- Beth Boardley
An interview guide can greatly assist in gathering adequate information. This guide will allow you to ensure your steps are in order and that you have everything written down that needs to be covered. This helps ensure that you conduct a quality interview. The interview guides contains things such as a summary for the purpose of the interview, the structure and questions, and different techniques to use. For this assignment the interview guide will be created for an interview with a client whom is experiencing persistent headaches as well as troubles sleeping.
Identify and summarize the purpose of your interview. How will the information you gather be used?
The purpose for this interview is to gather information in hopes to help diagnose and form a treatment plan for a client whom claims to be suffering from persistent headaches as well as troubles sleeping. The information gathered will be used to help form a diagnosis as well as develop a treatment plan in order to alleviate or eliminate his symptoms.
Explain how you will structure the interview and your reasoning behind the structuring of the interview. Include a list of topics you plan to cover.
This interview will be structured like most. It will begin with an opening which will include a greeting and gathering basic information, followed by the body in which the interview will take place, and then the wrap-up or closing in which the interview will be concluded. This interview will be moderately scheduled as it will have prepared questions but will also allow for additional questions if necessary. It will be this way to ensure that I ask all the questions I need as well as allow me to ask follow up or additional questions that may arise.
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For this interview I am allotting a 60 minute time slot. This will allow me to go in depth and discuss things adequately. This allows for approximately 10 minutes for the opening and closing and 50 minutes for the body of the interview which will include explaining the purpose for the interview as well as gathering information. I plan to cover topics such as symptoms and medical history, stress in relation to work, school, and relationships, and things the client has tried to reduce symptoms and stressors.
Compose the questions you will use to obtain the information (develop a minimum of 15-20 questions). Be sure that you develop a minimum of 5 open and 5 closed ended questions.
- What is your age and gender?
- What would you classify your current relationship status as?
- What is your current employment status? What is your current occupation?
- How many hours do you typically work in a week?
In relation to symptoms:
- How long have you been experiencing these headaches?
- Do you remember a specific time in which they became more persistent?
- How often do the headaches typically last?
- Where do you feel the pain and what type of pain is it? (eg. Radiating, pulsing)
- Is there any treatments you have tried that have helped relieve the headaches?
- When did you begin experiencing troubles sleeping?
- Can you please describe the problems you have?
- How many nights a week do you experience these problems?
- Is there anything that you have tried that helps alleviate these troubles?
In relation to stresses:
- Can you tell me about your life before you started having these persistent headaches and troubles sleeping?
- What are the stressors from your viewpoint?
- On what basis have you reached that conclusion?
- What percent of the time do you feel that you are stressed?
- What is it like the other percent of time for you?
- How does a typical day go for you?
- Tell me about your current relationship?
- How do you typically handle stresses in your relationship?
- What type of stress do you experience at work?
- Have you found anything that seems to make the stress at work any less or worse?
- How would you describe the level of stress you experience related to school?
In relation to reducing symptoms and stress:
- What types of activities seem to reduce the stress in your life?
- Can you think of any ways in which you could eliminate some of the stressors?
- What types of treatments have you found beneficial to reduce your headaches and troubles sleeping?
- What percent of the time do these actions work to reduce them?
Develop a minimum of 5 examples of paraphrasing, summaries, or reflections techniques that could be used during your interview (must have at least one of each paraphrase, summary, and reflection). When you conduct your actual interview, these exact examples you create may not fit depending on the responses of your interviewee, but it is important to start thinking now about how you will incorporate these techniques. For this Interview Guide assignment, develop hypothetical examples of each type of technique.
- Client: I have been experiencing persistent headaches and have been having trouble sleeping for several months now and it is really starting to affect all aspects of my life.
- Me: The problems sleeping and headaches are beginning to have a negative effect on your life.
- Client: Yes, they are.
- Me: Can you tell me about your life before you started having these persistent headaches and troubles sleeping?
- Client: Well before I wasn’t going to school. Also my wife and kids weren’t moved down with me yet so while it was stressful having them so far away it was less stressful because I didn’t have such the financial responsibility, scheduling issues, and just normal stress of having a family.
- Me: School and the movement of your family down has caused some additional stress for you.
- Client: Yes, but I love having my family here now and I need to continue with school so I don’t really know how to make it different.
- Me: Is there anything that you have tried that helps alleviate these troubles?
- Client: I have tried so many things. I did what the doctor suggested like different medications, I stopped drinking caffeine, and I even quit watching television while lying in bed. Nothing he has suggested has worked for me.
- Me: So you have done everything the doctor has suggested and it is not working for you.
- Me: So if I can summarize what we have discussed so far it seems that bringing your family down and the starting school has caused some additional stress in your life. You have begun to experience persistent headaches and problems sleeping which is starting to have a negative effect on your life.
- Me: So at work your boss is very confusing as he constantly changes the way he wants the work completed and your wife think that you over exaggerate your symptoms which makes you feel as though she downplays the way you feel?
- Client: I don’t understand my boss sometimes. One time I turn something in and it is the right way and the next time I turn it in the same way and he says it is wrong and I have to redo it all.
- Me: You feel very confused by him?
- Client: My wife thinks I over exaggerate my headaches and problems sleeping. She always just says men complain so much when they don’t feel good.
- Me: You feel as though she downplays your symptoms?
Identify the opening techniques you will utilize to build rapport with the volunteer/client.
To help build rapport I plan to greet the client in a professional manor with a smile. I plan on establishing our relationship as well as stating the purpose for the interview. I also plan to utilize the SOLER approach to body language which is S—sit squarely, O—open posture, L—lean forward, E—eye contact, and R—relax (Murphy & Dillon, 2010, p. 99). Along with those I intend to ensure that my appearance is neat and my clothing is professional. I may open with a statement such as:
- “Good morning/afternoon, how are you? My name is Beth, you must be Mr. Boardley, how would you prefer I address you?”
- Mr. Boardley’s response.
- “How did you travel here today, did you walk or drive?”
- Mr. Boardley’s response.
- “How was the traffic?”
- Discuss my travel experience to the office as well as discuss their response. “I’m glad that you made the effort to come into the office today, how did you hear about our service?”
Identify types/examples of questions you want to avoid during interview.
For this interview it is important to avoid to usual question pitfalls which are bipolar, loaded, and stacked questions. An example of a bipolar question would be “How is your relationship?” This question is closed and allows for a very broad range of answers as I could be talking about work or personal relationships. An example of a loaded question would be “Does this behavior make you feel better?” Stacked questions should also be avoided. This is asking multiple questions at once. An example of stacking questions would be “How often do you experience headaches and sleeping troubles? How long do the headaches last? What types of troubles sleeping are you experiencing? Does anything relieve these problems?” By asking all these questions at once it is easy to confuse the client as well as it does not allow for them to put forth the thought necessary to accurately answer each question or allow for follow up questions or clarification.
It seems that Mr. Boardley has begun suffering headaches and sleeping troubles over the past year which he is contributing to stressors from work, school, and his relationship. My preliminary thoughts would allow me to believe that stress often has major effects on the human body including both physical and mental impairments. Symptoms can range from slight physical issues such as headaches to severe things such as mental break downs. From the limited information gained about this client I would assume that there is good cause to believe that stress may be causing his symptoms versus some other explanation such as illness.
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I believe I would tend to be sympathetic with Mr. Boardley as I to have sufferance persistent headaches since childhood and do believe that in my case stress tends to increase both the frequency and intensity of my headaches. I do believe my beliefs are influenced by my age as well as my culture and past experiences. This will affect my interview as I may overlook other things that could be causing his symptoms and play them off as only stress related. However, knowing my position I will strive to not let these thoughts or tendencies shade my judgment.
Some ways in which I can limit the impact of my beliefs include staying objective, listening carefully to the client’s thoughts, feelings, and situation, and asking in depth questions. Using these strategies will help ensure that I do not place my beliefs onto the client and their situation. I will not let any stereotypes that I may have affect the interview. Staying objective and forming thoughts and opinions based solely on the interview and the information gathered there will help to ensure that I can assess and provide the best experience and help for the client.
Argosy University Online. (2015, January 1). Module 1-Module 3. Retrieved from http://myeclassonline.com/re/DotNextLaunch.asp?courseid=11218736&userid=22842622&sessionid=ea9044343c&tabid=IAgto0UIrM5FAIESqPYDzDB/oJ1uos8BQVn+X4yxeiZ27bbKUJG+ws0VeB5/jjx2cRrREEbTfTrJQnY1bi65BQ==&sessionFirstAuthStore=true&macid=qHFo6tyGMeBvKhBisHDDojU92KxFbcb01Kr6rFhlVn+M8tAHS9dvjR0x+nDoJpvglXxJVY52IawP/tOJsBR9V8rNu/+pv0S6MuKOBvL23F9HZ/e33W4i4Vt3naqDuDC9DagscFYcV+xPQuFuklJQuW6m0FK4vZaFxzW20Rt0CCDI381gmjDrEXw8WD8FrMyFpwABhteXm6SuM8gG/jiA8ePoURFBX5C7PrSVabPaWbxkCXk1JmvhefdJZq7KCG0c
Carpetto, George. “Involuntary Client Situations Court-Ordered, Spouse-Ordered, Parent-Ordered.” Interviewing and Brief Therapy Strategies: An Integrative Approach. Pearson, 2007. 239-284. Retrieved from http://www.pearsonhighered.com/samplechapter/0205490786.pdf
Murphy, B. C., & Dillon, C. (2010). Interviewing in Action in a Multicultural World, 4e, 4th Edition. [VitalSource Bookshelf version].
Retrieved from http://digitalbookshelf.argosy.edu/books/1133086713/id/P2-60
Talking-therapy.org.uk. (2011, November 17). Talking Therapy. Retrieved from http://www.talking-therapy.org.uk/counselling/summarising-and-paraphrasing/
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