The Helping Interview
There are many sorts of ‘helping interviews’ – but they all have one essential objective. Helping is all about assisting people to manage, and perhaps solve, problems. It is about creating action opportunities to change situations. It is important to have trustworthy people in life to share and discuss problems. Such people might be family members, work colleagues, friends or teachers. Whoever it might be, any person who is involved in a caring role with another person can also take on a therapeutic ‘helping’ role if committed and willing to do so.
When something starts to go wrong in people’s lives, often through no fault of their own, they look to helpers to provide information, ideas, and (possibly) solutions. Common situations of this type include a student seeking assistance from a teacher, a child being guided by a parent, or a worker seeking advice from a colleague. Each situation is an opportunity to provide significant assistance by exploring emotions, gaining insight into perceived difficulties and guiding people towards possible change. People who require help tend to trust people who are socially and culturally similar to themselves. They are more likely to share with people who are happy to listen and understand. They do not want to feel threatened by helpers and they prefer to talk to people who are basically ‘neutral’ in their attitudes and beliefs.
A person requiring help can be ‘emotionally charged’, and the circumstances can be personal in nature. Depending on the problem, the person might be experiencing embarrassment, shame, or guilt. Helping such people therefore requires tact and diplomacy. It requires an empathic awareness that everyone has a problem at some stage in life. This chapter discusses the many sorts of helping interviews. Helping is all about assisting people to manage (and perhaps solve problems). It is about creating action opportunities to change situations. This chapter discusses the many sorts of helping interviews. Helping is all about assisting people to manage (and perhaps solve problems). It is about creating action opportunities to change situations. Guidance is provided for achieving the best outcome possible.
- skills and knowledge
- willingness to help
- coping circles
- the process
- using the tools
- common errors in communication techniques