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Putting it all Together Assignment Student Name: Dermot Connolly Stenberg College


Putting It All Together Assignment. With a friend, colleague or family member complete exercises 17, 18, 19, 20 and 23 on page 219 (Burnard, 4th ed. 2005) Exercise No 17. I found this exercise very difficult as I completed it with my wife and we obviously know each other very well. When I took on the role as the counseller I was quiet comfortable asking opening and closed questions. I found that my wife responded to the open question quiet readily and opened up to me more and more. Whenever I asked closed questions however, I found that she corrected me more than she did when I asked her open questions and I could tell by her facial expressions and sitting position that it frustrated her. When I spoke to her about it after the exercise she explained her frustration was due to the limitations on her abilities to speak openly. As she spoke about the death of her uncle I found it easy to feel empathic towards her, but I was aware of how difficult it would be for me to feel the same level of empathy if I was having the same conversation with a person whom I did not know so well. When the roles were reversed and my wife was the counselor, I was very comfortable talking to her about my mothers death. My wife felt she did not have to do a lot of the work as I was quiet open about the discussion which limited her ability to ask closed questions. When she did ask them, I also felt slightly frustrated as I felt my responses were being limited to specific answers that I wanted to expand on. I also felt that my wife understood this and was empathetic towards me. I felt that in both of our conversations, we were catalytic and supportive towards each other. Exercise No 18. I found this exercise a little frustrating and at times embarrassing. I asked my wife questions about how she felt being a mother and her emotions as we await the arrival of our second child. I noticed as my wife refused to answer, that the silence bothered me, I was stuck

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER ASSIGNMENT 3 for something to say and reverted to asking random questions that had no bearing to the original topic. I could relate this experience to trying to communicate to a client who does not wish to speak with me and how my natural reactions would be to avoid that client as I would not wish to aggravate the situation. When the roles were reversed, my wife found if quiet difficult to communicate with me and became agitated with the experiment. Like me, she reverted to asking random questions that had no relevance to the original topic as she felt pressured and embarrassed by my silence. This exercise highlighted the importance for me on the development of good communication when attempting to formulate a therapeutic relationship with a client. Exercise No 19. I found this exercise interesting as my wife went first. She began by making statements she believed to be facts about our relationship and my family. It was interesting in that there were some obvious facts that she got wrong, such as her statement that my brother is older than my sister, which is incorrect and she did not know my middle name which was interesting. This drew my attention to the importance of listening and how there are obvious instances when I believed my wife was listening to me when she was not. This resulted in some facts being incorrect. This exercise also drew my attention to the fact that by making statements, we were assuming we were correct which reduces the other persons (patient) ability to challenge that statement as they are led to believe it is fact. Exercise No 20. Both my wife and I found this very therapeutic. I noticed as my wife spoke that she was not very comfortable with the exercise at first as it was a personal exercise for both of us. On occasion, she broke eye contact with me when talking about some of the more personal aspects of her life and I noticed she began to fidget with her clothes.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER ASSIGNMENT 4 When it was my turn to speak, I found it quite difficult as I am quite a private person. Like my wife I could not maintain eye contact for very long. When the process had ended, we both felt good, it was good to talk about our lives. I felt my wife truly listened to me as I was speaking about something that was important to me and as I result I felt she cared. I could tell this by her facial expressions and her body position as she listened. I also noticed that I tended to lean forward when I spoke about something that either made me uncomfortable or was emotional for me. This was an enjoyable exercise. Exercise No 23. This was difficult for both my wife and I as we were both very aware of each others feelings, I guess we were displaying a lot of sympathy towards each other. Our body language was quiet interesting during this exercise, as we struggled to find fault with each others counseling skills, I noticed that we looked towards the roof a lot, lost in thought. I noticed that both my wife and I had our arms folded when receiving negative feedback and our posture was more relaxed during positive feedback. This was a short exercise and made us both feel uncomfortable. What was interesting about this exercise was the fact that we did not switch our transaction from adult adult to parent child or adult child when receiving negative feedback.


References Burnard, P. (2005). Counselling Skills for Health Professionals. (4th Ed.). London, United Kingdom: Nelson Thornes Ltd.