|INTERVIEWING TIP OF THE MONTH
# 163 September 2013
Yet Another Response to the "I Don't Know" Answer
TISA Description of the Problem: It is not uncommon, especially with children and adolescents, to receive a disinterested, "I don't know" to many questions. It can be quite frustrating. We have addressed various ways of transforming this communication impasse in previous interviewing Tips of the Month. Diana Boufford, BSW, RSW, offers a new twist for solving the dilemma.
Tip: When a client responds with "I don't know" I often ask:
"If you did know what do you think it would be?"
TISA Follow-up: This tip has an almost curious paradoxical feel to it. I haven't had a chance to try it out yet, but I bet it often works. In these situations, I find that one frequently must try a variety of different approaches before the impasse opens up, but with patience and skill, as evidenced in this excellent tip, it usually does.
Tip provided by:
Diana Boufford, BSW, RSW
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
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