I have client, a native of India and her name is Vibhuti. She came here to the United States to find work so that she can help her family out financially and give them a better life. Vibhuti is not able to speak English very well, nor is she familiar with the traditions that we have as Americans. She has two children, ages 5 and 2, and with her broken English, she is having a hard time finding a job. She came to our Organization to seek help in obtaining a job, medical insurance, and help with food as she is still trying to find work to support her needs as well as the needs of her family.
The first time that I met Vibhuti was during our initial interview. During the interview, I was able to assess vibhuti’s weaknesses and strengths and we were able to talk about her needs, what types of services that she can use and how we can help her. The interview was helpful in giving me more information about her. I was able to explain to Vibhuti our organizations policies as well. After getting to know each other, I went ahead and gave Vibhuti an assessment to figure out what her strengths were as well as what type of job might interest her. The results of the assessment that she was given will be used for our future planning when it comes to finding employment for her. For the food and medical assistance, I was able to gather the information needed from her in order to start some emergency assistantce for Vibhuti and her family immediately.
The most challenging part for the both of us, is finding her a job that can support her and her family. The assessment is the second part of the interview process. The last part of the interview would be the closure but we can do the closure once all of Vibhuti’s needs are met, including finding a job. During the interview process, I assured Vibhuti that all of the information she provided to our organization would be kept confidential as part of our confidentiality agreement as well as our commitment to our clients’ privacy. Everything that Vibhuti had or will say, will be kept confidential unless the information can be used to save someone from harm or even death, a matter of life and death is the only reason that could make her information become more public. In case such a need arises, there is a written consent form that she would also needs to sign, informing her that some information she divulged will be used publicly.
Active Listening and Questioning
During the Interview Process, I used my skills in active listening to make sure that I heard and understood everything that Vibhuti said. I made sure that Vibhuti seen and felt how interested and invested I was with her problems and how willing I was to help her in any way that I could. I also made sure to keep direct eye contact with Vibhuti as well as give simple responses while she was talking in order for her to be aware that I was indeed listening to everything that she was saying, this also helped her to keep talking and telling me things about her and her family so that I could better understand the situation at hand. There are times when Vibhuti stopped talking because she was gathering her thoughts, I was able to use that time to write down some simple notes about our interview.
During the interview, I also used closed and open ended questions. An example of a closed ended question that I asked because I needed a specific answer was: “how many people are living in your home?” One of the examples of an open ended question that I asked Vibhuti was: What types of feelings and emotions are you experiencing since you have relocated to the United States? By asking her this type of question, it allowed her to elaborate a little more about herself and how she was feeling about everything, this allowed me to narrow down what types of other services that she may be in need of. At times during the interview, there were instances when I was unable to completely understand what Vibhuti was saying, so in order to clarify things, I paraphrased what she said. This not only allowed her to know that I was hearing everything that she was saying as well as give her the chance to help me understand anything that may have been misunderstood.
Strength Based Approach
The interview that was conducted gave me an idea of what types of services that Vibhuti will need as well as give me and idea of what her strengths are. After we went over what her strengths and interests were, we were able to formulate a plan that would help her get started in a positive direction to achieve the goals that she desired. Since she will be utilizing her strengths, she said that she felt more confident and she feels that she can do any job that we help find for her.
One of Vibhuti’s strengths is her willingness to do whatever it takes to help her family and her eagerness to start right away with meeting her goals. During the interview, I also learned that Vibhuti is fluent in two other languages, this definitely plays a big part in her strengths, and it opens up more doors for her when it comes to obtaining a good job. I can say that the interview that I had with Vibhuti went very well, not only for the client, but for myself as well. I was able to learn more about her Indian culture and open the lines of communication between us in order to start the helping process.
Chapter 2, The Assessment Phase: The Helping Process – Assessment to Termination Mc Clam, T., Woodside, M. (2012)