Part A: Attending Behaviors Observation
The following paper deals with a brief SOLER analysis of Dr. B counseling a family (Rian, Mike, and Meara). In the interview, I noticed that the counselor, Dr. Buckley, had a fixed posture that showed his concentration at the clients. In all instances, he displayed an open posture while listening and asking questions. The message sent was that he wanted his clients to feel relaxed and indulged. The open posture of Dr. Buckley when facing his clients allowed me to conclude that he wished to be involved in whatever the client had to say. Such an open posture is conducive for holding meaningful discussions by setting up a relaxing mood for open sharing. I observed that the mock clients reacted to the doctor’s gestures by fully participating in the discussions while maintaining eye contact as well. They were also attentive (Motschnig & Nykl, 2014).
During his first interview with Rian, Dr. Buckley made several gestures including hand signals, indicating Rian to carry on speaking. He further nodded his head on several occasions to show that he was listening to what Rian was saying. Additionally, during his interviews with Mike and Meara, he clinched his hand while explaining or emphasizing the points he was delivering. In several instances, he leaned towards the clients to listen to their opinions. For me, such gestures indicate that the doctor wished to ensure that whatever message he had for the clients, he delivered it purposefully. The mock clients responded to the doctor’s hand gestures by actively participating in the discussions. They relaxed after seeing the doctor nod during their meeting and even went further to expound on whatever it was that they were saying (Brand, 2014).
Furthermore, during the interviews, Dr. Buckley made several facial expressions. He raised his eyebrows to show that he understood what the client was saying. In some instances, he smiled when clients said something amusing. In overall, during the largest share of his interviews with the clients, the counselor wore a straight face. The reason for this was to show the seriousness of the discussions in order to persuade the clients to reciprocate the same kind of seriousness. The various facial expressions of the counselor were essential in sending the message that the doctor was very attentive. As for the mock clients, they sent the message that the counselor was participating in the meeting by laughing at the amusing moments, maintaining eye contact, and keeping a straight face when listening and offering advice (Stevenson, 2014).
The final observable aspect of the meeting was the counselor’s voice. During the sessions, Dr. Buckley attempted to make his voice and speech as clear as possible to avoid any instances of repetition. He asked his questions in a simplified and direct manner while avoiding shouting or raising his voice. In his sessions, the doctor spoke with a calm and relaxed voice. The message this tonal usage sent was that he, the doctor, wished to keep the mood with his clients as calm as possible. He avoided using tonal variations that indicated surprise or judgment and opted for one that displayed understanding. For the mock clients, the doctor’s tonal usage encouraged them to continue participating without the feeling of being judged. The level voice further calmed the people allowing them to continue until the fully allocated time durations (Brown, 2007).
Personally, for me, it is very easy to tune in to another person. I am an avid socializer and by so I try as much as possible to make a new friend every passing week. Generally, during my interactions, I know I am not fully myself when I have to pardon the person I was talking to more than once. In such instances, I may be distracted by something I may be doing, especially when I am working on projects. In other instances, I find myself being the cause of distractions to others due to my annoying habit of tapping on the table with my fingers. I am currently working on getting rid of the habit. Nonetheless, during serious discussions, at all times I maintain an open posture and eye contact, lean forward when needed, and try to relax as much as possible. I have figured out that in order to be more effective when communicating, first of all, I have to train my mind to relax and concentrate on the discussion I may be involved in. Furthermore, I plan to learn hand gestures that align with my speech to avoid any distractions to counterparts and myself.
Part B: Use of Encouragers Experiment – The Food Monologue
Encouragers are essential during conversations, as I learned at an interview session with a participant. My participant’s favorite meal is grilled cheese. During the session where he told me about his favorite meal, I tried as much to keep a blank plain face. On the other hand, I attempted to use encouragers such as “anh-hanh,” head nods and smiles as he told me about his worst meal, broccoli with a side dish of a snail. When I asked him to add one thing about one of the meals, he attempted to recommend that broccoli and snail should not be a meal at all. What I noticed about our session was that the encouragers kept him involved. Even though he talked about a meal he disliked, he still felt obliged to continue talking about it. On the other hand, when I failed to use encouragers as he spoke about grilled cheese, he perhaps felt that I was not interested and therefore, he attempted to make his answers as brief as possible. Conclusively, I understood that using encouragers assists in keeping the conversation ongoing while also getting the other party involved.
Part C: Paraphrase and Reflection of Feeling Exercise
Paraphrase: You are in a dilemma about your current emotions. On the one hand, you remember the experience, which you used to have with a loving husband whom you adored but lacked any feelings of real passion, but on the other hand, you have met someone who drives out the passion in you. You are unsure of whether to pursue these newfound emotions or not.
Reflection of feeling: You feel confused about whether you are with the right person or not. You also feel betrayed by yourself for having married a man to whom you did not have any passion and wonder why you have not met this other person earlier.
Paraphrase: You feel guilty for not checking on the condition of the man whom you knocked after he hit a building wall. You further feel obliged to know if the man is in the hospital. Additionally, you wonder whether he reported the incidence to the police. You now wonder whether you should go and clarify this with the hospital or police.
Reflection of feeling: You feel angry with yourself for kicking a man and leaving him without checking whether he was injured or not.
Paraphrase: It is difficult for you to comprehend the purpose of a counseling session seeing that nothing much has changed about your life. You wonder whether you are doing the right thing or not.
Reflection of feeling: You feel angry with yourself for not being able to change some of the things in your life, even though you are taking the initiative to attend counseling to assist you to make changes.
Paraphrase: You wonder why the other woman does not value the husband she has and keeps complaining about him. If she only knew how lucky she was, according to you, and had a husband such as yours for one day, she would learn to appreciate the one she has. On the other hand, having a husband such as hers would make you a happy person.
Reflection of feeling: You feel angry with the other woman for not appreciating her husband. You are further angry about the behaviors and mannerisms of your husband. You would wish for him to change for the better.