Social Work and Human Services Assignment Paper on Active Listening

Active Listening

I have no place to turn. I am always alone…I mean I have a lot of friends but I’m not sure they are real friends. We get together every weekend but sometimes when they don’t call I get all paranoid and feel like…. I don’t know. I just wish that sometimes I could be a fly on the wall, but I can’t so it makes me…. uh um…. uncomfortable. I guess. 

Paraphrase:this person most probably feels lonely and is a bit distrustful of his/her friends. As a therapist who is an active listener, one should restate these ideas as follows: “Let’s see if I am clear about this, you feel lonely at times, even though you have a lot of friends. Could it be that you find it hard to trust your friends? ”

 Clarify: this is done to get more information from the client regarding what they have said earlier. “You have said that you sometimes feel like you would like to be the fly on the wall. Does that mean that you do not wish to get noticed and yet want to witness the occasion? Tell me more about that…”

Validate: this is done to acknowledge the problems and feelings of the speaker. It makes them feel worthy. “I understand how uncomfortable that can feel…” or “I appreciate your courage and willingness to talk about such a difficult issue…”

Identify:This expresses a deeper understanding of the situation that the client is going through. A sample statement may include: “I understand how awful it is to be in a room full of people and yet feel lonely…”

I have this problem. My family is crazy. My parents are like two big kids. I feel like I always have to tell them what the right thing to do is… and then they get mad at me. I know I can’t take care of them but it’s like they mess around and are irresponsible and then they want to complain to me about how everyone else is messed up. I feel like when I call them there is always some issue they are not telling me about. Is it me? Am I the one who’s crazy here?

Summarize:This is done to put together ideas facts and feelings in order to have basis for continuation of the discussion. “What I hear you saying is that you feel like your parents are immature and irresponsible, right…?”

Clarify:to get deeper understanding and more information from the client. “I have heard you say that your parents mess around. Could you please tell me more about that?”

Validate:to acknowledge the feeling and sentiments of the client. “I think I understand how disappointed you feel by your family, especially your parents.”or “I appreciate your willingness to discuss such a sensitive issue with me.”

Identify:to show the client that you can relate to how they feel. “I can relate to how disappointing and frustrating it is to not know what the real problem is. I know you feel unappreciated by your parents when they get mad at you after you have just suggested the right thing to do…”

We have been married for just under a year. It is a second marriage for both of us. I have no children and she does and they are grown. Since I have been married I feel like I have to cater to her children. I can respect that I realize she’s their mother but come on already. I don’t want her to fight with her kids but I just can see how they take advantage of her. Then I get dragged into it. It upsets me to watch her give so much and get very little in return.

Paraphrase: “let me see if I am clear about this, you have said that your spouse’s children are grown, and therefore capable of taking care of themselves…is that correct?

Summarize:“These seem to be the issues you have expressed: The children from your spouse’s previous marriage are taking advantage of her affection for them. You don’t know how to point it out to her without causing a rift between you and them, and it frustrates you to get dragged into catering for them. Am I right?”

Question: leading questions could be used-“Could you tell me more about how you met your current wife? Do you have any other unresolved issues apart from her children?” or close-ended questions-“Have you considered telling your wife exactly how you feel?”

Identify: “I understand how annoying it is to witness your wife get taken advantage of by grown children…

(From a child) I don’t want to go on the bus anymore. How come my parents can’t drive me? I don’t like school. I just want to stay home.

Question: “How comes you do not want to go on the bus anymore?or “Have you asked your parents to drive you? What was their response?”

Summarize: “So, it seems to me as if the problem is the school and not really the bus, as you have mentioned that you just want to remain at home, is that right?

Build: helps continue the discussion and suggest solutions-“Have you considered discussing this issue with your parents?” “If you are left at home, don’t you think you will be very lonely, as every other kid will be at school?”

Identify: “I fully understand how confused and frustrated you feel. I was once in the same situation. Do not worry, you will be alright”