Uploaded by Chelle Hacker

Question the Widow

How Do You Know What Questions To Ask?
What Questions To ask
Michelle Hacker
Interviewing and Basic Counseling Skills, Fall 2019
How do you know when to use what question? What directs you in the questions you ask? For
example, a client who has been mourning the death of her husband for more than a year states, “I
just need to go out and have a one-night stand and feel like a woman again!” What type of
question might you respond with, based on her statement?
Knowing What Questions to Ask
It is a very sensitive situation, talking to someone about the death of a spouse. There are
often many feelings that are confused in grief. For instance, the marriage itself may not have
been loving or healthy, but since the spouse has died, the survivor feels a need to paint them in a
better light, limiting them from being able to validate their true feelings, and effectively moving
on. It is important to try to gather as much information about the survivor's relationship with the
decedent, in order to better understand why they may be saying what they say.
Would you tell me about your marriage?
The first question I would ask would be to gather as much background information as I
could about the relationship the client had with her husband. Would she say she had a happy
marriage? Prior to her husband’s death, would she say they had a healthy sexual relationship?
How long had it been since she experienced intimacy, either with her husband or someone else?
Why A One Night Stand?
I would ask if she wanted a one-night stand to satisfy a sexual need, or if it was
something more than that? Did she want to avoid the cultivation of a new relationship? Did she
think that avoiding an actual relationship was in honor of her late husband or something more? I
would ask what she thought of one-night stands before he died, and if she had ever had one.
Would she consider her as being promiscuous prior to getting married? I would tell her the only
thing that matters is that she practices safe sex, uses her common sense, and believe in herself.
Everyone grieves differently, and she doesn’t have to worry about her grief looking like anyone