Establishing personal contact in a headspace conversation
We establish a good personal contact in a conversation by showing the young person that we understand their issues, concerns and thoughts, and that we acknowledge them.
We establish contact with a variety of conversational techniques. For example, through eye contact, establishing and using a mutual language, making use of body language, and making sure that the surroundings in the room are comfortable.
Setting the conversation frame
We also set a framework for the conversation – we explain who we are and how we can help. Furthermore, we explain the reason why we are two counselors present in the room – to get more perspectives on what we hear.
Managing the conversation
Establishing personal contact is about managing and taking charge of the conversation if needed. We can, so to speak, drive the car, but the young person decides where we are going.
We use techniques such as meta-communication, which means talking about the conversation. For example, where are we going today? And along the way we might ask he young person if we are on the right path? And finally, meta-communication allows us to inquire into how the trip was.
As counselors, we also learn how to use mirroring. This means, to explain what we as counselors hear in the conversation and tell the young person how we understand it.