Developing Questions #13: Supervision of Couple Therapy Questions (Transcript and Video)

About this Session

I, me, C KarlCR2Developing Questions #13 takes you into the couple therapy session that dramatically changed the way Stephen Madigan practiced and opened the door for the development of narrative therapy informed Relational Interviewing (he will explain why). After watching the first 16 minutes of the session together, VSNT faculty Helene Grau, David Rock Nylund’s and the membership begin the supervision of the unaltered transcript and discuss the ‘receiving context’ that shape Stephen’s questions.

We ask the membership to watch the video before Friday morning July 24th and consider 3 simple questions:

  1. What interview question grabbed your curiosity the most?
  2. Why do you think Stephen asked this question?
  3. Would you have asked the question differently?

Date

July 24, 2020 at 9:00 am - 10:00 am

Pacific Time


Organizer

VSNT.live & Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy

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Comments (4)

  1. William Cooke says:

    Great to see this interview. Thank you Stephen, Eve and Joel. I like the engaging pre-session questions. Here’s what I wrote down as I watched the video.

    1. Questions that really grabbed me:

    “To a point. What Point would that be?”
    “Can I ask you what you miss about the relationship that you once had that you’re now getting away from?”
    “Can I ask you why it was important to fee close to him?”
    “Should I give you a minute?” (to think about if there was anything specific you miss about J)
    “Is there anything specific about J you’d like back, to have back in your life?
    “I’m just wondering if you have a sense as to whether or not that (capacity to communicate and be close and intimate with you) still lives within J?” … “…What is this belief based on?”
    “Do you have a belief, as E has a belief in you, that perhaps that fun and passion and those abilities still lives within E?”
    “Do you miss the intimacy that you once had with E?” …”Why…?
    “Where do you think it’s gone?” “…any hunches?…”
    “Do you have a sense as to how you might find the map to relocate it?”
    “What do you think about anger replacing your love relationship with an angry relationship?”
    “So would I be right in thinking that anger could possibly take down this whole family?”

    But the one that grabbed me the most was: Do you have a sense as to how you might find the map to relocate it?

    2. Why do you think Stephen asked this question?

    I think SM may have asked this question, having established that E and J miss each other and the relationship that is slipping away from them; and that they each believe the capacity to be close and intimate still lives within their partner — as a possible next step in their reconstruction of hope. Important places and treasures that have been lost require maps to help find them again.

    3. Would you have asked the question differently?

    When SM asked his previous questions to J,

    Is that something you’ve lost as well? (Yes) Where do you think it’s gone? (I don’t know or I’d go get it!) You would? Do you have any
    hunches as to where it’s gone? Both of you are convincing me that it’s still there but somehow it’s lost or it’s elusive.

    the image of a map came to mind. Looking at how the interview unfolded, I’m curious about what leaving a space for J to answer this last “hunch” question, before asking how J might find the map to relocate it, might have lead to.

    1. VSNT says:

      Thanks so much William. I resonated with your answer to question #2 when you said: next step thinking that the scaffolding questions position a reconstructing of hope and perhaps a re-experiencing of relational values that made this possible —-
      “I think SM may have asked this question, having established that E and J miss each other and the relationship that is slipping away from them; and that they each believe the capacity to be close and intimate still lives within their partner — as a possible next step in their reconstruction of hope. Important places and treasures that have been lost require maps to help find them again”.
      Thanks!

  2. rob_whittaker4 says:

    Hi
    Really appreciate you sharing this video – thanks to all three of you.

    I was most struck by two successive questions:
    1. A response to eve saying she’s having a hard time letting go of anger and Stephen reframing with a personification externalisation question “anger’s having a hard time letting go of you?”. This seemed quite centred but to me an important practice of resistance against a pervasive discourse around “the angry woman” – it seemed to get her off the hook (she seemed relieved?) while keeping open the possibility of talking about the anger and its effects. I suppose another direction might then have been to ask some deconstruction questions about “women‘s anger”.

    2. This led to the next question which seemed quite complicated “what is it that most upsets you about this relationship of yours that is having a relationship with anger?”. I’m very wary of criticising someone else’s question in the moment but I suppose if I’d asked that question and wondered whether in retrospect I might ask it differently I’d look at how they answered it – eve starts mapping the effects of anger on their children and her worries about this, so think the question she’s answered is something like “what is most upsetting for you about how this anger is affecting your life?”. I often seem to ask quite complicated questions and strive to find ways to ask them in the simplest way possible. I work in the north of England where the bullshit threshold is low and you lose clients quickly if you ask questions that are too fancy!

    Thanks again
    Rob

    1. VSNT says:

      Hi Rob. The great part of putting videos and transcripts out there is the back and forth reflecting on questions you get to experience from other therapists. I relate to what you are saying about questions and complexity.
      I feel we often start off with a thread of an idea and try and find a way to communicate it. Usually in the beginning this is in the form of complicated questions. And then as we gradually get to know the ida and the question a bi better, and try it out a bit more, through time and trial and error, we usually find a simpler way to say them.
      In saying this I feel there is worth in taking each question/Idea we ask through this process and all the struggles of getting to know it.

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