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Any COUNSELLORS or THERAPISTS around who could help me with an interview task!?

(12 Posts)
TicketyTockety Thu 11-May-17 10:26:34

Hi all, I have posted this once in 'chat' but thought it might get a response/ be better placed here, so am posting again...

I am trying to do a written pre interview task for a masters course in counselling. Any with relevant experience/ qualifications around who would like to help me deal with a hypothetical scenario that I am being asked to respond to?


AliceTown Thu 11-May-17 10:29:14

What modality is the course?

TicketyTockety Thu 11-May-17 10:45:44

Oops, sorry, you can tell i'm a novice can't you!?

it's a post grad course for people with professional qualifications in other fields, who want to develop counselling skills to enhance their work with children and young people.

the task involves explaining how you would respond to an awkward group dynamic with fellow students.

AliceTown Thu 11-May-17 10:48:22

It would depend on the modality. A psychodynamic counsellor would approach the situation entirely differently to a person centred one or a Gestalt one or an integrative one (and one integrative one would work differently to another integrative one depending on what they integrate!)

TicketyTockety Thu 11-May-17 10:55:47

OK... this course requires experience working professionally with target age group but no actual counselling experience. So....I'm guessing they are not expecting me to be able to respond to the scenario as a qualified counsellor adhering to a particular approach.

They seem to teach a range of approaches, with tutors from different backgrounds (they mention creative therapies, CBT and brief solution focussed therapy).

The scenario explained is very much about the group dynamic and dealing with over bearing / withdrawn members of the group.

AliceTown Thu 11-May-17 11:04:36

Okay, I guessing what they're looking for is how you would deal with it - not that there is a wrong or right way to do it. Do you place more value on guiding and controlling the group or on individual autonomy, for example. How can you respect differences while ensuring participation. Does it matter if Jill dominates every conversation - is it up to the others to speak up for themselves or do you as facilitator set some boundaries, and does that involve putting pressure on Steve who hasn't said two words since he arrived to speak up more. Do you leave them to develop their own ground rules or help them sort out their own group "contract"?

It might be worth looking at Tuckman's stages of group development too, as the stage of the group might make a difference to the sort of intervention you make.

TicketyTockety Thu 11-May-17 11:13:40

Alice, that is soooo helpful! I will look up Tuckman, as you kindly suggest. I had already thought about the facilitator/ role angle. although instinctively, I might want to jump in and rescue shy Steve and get Jill to button it, I guessed that they might be looking for greater subtlety!

Have you got any good 'one liners' that I could say to Jill? And what about Steve, if he was withdrawn and looking down at the floor? Should I try to draw him in? Or is it his prerogative to be silent?

What if someone was very intrusive with their questioning and someone was visibly upset? I know how i would react as a fellow compassionate human being, but not sure if they're looking for something i am missing!

TicketyTockety Thu 11-May-17 11:14:14

'group contract' ...i like that idea.

AliceTown Thu 11-May-17 11:23:06

Again, it comes down to how you want to work. If the number of sessions are limited, it might make sense to be more directive - and you could do this by giving each person a certain amount of time to speak, or by saying "I'd like to hear from those who haven't said so much today", or you could ask directly "Steve, I'm wondering how you are experiencing the group today as I haven't heard from you".

Similarly the with intrusive questioning - you could leave them to it, trusting they will find ways to stick up for themselves, or you could ask for a "pause" to unpick the interaction (how is the questioner feeling, how is the interrogated one feeling, were they aware of the impact of their actions, did they intend that to be the impact they made etc), or you can share how the questioning was making you feel, or you could ask what it's like to ask those questions or be asked them.

I'm a great believed in trusting your gut. What works for one practitioner is not right for another but I personally believe that authenticity is really important. We pick up on authenticity in so many ways and if the group feels you aren't authentic, it can be difficult for them to be.

TicketyTockety Fri 12-May-17 11:38:52

Alice, you are an absolute star- thank you!

I have now finished my first draft but there is one issue i am not sure how to broach. I have been asked to say how i would FEEL about the scenario described, in which some members are being domineering and possibly disrespectful. Am i 'supposed' to acknowledge that i might a bit cross/ frustrated/ protective towards some member of the group although not necessarily act on these feelings, or would a counsellor maintain more of a professional distance?

Any suggestion, please, Alice or other helpful MNers? smile

AliceTown Fri 12-May-17 13:11:02

I'd go with how you think you'd feel. That question sounds like it's asking about your awareness of your emotions, and counsellor's still have emotions, we just might bracket them sometimes - it's important to acknowledge how you're feeling when with clients but you don't necessarily have to act on it in that moment. So what are your feelings, how do you manage them in the moment and how do you maintain healthy boundaries when experiencing those feelings.

tideishighbutimholdingon Fri 12-May-17 20:54:15

Oh. I think this is the task for the course that I just got accepted on to.

Does the Uni name begin with N?

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