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Reflection Of Feelings: Part 1 MCFC/MHC/CC Residency 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Reflection Of Feelings: Part 1 MCFC/MHC/CC Residency 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reflection Of Feelings: Part 1 MCFC/MHC/CC Residency 1

2 Learning Objectives From this presentation, you will be given information to: –Explain feelings and experiences of feelings –Define reflection of feeling –Utilize skills for reflecting feelings –Gain competence in the Feeling Expression Model May 2011 Revised

3 Feelings: The Root of All Counseling Feelings are internal, physiological reactions to experiences. You may begin to tremble, sweat, have increased heart rate, have an energy surge, or cry. Although feelings are internal, there are outward symptoms of these feelings. What are some outward symptoms of the following?: –Depressed –Frustrated –Pleased –Loved –Fearful –Embarrassed –Anxious May 2011 Revised

4 Conditions of Feelings There are 4 primary feelings: –Sad –Mad –Glad –Scared All other feelings include conditions or intensities of those feelings. May 2011 Revised

5 How do we understand the feelings that our clients are expressing or not expressing? We must first know how to experience emotions ourselves. To be aware of our feelings, we must first be aware of how we react to what is going on around us… This is done through: –Gathering information through the 5 senses –Deciding what the information means (which can be a problem in itself) –Having a feeling based on that interpretation –Deciding how to express the feeling –Expressing the feeling In a nutshell: you sense, you interpret, you feel May 2011 Revised

6 Reflecting Feelings It helps the counselor build a stronger relationship with the client and takes the session to deeper level. The purpose of reflecting feelings is to seek out and make the client aware of the feelings beneath the surface. This fosters insight into the client’s issue and progresses the therapeutic process. Reflection also ensures that the counselor is understanding the client, helps facilitate dialogue, helps focus the session on important issues, helps restrain the counselors from asking too many questions or solving the problem, and helps pave the way for the client to take action. Gain access to a feelings thesaurus May 2011 Revised

7 Reflection communicates to the client: That the counselor understands the content of the client’s concerns and perspectives That the counselor understands the emotion of the client’s concerns Reflections (a.k.a. empathic responses) are a translation of your understanding about: –the client’s content and experiences –behaviors and feelings Reflections should be based on the core messages of the client’s story. If you reflect on the insignificant information, the client may not believe that you listened. May 2011 Revised

8 Reflecting Feelings Select a sentence stem (you feel…, it sounds like…., what I hear you say….) Add a feeling label Add in context Reflect in present tense to keep client in here and now Levels of reflection: –Basic: You feel ____________. –Advanced: You feel __________________ because _______________ and what that means for you is ________________. Example: “Tonya, it sounds like you are feeling frustrated with your coworker’s irresponsibility and angry that you have to take up his slack.” May 2011 Revised

9 Reflecting Feelings What can you reflect?: –Stated or implied feelings You feel frustrated with your son… –What has been observed nonverbally I can tell by your clenched fists that you feel agitated when you think of your mother… –What we feel has been omitted **** You wonder if it is worth fighting for… –Specific content It sounds as if you really despise being with your family... May 2011 Revised

10 Reflecting Content Content –Reflecting content is basically paraphrasing. It focuses on the “bulk” of what the client has expressed. –Example: “I am unhappy with my husband.” –Counselor Reflection: “You are not satisfied in your marriage.” May 2011 Revised

11 “And, how does that make you feel?” Be careful with this question –This question implies that something external controls the feelings of the client. It may be experienced by the client as disempowering. This question can be reframed as: –“How do you feel about that?” –“How do you feel when ____ happens?” –“How do you feel when ____ says/ does ___ May 2011 Revised

12 The Feeling Expression Model Our goal is to teach our clients to use the following model in describing their feelings: –A personal statement: I, me, my –A feeling name: upset, sad, frustrated, etc. –Example: I feel hurt and resentful when you choose to stay late at work, rather than come home to spend time with me. May 2011 Revised

13 Activity Using the Feeling Expression Model, how could the following examples be said to reflect the true feelings of the individual saying them? –A woman asks her husband, “why can’t you ever get anywhere on time?” –You are in a group situation and you overhear another member tell someone, “you are talking far too much.” May 2011 Revised

14 Accurately Communicating Feelings Example: A mother in a department store was yelling at her 2-year old son, who was crying. She was overheard yelling “Shut up. You ruin everything for me!” –What do you think she was feeling? –How else could she have conveyed this same core sentiment differently? May 2011 Revised

15 ACTIVITY How else could these statements be made?: –That was really dumb! –You are so rude and arrogant. –You don’t care about me! –You are so mean! May 2011 Revised

16 Some Possible Answers… “That may not have been the best decision.” “I feel annoyed when you interrupt me.” “I feel like you are too busy to spend time with me.” “It hurts my feelings when you say things like that.” May 2011 Revised

17 References Egan, G. (2010). The skilled helper: A problem management and opportunity development approach to helping (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole (Cengage Learning). ISBN: or hard. Egan, G. (2010). Exercises in helping skills: A manual to accompany the skilled helper (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole (Cengage Learning). ISBN: or soft. May 2011 Revised


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