A Taster of Chapter 1

Some of the principals explained in chapter 1

The Goals


The Process

The Practice

Examples of Selective Active Listening:

i) specific information about the problem being made explicit thus enhancing the clients knowledge.

pupil "Michael`s always messing around thats why I hit him "

Teacher "You hit Michael"

Pupil "He`s alsways getting on my nerves so I punched him"

Teacher "You punched Michael"

Pupil "Yes and now I`m suspended"

The teacher only reflected back to the pupil those parts of the pupils utterances that were leading to the nautre of the pupils unacceptable behaviour being made explicit. Consequently the parts of the utterances that did not facilitate this were ignored ie "Michael`s always messing around..." and "He`s always getting on my nerves". Thus by being selective in what was reflected back to the pupil the teacher elicited the nature of the problem behaviour form the pupil.

ii) Concern about the problem being elicited

pupil "Yes, an now I`m suspended"

Teacher "You punched Michael and as a result you have been suspendedl"

Pupil "Yes I shouldnt have lost my temper"

Teacher "You lost your temper"

Pupil "I try to control it but sometimes I can't"

Teacher " Sometimes you can't control your temper"

Pupil "Yes, that`s what gets me into trouble"

In this continuation of the MI interview the client is led from a description of a specific incident
( punching Michael ) to i) the identification of a more general problem, losing his temper, and to ii) an expression of concern about this general problem. The technique of selective active listening is seen in the teacher reflecting back "you lost your temper" but not "I shouldn't have" and reflecting back "sometimes you can`t control your temper" but not "I try to control it".

iii) Feelings of enhanced self-efficacy being promoted

Pupil "I`ve always done awful in all my exams except science"

Teacher "You`ve done well in science"

Pupil "Only because I like science and I revised"

Teacher "So when you revise you can do well in exams"

The teachers first response "You`ve done well in science" is a selective reflection which emphasises a positive pupil achievement and therefore promotes feelings of self-efficacy: "I`ve always done awful in exams", the negative component of pupil`s utterance, is ignored.

iv) Promoting an internal attribution bias

The above teacher-pupil interaction continued as follows:

Pupil "Only because I like science and I revised"

Teacher "So when you revise you can do well in exams"

The teachers second response, "when you revise you can do well in exams" is a selective reflection that supports the development of an internal attributional style.