psychotherapeutic skills and listening skills 1

Counselors use a variety of skills and methods to help someone. In this assignment, you will learn to identify some of these skills as well as have an opportunity to practice listening skills. You may find that simply listening is harder than it sounds.

In Part One of this assignment you will watch a video and reflect on what you observed. In Part Two, you will practice your listening skills with a partner. After you complete these exercises, you will write a 2–3 page paper that reflects what you learned during these experiences.

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Part One

Watch the Excerpts from Initial Counseling Sessions video presentation located in the Resources and observe the following:

  • How the therapeutic alliance is being formed.
  • The attending and listening skills being used.
  • How the client is responding to the therapist.
  • Which counselor strategies seem to be most effective with the client.

You are encouraged to watch the video more than once and take notes since the answers to these questions will be incorporated into your paper.

Part Two

For the second part of this assignment, find a partner with whom you can practice your listening skills. This is not a mock therapy session, so the volunteer should not discuss a personal problem or issue. Instead your partner can talk about any topic they choose for 3 minutes. You should actually time the session.

Your task is to simply listen to the person without interjecting anything about yourself. For this first round, you should also not ask any questions or even respond to your partner verbally. You can however use nonverbal behavior to indicate that you are actively listening.

For the second round, your partner should continue talking for another 5 minutes. S/he can talk about the same topic from the first round or a new one. Prior to beginning, explain that you will be interacting a little bit more to practice your counseling skills. However, the goal is still to listen to what is being shared, not to interject information about yourself. Focus on basic attending and listening skills while still keeping in mind the ultimate objective, which is to simply listen.

At the conclusion of the session, ask your partner for feedback. You can use some of the following questions:

  • What was it like to talk without getting verbal feedback (first round)?
  • Did you feel heard for the second round? If so, what made you feel as though you were heard?
  • Was there anything in either round that could have helped you to feel more like you were being listened to?
  • Overall, what was this activity like?

Assignment Instructions

For this assignment, you will write a brief paper (2–3 pages only) of your video observations and the listening session with a partner. The paper should contain the following:

  • A summary of your video observations using the guidelines provided in Part One of this exercise. Provide specific examples when writing your responses. As a reminder, the subtopics are as follows:
    • How the therapeutic alliance is being formed.
    • The attending and listening skills being used.
    • How the client is responding to the therapist.
    • Which therapist strategies seem to be most effective with the client.
  • Anything you learned from the video that you were able to practice with your volunteer. Be sure to relate your learnings to theory or research.
  • A description of the skills you used for the listening sessions.
  • Insights you gleaned from the listening activities. Be sure to relate you learnings to theory or research.
  • Research findings (from the text and supplemental scholarly literature) on the therapeutic alliance, efficacy of counseling, nonspecific/relationship therapeutic factors, and/or counseling skills. Use at least 2 professional or scholarly resources to inform your work.

Assignment Requirements

  • Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
  • APA formatting: References and in-text citations are formatted according to current APA style and formatting.
  • Length: 2–3 double-spaced pages of content, not counting the title page and references page.
  • References: Use at least two professional or scholarly sources to support your paper.
  • Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12-point.
  • SafeAssign: Use the SafeAssign Draft option to check your writing and ensure that you have paraphrased, quoted, and cited your sources appropriately. Run a SafeAssign report, saving your paper as a draft. Based on your SafeAssign results, make any necessary changes to your paper before submitting your assignment to your instructor for grading.

In addition look through the Psychotherapeutic Skills and Listening Skills Scoring Guide to ensure you have met all of the criteria for the assignment.

Note: Your instructor may also use the Writing Feedback Tool to provide feedback on your writing. In the tool, click the linked resources for helpful writing information.