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Therapeutic Communication Techniques
Terms in this set (25)
Encouraging a person to talk by waiting for answers
"I follow what you say."
"Good morning, Mr./Mrs. __"
"You've combed your hair today."
"I see you've eaten your whole lunch."
"I would like to spend time with you."
"I'll stay here and sit with you awhile."
Offering general leads
"Tell me about it."
Giving broad openings
"Where would you like to begin?"
"What are you thinking about?"
"What would you like to discuss?"
"What is an example of some of the stresses you are under right now?"
Placing the events in time or sequence
"What happened before?"
"When did this happen?"
"You appear tense."
"I notice you're biting your lips."
"You appear nervous whenever __ enters the room."
Encouraging description of perception
"What do these voices seem to be saying?"
"What is happening now?"
"Tell me when you feel anxious."
"Has this ever happened before?"
"Is this how you felt when ...?"
"Was it something like ...?"
Patient: "I can't sleep. I stay awake all night."
Nurse: "You have difficulty sleeping?"
Patient: "I don't know... He always has some excuse for not coming over or keeping our appointments."
Nurse: "You think he no longer wants to see you?"
Patient: "My life is empty... I have no meaning."
Nurse: "What kind of meaning is missing?" Or "What does your life lack?"
Patient: "What should I do about my husband's affair?"
Nurse: "What do you think you should do?"
Patient: "My brother spends all of my money and then has the nerve to ask for more."
Nurse: "You feel angry when this happens?"
"This point you are making about leaving school seems worth looking at more closely."
"You've mentioned many things. Let's go back to your thinking of 'ending it all'."
"Tell me more about that."
"Would you describe it more fully?"
"Could you talk about how it was that you learned your mom was dying of cancer?"
Patient: "Everything I do is wrong."
Nurse: "Give me an example of one thing you do that you think is wrong."
"My purpose for being here is ..."
"This medication is for ..."
"The test will determine ..."
"I am not sure I follow you."
"What would you say is the main point of what you just said?"
"Give me an example of a time you thought everyone hated you."
State what is real. Do not argue or try to convince the patient.
"That was Dr. Todd, not a man from the Mafia."
"That was the sound of a car."
"Your mother is not here; I am a nurse."
"Isn't that unusual?"
"That's hard to believe."
Seeking consensual validation
"Tell me whether my understanding agrees with yours."
Verbalizing the implied
Patient: "I can't talk to you or anyone else. It's a waste of time."
Nurse: "Do you feel that no one understands?"
"How do you feel about ...?"
"What did it mean to you when he said he couldn't say?"
Attempting to translate into feelings
Patient: "I am dead inside."
Nurse: "Are you saying that you feel lifeless? Does life seem meaningless to you?"
"Perhaps you and I can discover what produces your anxiety."
"Perhaps working together, we can come up with some ideas that might improve your communications with your spouse."
"Have I got this straight?"
"You said that ..."
"During the past hour, you and I have discussed ..."
Encouraging formulation of a plan of action
"What could you do to let anger out harmlessly?"
"The next time this comes up, what might you do to handle it?"
"What are some other ways you can approach your boss?"
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