As 'the client'
What issue you choose to bring to the role play needs to be containable, manageable and appropriate as well as substantial enough for the sake of the training. At the end of the skills practice you need to be able to let your concerns go in order to discuss the effect of session and your 'counsellor's way of being.' Of course, as we know, sometimes what we think is contained, often bubbles up into something bigger - but just having an awareness at the outset can help.
As 'the counsellor'
As this may be new for you, be yourself, don't think too deeply about this process, accept and be open to feedback, guidance and thoughts, because your 'client' and 'observer' will be helping you look at your own style.
As 'the observer'
You role is to feed back directly to both the counsellor and client, while avoid being drawn into the discussion about the subject matter. Describe what you saw, heard, felt and respect this trusted role. Sit close enough to hear but out of eye contact with both the client and counsellor. Your task is to concentrate on what is happening between them both, rather than on the 'story'.
Be specific with your feedback - don't be general such as 'you were leading the client,' it may be better to say 'you asked several questions in a row, which the client answered and then seemed to wait for you to ask more.'
For all three of you: share thoughts and feelings about how it went, plus pinpoint accurately what was happening.
You may like to use some of these 15 questions as a guide when you're writing up your reflections.
Here are 15 questions to help you monitor your skills in counselling training situations
1. How much of your attention were you able to give your client?
2. Did you switch from giving the client your attention to a two-way conversation or talking about a similar situation you have experienced?
3. Did your posture/gestures/tone of voice help or hinder the counselling process?
4. Did you listen for facts and feelings?
5. Did you manage to avoid giving advice?
6. How did you handle any silence?
7. How well did you put your own feelings and judgments aside?
8. Did you ask questions because you were curious or to help the client explore?
9. Were your summaries timely and helpful?
10. Did you manage to empathise?
11. Did you avoid asking leading, closed or multiple questions?
12. Have you allowed the client to express feelings about their situation?
13. How comfortable were you with the emotional aspects; were there any feelings that triggered off emotions in you?
14. Where were you pleased about in this counselling training exercise?
15. What have you learned about this session?
We hope this is helpful to you. What did you discover about your skills?
Please do share any insights in the comments below.
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