Ivey Chapter 6

Reflection of Feelings

Types of Feelings:

Primary and Secondary

Primary (4): universal

Secondary (all others): learned

--These are all learned social emotions and are conditions/intensities of primary emotions

Sometimes clients simply don't know how they feel...

Is it...
mixed feelings?
subtle feelings?

Counselor's job is to help them find a way to label their own feelings...

"How do you feel about that?"
"Do any emotions come to mind when you think about that situation?"

This is a time when asking a CLOSED QUESTION may be helpful...
"Did that thought make you feel guilty?"

Sometimes the counselor may have to "guess" the client's feeling. It's ok...just be sure to check it out.

Other things you can try if your client just won't "GET" the feeling...

*"You're close to that. Want to try it again?"
*Remind them of a positive so they can face the negative with some confidence
*Ask them a question. Get them closer to the emotion that way.
*Here-and-Now: "What are you feeling right now?" OR "What's going on in your mind as you're saying this?

Why is identifying the feeling important to the COUNSELOR?

*Builds relationship with the client
*Ensures the counselor is understanding the client
*Makes a client aware of feelings beneath the surface (sometimes unspoken feelings can be detected in vocal tone or in the client's language)
*Fosters insight into the client's issue
*Helps foster dialogue
*Helps focus the session on the important issues
*Helps restrain the counselor from asking too many questions
*Keeps the counselor from trying to solve the client's problem
*Progresses the therapeutic process
*Helps pave the way for the client to take action
*Can take the session to a deeper level

What feelings can you reflect??

*Stated or implied feelings
("You feel frustrated with your son because...")
*What has been observed non-verbally
("I can tell by your clinched fists that you feel angry when you think about your mother.")
*What we believe may have been omitted
("You wonder if it's worth your time to ask for that raise...")
*Specific content
("It sounds as if you really despise being with your family.")

What does "Reflection of Feeling" Entail? (It's an equation.)

1. Use a sentence stem
2. Add a feeling label
3. Brief paraphrase
4. Use a check out

Stem: I hear you saying...
Label: ...you're angry and sad...
Paraphrase: ...because your dad left when you were young...
Check out: ...is that right?

Let's try it together:

College student is conflicted about their choice of majors since they enjoy both math and creative writing.


Ok. So your client has found their feelings. But they are VERY emotionally overwhelming...

KEY: If the COUNSELOR is OK with a client's emotion--the CLIENT has a better chance of being ok with it too

You might say...
*I'm here...
*Let' it out...it's ok...
*I hear you...
*Breathe with it...

Helping a client recover if they have just been REALLY emotional...

*Don't let it go on too long (two minutes or so...)
*Suggest that they slow down their breathing and/or walk around
*Discuss their positives/strengths
*Reframe the emotional experience in a positive way
*Remind them that it helps to tell the story several times

1. Reflection of feeling is similar to paraphrasing...
Paraphrasing is about CONTENT
Reflection of feelings is about FEELINGS
2. What lies below words? Feelings.
3. Counselors like to think of this as "feeding feelings back to the client"
4. If you reflect feelings regarding the more insignificant portion of the story the client may feel like you aren't listening