Advanced Reflecting Skills: Reflecting Meaning and Summarizing|Essay helper

Posted: February 13th, 2023


Techniques Summaries: Chapter 6, Chapter 7, and Chapter 8 (ATTACHED)

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These assessments are designed to help you become an active learner through consistent immersion in the concepts taught in this course. I want you to write professionally in the 3rd person, such as “Reflective listening is a technique that involves”…. no use of 1st person.  I predict that you will learn about yourself as you learn the course content. Length: 3 pages double-spaced 12-point Times New Roman font). If you use references, use APA style.

Here is the format:







Chapter 6 Reflecting Skills: Reflecting Feelings

“The Importance of Understanding Emotions

Understanding another person’s emotions helps us better understand the whole person because

emotions give a window into motivation, current mental state, behavior, and worldview (Izard,

2009). It might even save your life. As an example, Daniel Goleman, the author of Emotional

Intelligence (Goleman, 2006), describes an incident in Iraq where a group of soldiers who were

distributing relief supplies were surrounded by an angry mob of people who thought the

soldiers were there to arrest one of the villagers. Using emotional intelligence, the officer in

charge ordered the soldiers to kneel, point their guns at the ground, and smile, all of which

defused the situation without anyone being hurt. The officer, Lieutenant Colonel Christopher

Hughes, was able to transmit the message through nonverbal means that the soldiers were

nonthreatening and friendly.

Goleman’s story is in support of the thesis that there is a kind of intelligence quite different

from what IQ tests capture (Goleman, 2003). If the soldiers had attempted to explain their

mission to the villagers, it might have been a logical move but not emotionally smart.

Emotional intelligence has been described as the “ability to monitor one’s own and others’

feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one’s

thinking and actions” (Salovey & Mayer, 1990, p. 189).

There is little doubt that helpers must possess this emotional intelligence in the same way that

an engineer must have the intellectual ability to understand higher mathematics. Yet emotional

intelligence can be developed just as mathematical skills can be enhanced (Goleman, 2003).

The ability to recognize and express another person’s feelings can be learned, and it has power

to deepen the relationship and allow the client to release emotional burdens.”

“The Skill of Reflecting Feelings





Being able to recognize emotions in others and convey that you understand their feelings is a

special ability. This skill of reflecting feelings tells your client that you recognize the emotional

background of the story. The building block skill of reflecting feelings is essentially the same

technique as paraphrasing. This time, however, the focus is on emotions rather than on content

and thoughts. Reflecting feelings involves listening and then expressing in your own words the

emotions stated or implied by the client. These emotions may be hidden in the content of the

story or in the nonverbal responses of the client. The emoticon is an attempt to communicate

the emotions that can’t be expressed in a text message or e-mail.

Here is an example of how clients may not openly express a feeling, but it is implicit in the

message. The client says, “I just lost my job,” and looks down. The client’s feelings (shock,

hurt, embarrassment) are beneath the surface of the nonverbal messages and the simple

description of the event. Reflecting feelings shows the client that you understand the deeper



Benefits of Reflecting Feelings

There are four therapeutic benefits of reflecting feelings. First, reflecting feelings makes the

client becomes more keenly aware of the emotions surrounding a topic. Many clients under

disclose, and any method or technique that allows them to more fully experience and express

their feelings is therapeutic (Peluso & Freund, 2018; Whelton, 2004; Young & Bemak, 1996).

Let us suppose that the helper makes a reflection such as, “I can tell that you are terribly angry

about that.” The client’s response may be one of surprise, “Yes, I guess I am.” Because a

reflection is done in a nonevaluative manner, it communicates understanding of feelings that

clients may not be conscious of or think they have no right to feel.

The second therapeutic benefit of reflecting feelings is that it brings the client to deeper and

deeper levels of self-disclosure. An accurate reflection focuses clients on emotions and teaches





them to become aware of and report feelings. It stimulates the client to express other, perhaps

more deeply felt, emotions (Goldman, 2017). Even if the reflection is not quite accurate, the

client will provide a correction that is more on target. For example, when my daughter was 4

years old, some neighborhood kids slammed the door in her face, and she came home crying.

I said, “That must have really hurt your feelings.” She replied, “Yes, and I was embarrassed

and angry too!” I became aware that identifying one feeling evokes other emotions, and I also

learned that kids can learn to label emotions very early—especially a therapist’s kid.

Third, an accurate reflection of feelings has the almost magical power to deepen the

relationship between client and helper (Peluso & Freund, 2018). Nothing transmits

nonjudgmental understanding more completely. This is why reflecting feelings, which

originated in the client-centered tradition of Carl Rogers (1961), has gained such wide usage.

It taps the enormous healing properties of the therapeutic relationship. A beginning helper who

can accurately reflect feelings provides support and understanding without any other tools.

Finally, reflecting feelings brings genuine relief from emotional pressure (Hoffman, Vallejos,

& Cleare-Hoffman, 2015). Take, for example, the client whose wife had left him but would not

say why. He came for help, crying about the lost relationship. He ran the emotional gamut,

from confusion to shock to disgust to affection to rage. Experiencing all these conflicting

emotions in one session can make anyone feel “crazy.” Even though there were still conflicting

feelings, by the end of the first session, the client felt more in control simply because the

feelings were sorted and labeled. Untangling the emotional knots seems to be healing even if

no real action is taken. Somehow, we can accept our feelings as normal reactions when we

bring them to the surface and parcel them out. Reflecting feelings by saying, “You feel so

betrayed, and yet you still feel a bond of affection,” can help to normalize what the client

perceives as a deeply conflicting emotional experience.


Chapter 7 Advanced Reflecting Skills: Reflecting Meaning and



Summarizing is the final reflecting skill in the nonjudgmental listening cycle (NLC). Although

it is easier to learn than reflecting meaning, we place it here because you cannot adequately

summarize until you have paraphrased and reflected feelings and meanings in a client’s story.

Summarizing pulls together everything a client has said in a brief synopsis of the session up to

that point. The summary helps the client make some sense of the tangle of thoughts and feelings

just expressed in the session. In other words, it is a big reflection. The client hears the story in

a more organized way, and it starts to become clearer. The summary ties some of the major

issues that have emerged into a compact version of the story. It may include any of the

following: (1) content, (2) major feelings, (3) meaning issues and themes, and (4) future plans.

Of all the reflecting skills, it could be considered the broadest brush, bringing together main

content, themes, and feelings in the client’s story by concisely recapping them. But summaries

are not to be used only at the end of a session. Summaries may be used in the beginning, middle,

and end. Because summaries have different purposes, they can be divided into four types:

focusing, signal, thematic, and planning summaries.

Focusing Summaries

At the beginning of a session, a summary may help to focus the conversation before it begins.

A focusing summary is an intervention that brings the discussion to bear on the major issues

and themes, places the spotlight on the client’s responsibility for the problem, and reminds the

client of the goals. For example:

“In the last few sessions, it seems like we have been dealing with two major issues. The first is

the way that you are trying to renew your social network and find some supportive friends since





your breakup with Jesse. The other issue is your mixed feelings about living back home with

your parents.”

Focusing summaries are not only to remind clients about their goals from previous sessions.

They can even be used at the first session with a new client. For example, a helper says:

“Let’s review what I know so far. Your mother called and made this appointment for you

because you were arrested about a month ago for public intoxication. One of the conditions of

your probation is that you receive help for your drinking problem. Your probation officer

referred you to our agency. So, you’re here to do something about the problems you’ve been

having with alcohol. Is this about right?”

Brammer (1973) points out that a focusing summary at the beginning gets the client on track

immediately. Contrast this with the traditional opening statements such as, “How have things

been going this week?” or “What would you like to talk about today?” When a client begins

the session by reacting to a focusing summary, the conversation turns to the reason why the

client is seeking help and goals.

Signal Summaries

In the middle of a session, the signal summary tells the client that the helper has digested what

has been said and that the session can move on to the next topic. If the helper does not

summarize occasionally, the client may feel that it is necessary to go over an issue several

times. A good time for a signal summary is when the client seems to have come to the end of

a story and pauses. In the example that follows, see whether you can spot the paraphrases (Ps),

reflections of feelings (ROFs), and reflections of meaning (ROMs) in this parent’s story.

Client: “So that’s about it . . . (pause).”

Helper: “Before we move on, let’s just summarize where we’ve been so far. You have tried to

get professional help for your daughter’s drug problem, and she has rejected it. Because she is

an adult, there is not much force you can apply. This makes you feel helpless, and when you





see her, your relationship is very superficial because you can’t talk about the drug issue without

getting into a fight. You’ve always been the kind of person who likes to leap into action when

a problem arises, and here is a situation where there is little to do. That’s what makes it

especially frustrating.” (summary)

Client: “Yes, but that’s the way it is. Now I guess I need to talk about how I can go on with my

life under these circumstances.”

Helper: “Okay, let’s talk about that.” (door opener)

Thematic Summaries

A theme is a pattern of content, feelings, or meanings that the client returns to again and again

(Carkhuff, 1987). The thematic summary is an advanced reflecting skill because it means that

the helper has to be able to make connections among the content, emotions, or meanings

expressed in many client statements or even over many sessions. When this kind of reflection

is made, it often provides new information to the client, who may be unaware that the issue is

resurfacing so often. Sometimes these themes are referred to as “core issues” because they

represent problems th




In conclusion, understanding emotions plays a crucial role in many aspects of life, from personal relationships to professional settings. Being emotionally intelligent allows individuals to better understand themselves and others, which can lead to better communication, improved problem-solving, and more positive outcomes. Emotional intelligence can also help prevent conflicts and de-escalate situations, as demonstrated in the Iraq example mentioned above. It’s worth noting that emotional intelligence is not a fixed trait and can be developed with practice and effort. By recognizing the importance of emotions and working on developing emotional intelligence, individuals can greatly improve their personal and professional relationships.

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