Ivey Chapter 4

Questions Open Communication

Why are questions essential?

Intentional Questions Help in Counseling

*Questions guide the counseling session in a direction the counselor believes is helpful
*Helps counselor fill in the gaps when data is missing

*Good question starters...
WHY (can sometimes sidetrack)

Questions can be problematic though...

*Can make the client feel like you are grilling them...

*Can be confusing (stacking)
*Ask yourself--do you really need the nitty-gritty to be helpful?

Special Pitfall:

When the counselor uses a question to get their own agenda across.
Example: "Do you really think it was wise to leave school at that point?"

Open Questions vs. Closed Questions

General Info about Open Questions

*Cannot be answered in just a few words
*give more control of the session to the client
*facilitate deeper exploration of the issues
*encourages clients to talk and provide maximum information
*Usually begin with WHAT, HOW, WHY, or COULD

General Info about Closed Questions

*Tend to be answered in only a few words
*Burden of guiding the talk remains on counselor
*If overused the counselor might run out of things to say
*Usually begin with IS, ARE, or DO
*A positive is that they can bring out important, specific data

Some general questions that work well in counseling:

*Is there anything else going on in your life?
*What have we missed today?
*What else do you want to share with me?

The GOLDEN Question...

"Could you give me a specific example?"

Often takes the client from vague to more specific and this will give you a direction to go...

Best advice...

When you don't know what to do...you're stuck...have no direction...are desperate for "what's next??"
ask an open-ended question.

Examples include:
*Could you tell me more about that?
*How does that make you feel?
*What is your ideal solution to the problem?
*What else do you want to share today?

These questions will help you...
*buy some time to think
*will give you a new lead to try
*or will just give your session a sort-of "kick start"