Exercise: Constructing a Nonjudgmental Listening Cycle
After each client statement, there is a prompt for you to write a specific response. Record
your answer as if you were actually talking to the client. Additionally, after you have
completed the assignment, go back and reflect upon your experience in a few
paragraphs: Which questions were easy to answer? Which questions were hard to
answer? What area do you have to work on and why?
Background: Jennifer, age 15, a high school sophomore, has problems with motivation.
She is about to fail her social studies class, requiring her to attend summer school. Her
main goal is to pass social studies, and you have agreed to help.
• 1. Identify an open question or door opener to start the interview.
Jennifer: “You probably know I’m failing social studies. That’s all my mom talks about. I
am not studying as hard as she wants me to. But I can’t sleep very well. So I sleep in
class sometimes. It’s really boring and I’m not going to need social studies, I am going to
be a flight attendant. I can’t wait until I get out of high school and can run my own life
for a change.”
• 2. Respond to Jennifer with a paraphrase.
Jennifer: “It’s like this all the time, people telling me what to do. I want to pass but I just
can’t sleep. Maybe if everybody would leave me alone. My friends are having trouble
with Mr. Robinson, the social studies teacher. Everyone in the class is probably failing.”
• 3. Respond to Jennifer with a reflection of feeling.
Jennifer: “Yeah, that’s how I feel. But why can’t I be treated like an adult? At home, my
mom is always after me. She and my dad are divorced. When I go to his house, he
doesn’t pressure me. He lets me do what I want. I would go and live with him but when I
bring it up, he changes the subject. If they make me go to summer school, I will really be
hard to live with. They have no idea.”
• 4. Respond to Jennifer with a reflection of meaning.
Jennifer: “The main thing is I have got to pass this class ‘cause I can’t handle the whole
summer in school again. The summer is when you’re supposed to go to the mall and the
beach. If they make me go to summer school, I’ll probably sleep in class.”
• 5. Respond to Jennifer with a summary.
- 12pt Times New Roman
- One-inch margins
- NUMBER YOUR RESPONSES
- MAX: 3 PAGES