You have three tasks to accomplish in this first interview. First, listen and convey an accurate understanding of
clients’ perceptions about themselves and their problems. When you convey this understanding, it does not
mean that you necessarily agree with them, but it does mean that you have heard them accurately. To do this
well, you need to allow people to proceed in their own words. As they talk to you about what led to their
seeking help, you can reflect back their feelings and perceptions about their situation, responding to feelings
and to content. In this way, you sort out with the client what is important.
After reading Chapter 15, your are to submit a 500 page -paper that will include the following:
1. the area in which you would interview the client ( discuss if it is in office, hospital or at their home)
2. questions you would ask at the first interview
3. issues you might run into
You need to add to this list.
Here are some examples:
First Interview Tasks Here are some tasks to complete during the interview:
1. Do They Have Any Questions? Ask people if they have any questions, and answer these questions
thoughtfully. This is part of giving people information they need to give informed consent.
2. Do You and the Client Have a Mutual Understanding of the Problem? Work with people to define their
problem in language they can understand. This is very important because it gives you and your clients a
mutually clear definition of the presenting problem. The most important thing is to learn the client’s
understanding of his problem. It is not how you see it, at this point, but rather how does the client see and
understand his situation.
3. What Are the Client’s Expectations? Talk to clients about what to expect as a result of coming to the agency.
Ascertain what their goals are for themselves, the sort of service they are looking for, and the expected
outcome. You might say, “Tell me something about where you would like to be a month (or 4 months, or
whatever) from now.”
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