Assessment Item 2: Micro-skills Critique Essay

Assessment Item 2: Micro-skills Critique Essay

Due Date: Check course profile

Weight: 40%

Format: Essay, presented in APA format and using Griffith Health assignment format guidelines.

Marked out of: 100 (marking criteria below).

Word Limit: Maximum of 2,000 words (electronic word count from beginning of first paragraph to end of last paragraph, excluding reference list & appendices).

Aim: The aim of this assessment item is to develop your knowledge of how to successfully use micro-skills, and to give you an opportunity to reflect on the development of your own micro-skills for your future practice.

Task Description: For this task you need to write a 2000-word essay in which you critically analyse and evaluate the skills and approach of a counsellor demonstrated in a short 14-minute, video and reflect on the development of your own micro-skills. Throughout your essay you should refer to specific examples from the video and support your analysis with references to appropriate literature.

Steps for Completing your Assessment

  1. Before watching the video, study the relevant content on micro-skills in the course site.
  • Watch the assignment video a few times and take notes about what micro-skills you saw the counsellor display (including the time on the video, e.g., 10:12) and what you can analyse in your assignment. When watching the video think about…
  • Which micro-skills did you see the practitioner use in the session? (i.e. observing, summarising, attending, reflection of feeling, reflection of content, questioning, minimal encouragers)
  • Were the skills used effectively?
  • What was the impact? How could you tell?
  • What micro-skills helped or hindered the process?
  • How did the micro-skills contribute to the counselling relationship?
  • What worked well or not so well in the session, and why?
  • What could have been done differently? What are your suggestions for change or improvement?
  • In your essay you should critically analyse and evaluate the positive and negative aspects of the session (i.e., how micro-skills were used and the impact on the discussion with the client). For example:

Open questions are often used by practitioners as they invite people to tell their story in their own words without leading them in a specific direction (Smith, 2017). In the video, open questions were used several times (2:35, 4:22, 5:36) and this enabled the practitioner to learn more about the client. Open questions can also allow for a richer, deeper conversation to occur and this can help to build a sense of safety for a client (Brown, 2010). This was demonstrated when the client began opening up about XXXX (2:45).

Sometimes the practitioner used closed questions which can …. The practitioner could have instead used …… For example, “        “. This might have resulted in …..

  • At the end of your essay, you need to reflect on the development of your own microskills. Some questions to consider in your reflection include:
  • Which micro-skills do you feel comfortable or uncomfortable using, and why?
    • Which micro-skills do you think you need to develop further? How might you do this?
  • Before writing your assignment read through the marking criteria below as it contains more in-depth information about the breakdown for marks.
  • Before submitting your work, review your draft against the marking criteria below to ensure you have covered all areas.

Tips for Completion

  • Focus on the skills and approaches used by the counsellor and use examples to illustrate your points. Look specifically for the micro-skills listed in Topic 5 – i.e., Observing; Attending; Questioning; Minimal encouragers; Reflection of feeling; Reflection of content; & Summarising.
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