm impact the
clarity of my message I need to be
more succinct
-Good open ended question to further
facilitate problem solving for mom
attempt to prevent other obstacles
from getting in her way


things may be an idea, ummm, how

would you go about setting that up?

(Nelson-Jones, 2012,
p. 56, 61, 98-103)


Client: Well, I think it has to be at dinner,

like at some point when everyone has
calmed down. When we are more settled
after work and maybe Riley will be
outside playing or doing his homework
quietly. So I think that if Im not upset
already going into the conversation then I
think it would be a good thing. I think I
would just ask him after dinner if we
could have a conversation about Riley
and just let him know its really
important to do this
Helper: Okay, I think those are some
really good ideas. Is that something that
you would like me to help you out with?
Client: Yep, definitely, that would be
really great
Helper: Im thinking that maybe your
husband could maybe join us for our next
session? And, if you want I can just kind
of help support you with that
Client: Yep, I think that thats a really
good idea for sure.


-Paraphrase and
encourage that mom
has presented good

Clarify Goal

Problem solving
Small verbal

Clarify accuracy of
previous statement
that mom still wants
help with the
(Nelson-Jones, 2012,
p. 56, 60-61, 98-103;
Ivey & Glenn, 1993)

accepts my
idea to help
her have the
at our next

-I brought up that mom had asked for

help before I was concerned that
her initiating the problem solving
process would not be successful.
-Mom and dad have had multiple
unproductive conversations in the
past, those conversations end in
arguing and dad avoiding and dad
has different values and beliefs about
parenting then mom. These are
significant obstacles to moms ability
to navigate.
-I was anticipating that the
conversation would not go well, and
mom would be further discouraged.
-I wanted the homework assignment
to be successful for mom. I believed
that if I could be there to support
mom, and the conversation happened
in a more neutral environment where
dad cannot escape, it may be more
-I am unsure if I should have pushed
this solution? Or, if I should have
left mom to navigate the
conversation on her own?
-I didnt want to discount moms
ideas; she could have interpreted it
this way?


Helper: Okay
-I could have explained my rationale
for inviting them both back


Client: Yeah, I think that we both need to

come up with a rule and if we can both
stick to that rule together and we need to
stick to it. At least if its a joint thing,
then maybe he will follow it too


Helper: Exactly

Client: So, maybe we can come up with

something thats a good thing that we can
work on together in the next session?
Helper: Sure, if we can all come together
and if you guys are able to calmly discuss
what that rule may be, and I can be here
to support you then maybe we can get
that moving forward for you
Client: yep, I think thats maybe the
bestthats a good idea
Helper: Okay, so I guess I would just
like to summarize what we all talked
about todayso when you came in you
wanted to discuss your sons behaviour
and his behaviour was making you feel

Encourage moms
ideas of working on
rules or one rule
that her and dad can
agree to
(Ivey & Glenn, 1993)


-Confirm my
understanding of the
homework and the
approach to problem

saying its a
good thing
for them to
discuss thing
maybe he
will follow it
confirms it is
a good idea
to have extra

(Nelson-Jones, 2012,
p. 56)

Structure and

information presented
in the session,
including facts,
perceptions and
feelings. Summarize
problem solving

confirms my
summary is

-Saying Exactly - I wanted to

encourage moms ideas by providing
a supportive comment

-Should not have used the word

guys, this is too informal
-Good identification of how the
session will go next time and what
my role would be
-Good emphasis on calmly
discussing rules
-I think I provided a good summary
of the session. I was able to reflect
back specific information about
Rileys behaviour as well as moms
feelings and perceptions of situations
where Rileys behaviour has been
-I was succinct in identifying the


frustrated and you were feeling really

embarrassed, especially when you were
out in the community or in public with

approach. Confirm
goal of next session.
Ensure appropriate
session structure and
end of session.

Client: Yep
Helper: And, your husband and you dont
really approach discipline in the same
way because your husband doesnt really
like to see Riley get upset
Client: Yeah, thats right
Helper: And its been difficult for you to
discuss this with your husband in a
productive way because typically you
bring it up when you are feeling really
angry, when Riley is misbehaving
Client: Yeah, definitely
Helper: So you would like some help
with that part, just how to get on the same
page with your husband about Rileys
discipline. So, in the next session you
can bring your husband in and I will do
my best to support the two of you
through that and coming to a bit of a

(Nelson-Jones, 2012,
p. 63-68)

inconsistencies between mom and

dad discipline approaches.
-I identified past obstacles to
problem solving (i.e. discussing it
when mom is angry).
-I was able to use moms language
(e.g. get on the same page) and
clearly summarize what the next
sessions goals will be.


consensus around the rules that you

decide on.
Client: Okay, I think that thats a good
idea, thank you
Helper: Okay, is that all accurate? Is
there anything that you would like to
add? Did I miss anything?

Structure and

Confirm accuracy of
my session summary
clarify and reflect
back a series of client
statements at the end
of the session

confirms my
summary is

-I could have only asked one

question to confirm my accuracy in
order to be more succinct. I asked
three questions in a row.

(Nelson-Jones, 2012,
p. 63-68)
Client: No, you really summarized
everything really well, thats exactly how
Im feeling. Yeah, thats it. Thank you
Helper: Okay, great, thank so much
Overall Summary of Performance
Throughout my helper session I began my dialogue with so or okay. I will have to be cognisant of this and work on
starting my sentences in a more succinct manner. Also, I have to be more aware that I say ummmm, much too often. When I
interject with ummm, my dialogue comes across as much less confident that I would like. Also, when paraphrasing and asking
open ended questions, I added in multiple unnecessary words throughout my session. This made my statements and questions more
convoluted and made me sound less professional. In general, I need to become more succinct and fluent in my ability to utilize
specific counselling skills accurately. I need more practice; analyzing my skill demonstration on an ongoing basis will be important.


I found my paraphrasing to be accurate; mom often confirmed my accuracy and there were many examples where my
paraphrasing resulted in mom providing me with more relevant information. I believe I used open-ended questions effectively in the
dialogue (e.g. How would you approach making that change or achieving that?, Can you tell me more about that?, Can you tell me
what that experience was like?, Could you think of a different way to approach discussing this with him?). I found that taking notes
did help me summarize at the end of the session, so that is an approach I will use in the future. At times I was suggestive in my
comments. I had taken the clients statement and re-worded it to reflect back implied feelings. I am unsure if I used that counselling
skill appropriately or not. I did attempt to respond at a slower pace than my client, in hopes to slow her pace of speech. However, this
strategy did not prove effective. I believe a demonstrated an attitude of acceptance and respect throughout our dialogue and that I was
able to show an accurate understanding of the clients perspective.
I have explained my rationale for the assigned homework (i.e. mom coming back for another session with her husband). After I
concluded my session, I thought of an alternative approach to problem solving. I could have brought the client back for the next
session without her husband and we could role play the problem solving conversation. That way, mom could still initiate the
conversation on her own, but I can help her prepare and problem solve (e.g. identifying further obstacles and) before she had the
conversation with her husband.


Nelson-Jones, R. (2012). Basic counselling skills: A helpers manual (3rd edition). Sage. ISBN-13: 978-0 85702-417-6
Ivey, A., E. & Glenn, H. (1993). Basic Listening Sequence & Issues of Trauma. Alexandria, VA: Microtraining Associates. Alexander
Street Press, LLC