Expanding the Interventive Interviewing
Framework with Contextual Questions,
Meta-questions, and Enhanced
Awareness
Presentation at Therapeutic Conversations #10
by Karl Tomm MD
12 May 2012
The original model of Interventive Interviewing (Karl Tomm 1987 & 1988)
Linear
assumptions
Lineal
questions
Strategic
questions
Orienting
Influencing
intent
intent
Circular
questions
Reflexive
questions
Circular
assumptions
Interventive Interviewing in transition (Carsten Hornstrup et al 2005)
Considerations for introducing some changes:
1.
Despite the usefulness of the original framework, when applied in organizational
coaching, the differences from therapy justified some adjustments
2.
Strategic questions were re-labeled “action clarifying questions” to render them more
acceptable and useful in organizational practice
3.
Both past and future oriented (lineal) questions could be regarded as clarifying the
client’s understanding of the present situation
4.
The juxtaposition of contrasting theoretical paradigms that was inherent in the
original framework gradually became apparent (objectivity vs constructionism)
5.
If the whole framework was placed within a constructionist perspective, all four
quadrants could yield useful systemic questions (the lineal vs circular dimension was
no longer necessary when interviewers were embedded in constructionist thinking)
6.
Contextual and meta questions, inspired by Bateson’s theory of mind, were
increasingly included (in an ad hoc manner)
Two theoretical paradigms were inherent in the Original Model
Linear assumptions
Traditional
Objectivist
Paradigm
Orienting
Influencing
intent
intent
Social
Constructionist
Paradigm
Circular assumptions
The transitional model abandoned the objectivist component
and expanded the constructionist portion of the original model
Lineal
Objectivist
Paradigm
Orienting
Influencing
intent
intent
Constructionist
Paradigm
Constructionist
Paradigm
Circular
The original model
The transitional model
The initial shift into a transitional model (Hornstrup et.al. 2005)
Linear
Orienting
assumptions
intent
Orienting
Influencing
intent
intent
Past
Present
Circular
Influencing
assumptions
intent
Future
Name changes in the initial shift (Hornstrup et.al. 2005)
Linear
Orienting
assumptions
intent
Lineal
questions
Strategic
questions
Orienting
Influencing
intent
intent
Action
clarifying
questions
Case
clarifying
questions
Past
Present
Circular
Influencing
assumptions
intent
Future
Hornstrup’s transitional model of Interventive Interviewing (Hornstrup et.al. 2005)
Orienting
intent
Action
clarifying
questions
Case
clarifying
questions
Present
Past
Circular
questions
Future
Reflexive
questions
Influencing
intent
Expanded Interventive Interviewing (Hornstrup & Tomm 2009)
Further considerations for elaborating a new model:
1.
Our collaboration in drawing upon experiences from two different fields (therapy and
organizations) seemed mutually enriching
2.
Both axes could be redefined further to clarify the model and propose an overall
sequence for the questions
3.
If the (past) and (future) were placed in parentheses, it could become clearer that past
and future questions were contributing to an understanding of the here and now
systemic process in the present
4.
All four quadrants of questions could be re-named to fit more closely with their
actual use in practice (instead of using names that reflected theory)
5.
Contextual questions could be elaborated in all four quadrants and seemed to warrant
a whole second layer of questions
6.
Meta questions could also be identified in all four quadrants to raise systemic
awareness and be added as a third layer of questions
A second shift (Hornstrup and Tomm 2009)
Systemic (circular)
Orienting
co-clarifying intent
intent
Future
Past
Present
(Future)
(Past)
Present
Influencing
intent
Invitational (circular)
co-constructing intent
Re-naming the dimensions
3A
Co-clarifying intent
(Past)
Present
Co-constructing intent
(Future)
Re-naming the 4 basic categories of questions
3A
Co-clarifying intent
Situation
Initiative
clarifying
clarifying
questions
questions
(Past)
(Future)
Present
Other
Generating
perspectives
possibilities
questions
questions
Co-constructing intent
A summary of the re-naming process from the original model
•
From lineal vs circular assumptions, to co-clarifying vs co-constructing intent
•
From orienting vs influencing intent, to (past) and (future) in the present
•
From linear or case clarifying questions, to situation clarifying questions
•
From circular questions, to other perspectives questions
•
From reflexive questions, to generating possibilities questions
•
From strategic or action clarifying questions, to initiative clarifying questions
3C
Adding 2 layers: contextual and meta questions
situating questions
contextual questions
meta questions
Three layers of questions:
• The core layer - Situation focused questions are intended to clarify
and explore the clients’ current understandings of their situation, and to
generate new insights and possibilities.
• The second layer - Contextual questions are intended to enhance an
awareness of the ‘bigger picture’ and how the situation is always
embedded in, and influenced by, a larger context.
• The third layer - Meta questions are intended to encourage
mindfulness of the process of the interview itself and to reflect on the
effects of the questions, other possible questions, and what conditions,
assumptions, and intentions guide the attention of both interviewer and
interviewee.
The current expanded framework of Interventive Interviewing
(Hornstrup and Tomm 2010)
Co-clarifying intent
3C
Meta
situation
Meta
Initiative
Contextual
situation
Contextual
initiative
Initiative
clarifying
questions
Situation
clarifying
questions
(Past)
(Future)
Present
Other
perspectives
questions
Generating
possibilities
questions
Contextual
perspectives
Contextual
possibilities
Meta
perspectives
Meta
possibilities
Co-constructing intent
Examples of questions from the core of the revised model
3A
Co-clarifying intent
Situation
Initiative
clarifying
clarifying
questions
questions
(Past)
(Future)
Present
Other
Generating
perspectives
possibilities
questions
questions
Co-constructing intent
Sample Core Questions
• Situation Clarifying Questions
– What is your main concern at the moment? What is
your understanding about how things came to this?
• Other Perspectives Questions
– How would your colleagues describe your situation?
What about your best friend’s view?
• Generating Possibilities Questions
– What is the outcome that you would prefer? What are
some even better outcomes that you could imagine?
• Initiative Clarifying Questions
– How could you move towards those outcomes? On the
basis of what we talked about so far, what steps would
you consider taking now?
3B
Examples of questions from the contextual layer
Co-clarifying intent
Contextual
situation
Contextual
initiative
Initiative
clarifying
questions
Situation
clarifying
questions
(Past)
(Future)
Present
Other
perspectives
questions
Generating
possibilities
questions
Contextual
perspectives
Contextual
generative
Co-constructing intent
Sample Contextual Questions
• Contextual Situation Questions
– What is the historical context out of which this situation arose?
What does the institutional, community, or cultural context say?
• Contextual Perspective Questions
– If your situation were placed in a different context, how would it
be seen differently? What other context could shed a different
light on the situation?
• Contextual Generative Questions
– What kind of institutional or community changes can you imagine
that could enable you to move forward?
• Contextual Initiative Questions
– What new precedents might be established in your community if
you acted on your new hopes/plans?
Examples of questions from the meta layer
Co-clarifying intent
3C
Meta
situation
Meta
Initiative
Contextual
situation
Contextual
initiative
Initiative
clarifying
questions
Situation
clarifying
questions
(Past)
(Future)
Present
Other
perspectives
questions
Generating
possibilities
questions
Contextual
perspectives
Contextual
possibilities
Meta
perspectives
Meta
possibilities
Co-constructing intent
Sample Meta Questions
• Situation meta questions
– How do you feel about the questions I have asked so far? What
further questions could I ask to help understand your situation?
• Other perspective meta question
– Who else could I ask you about, who might hold a significantly
different view of your situation?
• Generating possibilities meta question
– What else could I ask you about, that might help you stretch
yourself, to think outside the box?
• Initiative clarifying meta question
– What else should I be exploring with you to clarify the potential
effects of the actions you are considering?
3B
Differentiating questions within the contextual layer
Co-clarifying intent
Contextual
situation
Contextual
initiative
Initiative
clarifying
questions
Situation
clarifying
questions
(Past)
(Future)
Present
Other
perspectives
questions
Generating
possibilities
questions
Contextual
perspectives
Contextual
possibilities
Co-constructing intent
Contextual Questions
• Physical level – re: food, shelter, space in
home, office, environment, ecology,
genetics, etc
• Relationship level – re: families of origin,
friends, neighbors, mentors, social
networks, etc.
• Socio-cultural level – re: race, ethnicity,
cultural discourses, social injustices,
financial, legal, ethical, spiritual, etc.
Contextual Situation Questions
• Physical level
– What physical circumstances/limitations could be
constraining your current situation?
• Relationship level
– What personal/professional/community relationships
might be contributing to your current stuckness?
• Socio-cultural level
– What ideas/beliefs/assumptions/injunctions from the
culture could be oppressive or limiting your movement?
Contextual Perspective Questions
• Physical level
– What other physical circumstances could have
influenced your current situation differently?
• Relationship level
– What other possible personal or professional
relationships could have influenced your current
situation?
• Socio-cultural level
– What other ideas/beliefs/assumptions/injunctions from
the culture could influence your current situation
differently (e.g. pro-justice)?
Contextual Generative Questions
• Physical level
– What new physical circumstances might enable
constructive changes in your current situation?
• Relationship level
– What new personal or professional relationships could
you imagine that would enable future possibilities?
• Socio-cultural level
– What new ideas/beliefs/assumptions/injunctions could
you adopt that might liberate you and/or propel you
forward into some future possibilities?
Contextual Initiative Questions
• Physical level
– What specific changes in the physical circumstances
need to be implemented to move forward?
• Relationship level
– Which personal or professional relationships will you
enter into to keep your momentum going?
• Socio-cultural level
– Which ideas/beliefs/assumptions/injunctions will you
privilege and/or adopt to formulate and implement the
policies you need to keep moving forward?
Differentiating questions in the meta layer
Co-clarifying intent
3C
Meta
situation
Meta
Initiative
Contextual
situation
Contextual
initiative
Initiative
clarifying
questions
Situation
clarifying
questions
(Past)
(Future)
Present
Other
perspectives
questions
Generating
possibilities
questions
Contextual
perspectives
Contextual
possibilities
Meta
perspectives
Meta
possibilities
Co-constructing intent
2 general types of meta questions
• To oneself
– What questions should I be asking this client?
– Why am I asking this particular question?
• To the client
– Are these questions meaningful or relevant to
you and your situation?
– What else should I be asking you about?
Meta Situation Questions
• To oneself
– What else could I ask that could help us understand what is
keeping this person stuck in this situation?
– What else could I ask to disclose further contextual factors/issues
that may be oppressing and/or restraining my client(s)?
– Should I be asking additional clarifying questions here or is it time
to move on?
• To the client
– What else could I be asking you about that would help me
understand your situation more fully?
– How do you feel about the questions I have been asking so far?
– Would some questions about unfairness/injustice be helpful?
– Is it OK if I move on now to other kinds of questions?
Meta Perspective Questions
• To oneself
– Who else in this situation could I ask about that might have a
different perspective to offer?
– What additional contextual factors/issues could I ask about to shed
new light on this situation?
– Should I be asking more alternative perspective questions here or
should I move on?
• Possibly to the client
– Who else could I ask you about who would have a very different
point of view?
– Whose perspective could I be asking you about that would help
you see another angle on your situation?
– Could some questions from a social justice perspective add some
new insights?
Meta Possibilities Questions
• To oneself
– What questions could I ask to open space for this
person to see things altogether differently and to
generate new possibilities?
– What could I ask to open space for my client to
potentially move forward?
– Should I be asking more possibilities questions here or
should I move on?
• Possibly to the client
– What else could I be enquiring about that would help
you create new understandings and possibilities?
Meta Initiative Questions
• To oneself
– What could I ask this person to help clarify the next
steps to be taken?
– Should I be asking about very small steps he/she could
take or a major jump forward?
– What should I ask to draw attention to some potential
consequences for such action?
• Possibly to the client
– What other questions could I ask you to explore further
initiatives and/or consequences of your proposed next
steps?
A basic proposed sequence through the four quadrants
3A
Co-clarifying intent
Situation
Initiative
clarifying
clarifying
questions
questions
Other
Generating
perspectives
possibilities
questions
questions
Co-constructing intent
Situation clarifying questions
Other perspectives questions
Generating possibilities questions
Initiative clarifying questions
A second proposed sequence: moving from the inside out
Co-clarifying intent
3C
Meta
situation
Meta
Initiative
Contextual
situation
Contextual
initiative
Initiative
clarifying
questions
Situation
clarifying
questions
(Past)
(Future)
Present
Other
perspectives
questions
Generating
possibilities
questions
Contextual
perspectives
Contextual
possibilities
Meta
perspectives
Meta
possibilities
Co-constructing intent
Using the full expanded framework in a stepwise progression
Co-clarifying intent
3C
Meta
situation
Meta
Initiative
Contextual
situation
Contextual
initiative
Initiative
clarifying
questions
Situation
clarifying
questions
(Past)
(Future)
Present
Other
perspectives
questions
Generating
possibilities
questions
Contextual
perspectives
Contextual
possibilities
Meta
perspectives
Meta
possibilities
Co-constructing intent
A structured demonstration
interview
• A volunteer interviewee is required for the demo.
• The volunteer will experience the direct effects of the different
questions (observers will be limited to vicarious effects).
• The interviewee decides on the content issue for the demonstration: it
could be a personal life situation, a work situation, or simply one’s
current interest in this workshop.
• The pass rule applies, i.e. the interviewee is entitled to “pass” on any
question to maintain his/her privacy (no explanation required).
• The interviewer will ask questions from each category in a systematic
sequence.
• There may be brief interruptions to mark a move from one category to
the next, leaving the interview somewhat stilted.
In summary, we encourage practitioners to use the Original Model to
guide them towards privileging constructionist questions
Linear assumptions
Traditional
Paradigm
Orienting
Influencing
intent
intent
Constructionist
Paradigm
Circular assumptions
When practitioners are able to hold a constructionist stance in the
original model, they are encouraged to expand into the new model
Co-clarifying
Lineal
intent
Objectivist
Paradigm
Orienting
Influencing
intent
intent
(Past)
Constructionist
Paradigm
Constructionist
Paradigm
Co-constructing
Circular
intent
(Future)
Yet, remain mindful of possible slips into an objectivist paradigm
Lineal
Co-clarifying
intent
Traditional
Paradigm
Orienting
Influencing
intent
intent
(Past)
Constructionist
Paradigm
Constructionist
Paradigm
Discovering
Circular
Co-constructing
intent
intent
Traditional
Actual
Past
Objectivist
Paradigm
Advising
intent
Actual
Future
(Future)
Could a third dimension strengthen one’s groundedness in
co-constructive/constructionist/systemic interviewing?
Obscurity
3A
Clarifying intent
(Past)
(Future)
Present
Co-constructing intent
Transparency
Possible steps along a third dimension from ‘Obscurity to Transparency’
Obscurity
- Unaware of one’s own experience/perceptions/thinking
- Distinguishing one’s experience
- Questions to oneself
- Questions to oneself about one’s questions
- Questions to the other person
- Questions to the other about situations and contexts
- Questions to the other about others
- Interpersonal perception questions
- Internalized other questions
- Questions to the internalized other of an internalized other
Visibility/audibility
Calgary Family Therapy Centre
Department of Psychiatry
University of Calgary
www.familytherapy.org
[email protected]