Interviewing clients can seem like a daunting task if the provider is unsure of the own skills. Adhering to the three stage of interviewing can ease the burden felt by both the provider and client. Stage 1 is exploration, this stage is meant to help clients identify their experiences and issues (Evans, Hearn, & Uhlemann, 2011, Chapter 1: Attending Behavior. p. 8). Reflective listening, questions, and behavior allow clients to feel heard and validated. Body language and verbal communication allow for open ended questions and reflective answers. This stage sets the tone for positive engagement between client and provider. Clarification is stage 2; helping clients to identify experiences and develop strategies and goals. This stage can be difficult at times because it involves confrontation by the provider in regards to client behavior.
In addition, self-disclosure from the provider may be necessary in order for the client to feel understood. The clarification stage also helps to confirm the meaning of the client’s story and allows the provider to paraphrase the client’s story. Lastly, the third stage of interviewing is action. This stage is where to provider assists the client in achieving goals and maintaining them. The action stage is designed to help a client develop a plan and achieve success. The third stage is often where the provider must close the case once the plan is completed. This can be difficult because a positive relationship is established. The three stages of interviewing are important to follow in order to ensure positive engagement, however a provider must also consider cultural issues.
The beliefs and attitudes of both provider and client can directly impact the engagement place. In the text example of Adisa, the providers validates Adisa’s frustration regarding discrimination and allows Adisa to feel heard. Had the provider only glossed over the underlying negative feelings of discrimination and not asked clarifying questions, Adisa may have felt the provider wasn’t really paying attention. This could make Adisa feel like his concerns were not valuable or important. . By validating Adisa’s feelings the provider allows for open communication that can address the reasons behind Adisa’s thoughts on discrimination. Following the model of interviewing involves clear exploration, clarification, and action. Consideration of cultural dynamics will enhance engagement and allow for positive communication without judgment.
Evans, D. R., Hearn, M. T., & Uhlemann, M. R. (2011). Essential Interviewing. A Programmed Approach to Effective communication (8th Ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.
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