February 2015 ~ Helpful Conversations - Part 4
- Chapter 8: The Wider Frame
- Chapter 9: Structuring a Conversation or a Series of
- Chapter 10: Safe Practice
- Chapter 11: Systems Issues in Managing the Work
- Resources (links, books, articles, the
2015 ~ Helpful Conversations - Part 4
In November 2014, we are started a series called Helpful Conversations, based on
the work of Regina Wright, a chartered psychologist in Europe. This series
of newsletter articles is based on a one-year university-accredited training program that Regina
created for the National School of Government to teach reflective skills and
individual feedback. Her background work for the training is based on the
work of John Heron, Carl Rogers and Gerard Egan. Regina may be contacted
at HelpfulConversations [at] hotmail.com or by phone in the UK at 0044 1293
518815 (from the US 011-44-1293-518815)
The training was originally created for counselors and has been adapted for
our newsletter series. Since good communications skills are important for anyone in
business, we are pleased to be able to offer this series for our readers with
Regina's permission. Your feedback is
Regina is also offering to give feedback on those who would like to use the
newsletter series as an online course and do the exercises in each
chapter. Send your results and comments directly to Regina via email
to HelpfulConversations [at] hotmail.com using the chapter task list for
each part (downloadable Word document). Regina
has graciously offered to review results at no charge to our
So far, we have considered client conversations as though they took place in a vacuum that is outside of their real life context.
However, employee & organization support conversations very much depend on their wider ‘frame.’
It is time to think about the elements of the wider frame and how they affect conversations.
The Secure Frame
Our starting point is what is known as ‘the secure frame’ of psychotherapy.
We will contrast it with the much more ‘insecure’ kinds of frames of helpful conversations at work.
Elements of the Secure Frame:
- A secure and reliable setting in which there is a fixed place, time and duration for each meeting.
- An appropriate fee to ensure that the therapist is employed by and accountable to the client.
- Privacy and
- Confidentiality, with no third-party intrusions.
- A client-centered therapist who does not permit his or her personal concerns to intrude into the psychotherapeutic work.
- A therapist who refrains from any form of coercion.
- A therapist who refrains from physical contact.
- A therapist who will confine contact with the patient to the psychotherapeutic hour and who has had no extra-therapeutic relationship with the patient — either before, during or after the therapy.
Adapted from Smith, D. L., Communicative psychotherapy in:
M. Jacobs (ed,) In Search of Supervision, OUP, 1996
Advantages of the Secure Frame
The presence of these conditions makes for a ‘secure therapeutic frame.’
From the client’s perspective, it allows them to ‘step out of’ reality into another dimension where the usual everyday rules of conversation do not apply.
They no longer need to:
- Edit what they say.
- Be concerned about how the Recipient is affected.
- Worry about confidentiality.
- Allow for a degree of interpersonal influence or manipulation by the Recipient.
On the contrary, the client is completely safe to say:
- Whatever they want
- However and
. . .
Part 4 is continued in the full Chapter
8-11 for download (as a PDF file). The Chapter
8-11 Task List (Word document) is available for download if you would
like feedback from Regina (at no charge to you).
November 2014 was Part 1 of the
series and includes the Glossary.
Helpful Conversations series ... to be continued ...
- Helping the Client: A Creative Practical Guide. John
Heron. Sage Publications, 2001. ISBN:
- On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy.
Carl Rogers. Mariner Books, 1995. ISBN:
- Client-Centered Therapy: Its Current Practice, Implications and
Theory. Carl Rogers. Robinson Publishing, 2003. ISBN:
- The Skilled Helper: A Problem-Management and Opportunity-Development
Approach to Helping. Gerard Egan. Cengage Learning (2013). ISBN:
- Income Without a Job: Living Well Without a Paycheck. Michael
Jay Anthony, Barbara J. Taylor. Lulu.com,
978-0-557-00377-8. Website: www.income-without-a-job.com.
Tap into your own creativity and use your full potential. Learn
how to see opportunities that others miss.
Related newsletter articles:
- Improving verbal communications
April 2001 - Consulting Skills
November 2007 - True Community
March 2005 - Male/Female
Communication at Work
April 2000 - The Art of Listening
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention.
― Thich Nhat Hanh
The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't being said.
The art of reading between the lines is a life long quest of the wise.
― Shannon L. Alder
The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to
― Ralph G. Nichols
Many a man would rather you heard his story than granted his request.
— Phillip Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield
One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what
another has to say
― Bryant H. McGill
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest
compliment or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life
― Leo Buscaglia
About our resource
links: We do not endorse or agree with all the beliefs in
these links. We do keep an open mind about different viewpoints and
respect the ability of our readers to decide for themselves what is useful.
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