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Advanced Empathy, Validation, Immediacy. Week Five. Fixing vs. Exploring Probes. “Fixing” is our natural response when given a problem Goals of stage 1 probes: Clarifying & better understanding the issue Making a better empathy statement Avoiding assumptions

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fixing vs exploring probes
Fixing vs. Exploring Probes
  • “Fixing” is our natural response when given a problem
  • Goals of stage 1 probes:
    • Clarifying & better understanding the issue
    • Making a better empathy statement
    • Avoiding assumptions
    • Assumptions check list: Do you understand…
      • The situation?
      • The feeling?
      • The meaning?
      • The connections between the three?
oh god not the triangle again
Stage II Goals

Identify common themes and underlying issues

Go deeper

Help the individual obtain a new perspective

Focus on the particular areas of concern

Allows counselor to use intuition

Oh god not the triangle again
matching game

Matching Game

(Feeling words are so cool.)

advanced empathy
Advanced Empathy
  • What is it?
    • Hunch with evidence
  • Why use it?
    • Provides insight, deeper understanding, clarity and focus
    • Moves session forward
    • Identifies themes
    • Connects islands of thought
    • Makes the implied explicit

A hunch 

still advanced empathy
…still advanced empathy
  • When?
    • After established rapport
    • Underlying feelings present.
    • Ask yourself:
      • What is the person only half saying or saying in a confused way?
      • What is the person hinting at?
      • What implicit messages your do you hear?
  • How do you use it?
    • Empathy formula
    • Evidence
still advanced empathy7
…still advanced empathy
  • Remember:
    • Don’t just use a different word for what is already implied by session
    • Allow the risk!
still advanced empathy8
…Still advanced empathy

Advanced empathy insurance! You can try some of these

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds like…

I’m getting the impression that…

Just to make sure we’re on the same page…

This may be a long shot but…

This is what I’m hearing you saying… is that correct?

what feelings could she be having
What feelings could she be having?

“I hear so many different things from people I care about. I have a few friends who are lesbian or bisexual. I’ve talked to some of them and they are really supportive… so are some of my straight friends. However, my parents believe that homosexuality is unnatural… and they are very vocal about their dislike of lesbian, gay, or bisexual people. Then, I hear all kinds of mean and hurtful comments from other people that I hang out with. I wonder what all of these people would think if I told them that I was a lesbian. Would some like me or not like me dependent on whether or not I identify myself as a lesbian? I don’t want to lose any of my friends… but are they really my friends if they would no longer like me solely because I am a lesbian.”

  • What?
    • It’s okay to feel that way!
  • Why?
    • Acceptance of feelings
    • Affirms feelings aren’t wrong
  • When?
    • Guilt
    • Conflicted
    • “I shouldn’t feel this way…”

(^a little corny)

more validation
More Validation
  • How?
    • It makes sense that you feel _______.
    • Examples:
      • “From what you’ve been saying, it makes sense that you’re angry.”
      • “We’ve been talking for awhile about how difficult it has been for you to accept your father’s drinking problems. It seems very understandable that you’d feel uncomfortable going home for breaks.”
      • “I know this isn’t easy to talk about, but you did call and that takes courage.”
more validation12
More Validation
  • Remember:
    • Use only when needed: too much use can sound minimizing.
    • Use with confidence!
    • Validate FEELINGS rather than ACTIONS!



  • What?
    • Focus on the “here and now”
    • Focus on issue giver
  • Why?
    • Current feelings
immediacy continued
Immediacy Continued
  • How?
    • Need these:
      • “Here and now” of issue
      • Focus on issue giver – not others involved
    • Use if necessary:
      • “Here and now” of counseling session
        • Process of session
          • Physical behavior
          • How the session is going
      • You as a counselor
demos from you
Demos – from you!
  • Ayellet & Courtney: Validation
  • David & Maxine: Immediacy
  • Maryam & Kate: Advanced Empathy
  • Danielle & Nayla: Probes