Raising the Topic of Physical Fighting

Mar 07, 2017

“I am the cat that walks alone.”

William Burroughs
Beat writer, heroin addict

Raising the Topic of Physical Fighting

TISA Description of the Problem: It can be difficult, in an initial interview, to raise potentially shame or guilt producing topics such as physical fighting in a gentle and nonconfrontative fashion. Mustafa Soomro, M.D., has a nice method of smoothly raising such topics.

Tip: I find that if I want to approach the topic of physical fighting unobtrusively, I sometimes start by raising the topic in such a way that it does not necessarily imply that the client was involved in the altercation. Once raised, I can sensitively investigate what role the client himself or herself played in the violence. In this regard the following question is quite useful:

“Have you ever been in situations where fights occurred and you
were affected?”

Using this approach I can then proceed to flesh out the role of the client in provoking the violence, escalating it, or perhaps merely being a victim of it.

TISA Follow-up: The above tip is a shrewd and effective one. I find it is very non-threatening, and it can allow one to uncover all sorts of violence from street fighting to domestic violence.

Tip provided by:

Mustafa Soomro, M.D.