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Advanced Empathy, Validation, Immediacy

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1 Advanced Empathy, Validation, Immediacy
Week Five

2 Fixing vs. Exploring Probes
“Fixing” is our natural response when given a problem Goals of stage 1 probes: Clarifying & better understanding the issue Making a better empathy statement Avoiding assumptions Assumptions check list: Do you understand… The situation? The feeling? The meaning? The connections between the three? Last week when we learned probes everyone seemed to be doing “problem solving” (or “fixing”) probes. It seems that the natural, cultural response to hearing about a problem is to try and fix it! It’s interesting to note that this is the natural response… but it’s NOT what probes are for in STAGE ONE. Stage one probes are all about EXPLORING and GOIND DEEPER – put another way… they should be used as a vehicle for better understanding emotions so you can MAKE BETTER EMPATHY STATEMENTS and CLARIFY FEELINGS QUESTION BEFORE MAKING AN ASSUMPTION. Ask yourself if you understand all parts of the empathy statement and the connections between the three parts before you go on. In Stage Two probes can also be about helping the IG think about the problem in a new or different way, but for much of the counseling session – in ALL STAGES – the function of probes are as per the slide.

3 Oh god not the triangle again
Stage II Goals Identify common themes and underlying issues Go deeper Help the individual obtain a new perspective Focus on the particular areas of concern Allows counselor to use intuition Remember to mention: Stage two is also more active for the counselor – the counselor takes on a bigger role, can make insights, and can use his/her intuition. The counselor is still not directive. Even if you’ve started using Stage II skills Stage I skills are still important to (a) use first to establish rapport, and (b) continue using throughout the session! This slide and the next one should take about 5 minutes…

4 (Feeling words are so cool.)
Matching Game Everyone will get a card with a feeling word on it. Then the people will group themselves in clusters based on the broad meaning of the emotions. Example: Maybe “inept” “strengthless” and “unable” would go together. Can you think of a word that unites all the feelings in your group? (this ex: “powerlessness”). Don’t just group by “positive” and “negative” feelings, but other than that we aren’t looking for specific right or wrong answers! Within each group, decide which word is the most emotionally charged and which is the least emotionally charged, or least risky Emily facilitates a debriefing of the game (5-10 minutes) (Feeling words are so cool.)

5 Advanced Empathy What is it? Why use it? Hunch with evidence
Provides insight, deeper understanding, clarity and focus Moves session forward Identifies themes Connects islands of thought Makes the implied explicit What? Different from basic empathy because it identifies something that hasn’t been said directly. Make sure to back your statement up with evidence from the session! Advanced empathy requires taking a risk! Advanced empathy brings the focus back to feelings, instead of pragmatics of a situation, to let you go deeper. (This through the end of advanced empathy should be 10 minutes) A hunch 

6 …still advanced empathy
When? After established rapport Underlying feelings present. Ask yourself: What is the person only half saying or saying in a confused way? What is the person hinting at? What implicit messages your do you hear? How do you use it? Empathy formula Evidence When? It’s a risk – so after you’ve established rapport!

7 …still advanced empathy
Remember: Don’t just use a different word for what is already implied by session Allow the risk! Id. a new feeling: Advanced empathy IS NOT just another word for what is already implied by the session Because of this advanced empathy is always a risk, but often a risk worth taking if you have established rapport and have some “evidence” to back you up. Also, if you are ever “wrong” about the feeling and have established rapport the issue giver often simply corrects the counselor without a problem and then further clarifies his/her feelings.

8 …Still advanced empathy
Advanced empathy insurance! You can try some of these Correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds like… I’m getting the impression that… Just to make sure we’re on the same page… This may be a long shot but… This is what I’m hearing you saying… is that correct? Advanced empathy is about taking a risk (with the presentation of evidence) but it is still a risk, so it’s important to let the issue giver know that you may not get it right. You can do that by prefacing the advanced empathy statement with something to imply being tentative. (You can check out communication leads on p. 14 of your training manual!)

9 What feelings could she be having?
“I hear so many different things from people I care about. I have a few friends who are lesbian or bisexual. I’ve talked to some of them and they are really supportive… so are some of my straight friends. However, my parents believe that homosexuality is unnatural… and they are very vocal about their dislike of lesbian, gay, or bisexual people. Then, I hear all kinds of mean and hurtful comments from other people that I hang out with. I wonder what all of these people would think if I told them that I was a lesbian. Would some like me or not like me dependent on whether or not I identify myself as a lesbian? I don’t want to lose any of my friends… but are they really my friends if they would no longer like me solely because I am a lesbian.” Have someone read the issue and then have people shout out possibly related feeling words that could be used in advanced empathy. Stress that you would have to go through stage one before you used advanced empathy.

10 Validation What? Why? When? It’s okay to feel that way!
Acceptance of feelings Affirms feelings aren’t wrong When? Guilt Conflicted “I shouldn’t feel this way…” (^a little corny) What? An affirmation that the issue giver’s feelings make sense. Why? A way to convey acceptance of feelings. When? Often when someone feels guilty about feeling ____ (angry, etc) When someone is conflicted about their own feelings. Often IG says he or she shouldn’t feel ____ (sad, etc) because of various reasons, like having a good family or a lot of friends. This is as good time to validate that it’s okay to feel that way! Validation should take 5 minutes

11 More Validation How? It makes sense that you feel _______. Examples:
“From what you’ve been saying, it makes sense that you’re angry.” “We’ve been talking for awhile about how difficult it has been for you to accept your father’s drinking problems. It seems very understandable that you’d feel uncomfortable going home for breaks.” “I know this isn’t easy to talk about, but you did call and that takes courage.”

12 Validate FEELINGS rather than ACTIONS!
More Validation Remember: Use only when needed: too much use can sound minimizing. Use with confidence! Validate FEELINGS rather than ACTIONS! Actions Remember: if you use it too much it can sound minimizing or patronizing Be specific about feelings (not “it’s okay to feel the way you do…” but “it’s okay to feel disappointed”). Don’t trail off during validation and quickly move on – it’s important and it works best if it is used with confidence and sounds GENUINE. The pictures: Remember, it’s always okay to have a feeling, but it’s not always okay to act certain ways. You cannot validate this way “It makes sense that you slashed your teacher’s tires because you were very angry” But rather “It makes sense that you were angry because you received a bad grade.” Feelings

13 Immediacy What? Why? Focus on the “here and now” Focus on issue giver
Current feelings Why? Keep the session focused on current feelings of the issue giver. Also, you only have so much time – you can’t rehash a person’s entire youth! Immediacy should take 5 minutes

14 Immediacy Continued How? Need these: Use if necessary:
“Here and now” of issue Focus on issue giver – not others involved Use if necessary: “Here and now” of counseling session Process of session Physical behavior How the session is going You as a counselor “Here and now” of issue: Example: “When I was a kid my dad was very critical of me?” “How does that affect you now?” Focus on issue giver: “You mentioned that your friend is upset all of the time – how does her behavior affect you?” “Here and now” of counseling session: Process of session: Counselor points out a behavior within the session. physical behavior: evidence of nervousness or anger – such as shaking How session is going: Ex. “You know, I’ve noticed something here. You’ve been telling me how you feel you’re unable to open up to people you know, but I’ve noticed right here you’ve opened up to me quite a bit.” Or, “You say you get very angry thinking about this. How does it feel to talk about it with me now?” You as counselor: “As you’re talking, I realize that this is a difficult subject for me personally and my feelings are getting in the way of my being helpful to you now. Let me find someone you can talk to who will be helpful.” Image: Even if this guy hasn’t said he is stressed out, you may be able to imply that from physical cues.

15 Demos – from you! Ayellet & Courtney: Validation
David & Maxine: Immediacy Maryam & Kate: Advanced Empathy Danielle & Nayla: Probes Explain demos In small groups each group will come up with a “demo” to do in front of the whole group. It can be a scene or a few lines, whatever you want! It should show one or a few good examples of the skill and one or a few bad examples of the skill. The trainers will be there to answer questions, but you have to come up with and perform the demos yourself! You can preface this activity by emphasizing the communication skills aspect of training. Teaching is a great exercise in communication, as are group work and public speaking! EARS is the most supportive audience you can practice in front of! This activity should take a total of 15 minutes-- 10 minutes to put together and 5 minutes to present

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