Reflection

Reflection is a response that mirrors or echoes that which has just been expressed by the patient. The tone of voice is important in reflection. The intonation of the words may indicate entirely different meanings. For example:

Patient: I was so sick that I haven't worked since October 2006.

Response: Haven't worked since 2006?

In this example, the emphasis should be on ''2006.'' This asks the patient to describe the conditions that did not allow him or her to work. If the emphasis is incorrectly placed on ''worked,'' the interviewer immediately puts the patient on the defensive, implying, ''What did you do with your time?'' Although often very useful, reflection can hamper the progress of an interview if used improperly.

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