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SUMMARIES. Molly Kellogg Step by Step Training 2013. oars. Open questions Affirm Efforts and Strengths Reflect Summarize. Outline. Why summarize? What is effective summarizing? When to summarize? How to use summaries effectively. Why summarize?.

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Molly Kellogg

Step by Step Training


  • Open questions
  • Affirm Efforts and Strengths
  • Reflect
  • Summarize
  • Why summarize?
  • What is effective summarizing?
  • When to summarize?
  • How to use summaries effectively
why summarize
Why summarize?

Life is not holding a good hand;

Life is playing a poor hand well.

Danish proverb

what you do
What you do…

Collect the main themes

from the client

and reflect them as a statement

time to summarize
Time to summarize…
  • Throughout the contact
  • At the end of contact
what summarizing sounds like
What summarizing sounds like…

Let’s see if I’ve heard you right, Mrs. Jones…

You are worried that your son is still using a bottle all day and know this may be contributing to his excess weight gain.

You’ve been offering him a cup at meals and are pleased that he seems to be able to use it.

You are not ready yet to put him to bed without a bottle.

You liked my idea of bringing a sippy cup when you are out and will start doing that today.

Have I missed anything?

when to summarize
When to summarize…
  • When you want to ask for action
  • Prior to shifting gears
  • When you hear ambivalence and want to open the idea of exploring it further
  • When you want to give advice and expect resistance
  • At the end of a session
  • Double sided reflection
  • Ask permission
give advice
Give advice
  • Affirm
  • Ask permission
end of contact
End of contact
  • Commitments
what to include
What to include…
  • Change talk: desire, ability, reasons, need
  • Steps taken already
  • Commitments
  • Ask for a response
ending the conversation
Ending the conversation
  • Did I get it all?
what summarizing does
What summarizing does…
  • Shows you have been listening and remembering…
  • Helps you pull together the themes
  • Allows you to confirm your image of what is true
what summarizing does1
What summarizing does…
  • Reemphasizes certain aspects or ideas
  • Sets up opportunity to ask for action
  • Helps you shift gears
  • Client hears own motivations all together
  • Repeat reframes
  • Selectively include change talk

Summaries help us refocus on things

that we are adequate at

and therefore get unstuck.

practice summarizing
Practice summarizing…
  • Write what to include on a sticky note
  • Form a summary of an observed session
  • Practice summarizing a typical client session
  • Say your summary out loud
practice practice practice

It takes a lot of practice

before summaries are easy

…have fun with them!

Molly Kellogg