Systemic Questioning Essay

2821 Words12 Pages
Interview Project: Interviewing Styles: Learning to Think Like a MFT
COUN 5220 Introduction to Marriage and Family Therapy
February 19, 2012


Creating trust in the helping relationship is one of the fundamentals of family therapy. Not only must the family learn to trust the counselor, but also the counselor must trust that the family is there willingly to receive help and to learn how to set their own goals and access their own resources to achieve them. Rather than being a passive listening post, a counselor must strive to actively listen and must keep an active engaging mind to compare what each family member is revealing. Clients in turn use the process to try to make sense of their experience. Communication is key
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Circular questioning is a process of creating distinctions and connections. It allows family members to comment on the nature of their relationships with each other. This form of questioning serves as an efficient process for soliciting information from each member of the family regarding their opinion and experience of:(a) the family's presenting concern; (b) sequences of interactions, usually related to the problem; and (c) differences in their relationships over time (Fleuridas, Nelson & Rosenthal, 1986). Reflexive questions are used to invite family reflection and autonomous problem solving. The goal is to help family members recognize how their various reactions, behaviors, and feelings serve as triggers and dynamically influence the family’s interactions. In so doing, they encourage family members to take a step back and look at the family’s issues and patterns from a more disengaged and objective perspective. As a MFT, you realize that reflexive questions are likely to enable the family to generate new insights or solutions by “embedding a working hypothesis into a question (hypothesis introducing)” (Tomm,1988, p. 172). The reflective questions I asked my partner were done so to have her take a look at her background and reflect on what was her greatest influence and what is influencing her to become a MFT. The Interview After reviewing the criteria of the project, I became excited about finally getting to “meet” and speak
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