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Reflections. Molly Kellogg’s Step by Step Training 2013. Open ended questions Affirmations Reflections Summaries. OARS. Why reflect? What is reflecting? When to reflect? How to use reflections effectively. OBJECTIVES. Clarity of observation is possible

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Molly Kellogg’s

Step by Step Training



  • Open ended questions

  • Affirmations

  • Reflections

  • Summaries



  • Why reflect?

  • What is reflecting?

  • When to reflect?

  • How to use reflections effectively



Clarity of observation is possible

only when we are able to

suspend judgment.

…Shane Paul


Active listening

Active listening

What you do

  • Restate what you hear

  • Make a guess about meaning and say it as a statement

What you do…

What we do

  • Reflect what we guess

  • Takes a few seconds

  • Rephrase key insights

What we do…



You can reflect on

  • Body language

  • Tone of voice

  • One word

  • A phrase

  • An emotion

  • A whole concept or process

You can reflect on…

Reflecting sounds like

  • You really dislike spinach

  • Cooking is not fun for you

  • You’re confused about how to chose foods

  • Ice cream helps calm you down after work

Reflecting sounds like…

Reflecting sounds like1

  • You have a very busy work schedule

  • You do want to be stronger

  • You care a lot about your kids

  • You haven’t yet found a way to do that

Reflecting sounds like…

Types of reflections

  • Simple

  • Double-sided

  • Reflection with a reframe

  • Reflection with a twist

  • Summary

Types of reflections…





Deeper reflection with a reframe or a twist

Deeper reflection with a reframe or a twist



When to reflect

  • After an open ended question

  • When client is thinking about change

  • When you hear ambivalence

  • When you hear strong feeling

  • When you sense resistance

When to reflect…

Open ended questions

Open ended questions

Change talk

Change talk



Strong feelings

Strong feelings

Rolling with resistance

Rolling with resistance…

What to reflect

  • Change talk: desire, ability, reasons, need, commitment, taking steps

  • Ambivalence

  • Meaning/values/beliefs

  • Knowledge/experience

  • Short summaries

What to reflect…

Values beliefs

Values/ beliefs

Knowledge and experience

Knowledge and experience

What reflecting does

  • Checks assumptions

  • Maximizes information exchange

  • Conveys respect and empathy

  • Highlights and encourages change talk

  • Builds rapport

  • Helps us stay client centered

What reflecting does…

What reflecting does1

  • Reminds us that almost all the answers are in the client

  • Slows down the process when stuck

  • Helps clients see and work through ambivalence

  • Helps when you don’t have a clue what to do or say

What reflecting does…

Powerful reflections are

  • Statements, not questions

    • Inflection goes down at end of statement

  • Brief, short and simple

  • Frequent, more reflections than questions

  • Focused on client

Powerful reflections are…


You can't fake listening,

it shows.

…Raquel Welch


Practice reflecting

  • Observe what you do now

  • Choose a type of reflection to practice

  • Practice with friends and family

  • Find one new thing to reflect with each interaction

Practice reflecting…


Reflecting is something

to practice many times

until it becomes a part of

your way of being with other people.

…Molly Kellogg

Reflecting is somethingto practice many timesuntil it becomes a part ofyour way of beingwith other people.

Reflection practice and discussion

  • Find a Partner

  • Ask: “What do you think about what was just covered with reflections?”

  • Reflect back on your partner’s response

  • Switch

Reflection Practice and Discussion

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