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Therapist Event Recall Form

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THERAPIST EVENT RECALL FORM (Version 3.51)          CASE:________ 
(Copyright, R. Elliott, 1990)                                            SESSION NO:________ 
                                                                                      SESSION DATE:________

Instructions: The tape of your session is cued to the beginning of the event which your client selected as most helpful or important. This event is usually (but not always) a series of responses given by you and your client. The beginning and end of the event is indicated on the event notes which are attached; however, you should use the tape for answering the following questions and ratings. Before you go on to Part A, below, play the event, as indicated on the attached notes.


Please describe your intentions for the event, using the following items. Try to remember exactly what you were working toward or trying to do in giving the responses you did in the event; that is, your therapeutic intentions. Note that not every phrase in the definition for each intention needs to fit in order to judge that the intention applies; instead, rate on the basis of the phrase which best matches your intention. Use the following rating scale:

Not at all Slightly Somewhat Pretty much Very much
1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5     1. Set limits. To structure, make arrangements, establish goals and objectives of treatment, outline methods to attain goals, correct expectations about treatment, or establish rules or parameters of relationship (e.g., time, fees, cancellation policies, homework).

1 2 3 4 5     2. Get information. To find out specific facts about history, client functioning, future plans, etc.

1 2 3 4 5     3. Give information. To educate, give facts, correct misperceptions or misinformation, give reasons for therapist's behavior or procedures.

1 2 3 4 5     4. Support. To provide a warm, supportive, empathic environment; to increase trust and rapport and build relationship; to help client feel accepted, understood, comfortable, reassured, and less anxious; to help establish a person-to-person relationship.

1 2 3 4 5     5. Focus. To help client get back on the track; to change subject or channel/structure the discussion if he/she is unable to begin or has been diffuse or rambling.

Not at all Slightly Somewhat Pretty much Very much
1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5     6. Clarify. To provide or solicit more elaboration, emphasis, or specification when client or therapist has been vague, incomplete, confusing, contradictory, or inaudible.

1 2 3 4 5     7. Hope. To convey the expectation that change is possible and likely to occur; that the therapist will be able to help the client; to restore morale; to build up the client's confidence to make changes.

1 2 3 4 5     8. Cathart. To promote relief from tension or unhappy feelings, to allow the client a chance to let go or talk through feelings and problems.

1 2 3 4 5     9. Cognitions. To identify maladaptive, illogical, or irrational thoughts or attitudes (e.g., "I must be perfect").

1 2 3 4 5     10. Behaviors. To identify and give feedback about the client's inappropriate or maladaptive behaviors and/or its consequences; to do a behavioral analysis; to point out games.

1 2 3 4 5     11. Self-control. To encourage the client to own or gain a sense of mastery or control over his/her own thoughts, feelings, behaviors, or impulses; to help client become more appropriately responsible for his/her own role.

1 2 3 4 5     12. Feelings. To identify, intensify, and/or enable acceptance of feelings, to encourage or provoke the client to become aware of or deepen underlying or hidden feelings or affect or to experience feelings at a deeper level.

1 2 3 4 5     13. Insight. To encourage understanding of the underlying reasons, dynamics, assumptions, or unconscious motivations for cognitions, behaviors, attitudes, or feelings. May include an understanding of client's reactions to other's behaviors.

1 2 3 4 5     14. Change. To build and develop new and more adaptive skills, behaviors, or cognitions in dealing with self and others. May include to instill new, more adaptive assumptive models, frameworks explanations, or conceptualizations. May include to give an assessment or opinion about client functioning that will help client see self in new way.

Not at all

Slightly Somewhat Pretty much Very much
1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5     15. Reinforce change. To give positive reinforcement or feedback about behavioral, cognitive, or affective attempts at change in order to enhance the probability that the change will be continued or maintained; to encourage risk-taking and new ways of behaving.

1 2 3 4 5     16. Resistance. To overcome obstacles to change or progress. May discuss failure to adhere to therapeutic procedures, either in past or to prevent possibilities of relapse in future.

1 2 3 4 5     17. Challenge. To jolt the client out of a present state; to shake up current beliefs or feelings; to test validity, adequacy reality, or appropriateness of beliefs, thoughts, feelings, or behaviors; to help client question the necessity of maintaining old patterns.

1 2 3 4 5     18. Relationship. To resolve problems as they arise in the relationship in order to build or maintain a smooth working alliance; to heal ruptures in the alliance; to deal with dependency issues appropriate to stage in treatment; to uncover and resolve distortions in client's thinking about the relationship which are based on past experiences rather than current reality.

1 2 3 4 5     19. Therapist needs. To protect, relieve, or defend the therapist; to alleviate anxiety. May try unduly to persuade argue, or feel good or superior at the expense of the client.

20.     THERAPIST FEELINGS AND MANNER. Next, please describe what you were feeling and how you think you may have been coming across to your client during the event.



This section asks you to describe the relevant context of the event selected by your client, using the framework given below. In other words, what factors do you see as having brought about the event? (This may also include your decision to intervene as you did in the event.) Please don't describe the possible context exhaustively; simply describe the most relevant factors within each heading.

1. What general characteristics of your client or your client's situation help to explain the event (including your decision to intervene as you did)? Where relevant, include client (a) conflicts, (b) self-image, (c) defensive or coping style, (d) resources (e.g., insightfulness), (e) history, (f) current job or life situation.




2. What general characteristics of your approach to therapy or you as a person are relevant to this event? Where relevant, include (a) your general or specific views of the therapeutic process (e.g., guidelines for intervening), and (b) personal issues or life events (e.g., experience with similar clients.)


3. What events in earlier sessions with this client have led up to or influenced what happened in this event? (e.g., previous work on the same material; significant events in earlier sessions; state of helping alliance preceding this session.)


4. What recent events in your client's life have led up to or explain this event? (e.g., relevant recent positive or stressful events outside therapy, including ongoing situations.)


5. What other events earlier in this session helped bring about or explain this event?





We are interested in learning more about the sequence of client responses surrounding certain "peak" response(s) of yours within the event. The(se) response(s) are listed below and indicated on the notes of the event. Rewind the tape to the beginning of the event and work your way back through the tape of the event, stopping it to answer the questions for each indicated response.

1. Major response:____________ 
            a. Immediate Context. Why did you choose to respond as you did at that moment? Please describe [i] the specific client statements or actions you were responding to; and [ii] your intention in intervening here.



            b. Immediate Impact. What was your client's reaction to this response of yours? Please describe what he or she did [i] while you were saying it and [ii] immediately afterwards.



2. Major response:____________ 
            a. Immediate Context:



            b. Immediate Impact:



(If necessary, use another sheet for additional major responses.)



1.         Did you notice a change in your client's mood, manner, or level of involvement from beginning to end of the event? YES NO (If yes, describe:)

2.         Did this event have an effect on what happened later in the session? YES NO (If yes, please describe:)

3.         "Unbiased" Helpfulness Rating: If you didn't know that your client had selected this event (or any other in the session), how do you think you would have rated its helpfulness? (Half-point intermediate ratings are permissible.)

HINDERING <-------------- NEUTRAL ---------------> HELPFUL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 |---+---|---+---|---+---|---+---|---+---|---+---|---+---|---+---| E G M S S M G E X R O L L O R X T E D I I D E T R A E G G E A R E T R H H R T E M L A T T A L M E Y T L L T Y E L E Y Y E L Y L L Y Y Y

4.         Impacts most likely experienced by client. Rate the impacts the event most likely had on your client. Use the following scale:

Not at all Slightly Somewhat Pretty much Very much
1 2 3 4 5


1 2 3 4 5     1. Realized something new about self. Client got an insight about self or understood something new about self. Client saw a new connection or saw why he/she did or felt something. (Note: There must be a sense of "newness" about self.)

Not at all Slightly Somewhat Pretty much Very much 1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5     2. Realized something new about someone else. Client got an insight about another person; understood something new about someone else or people in general. (There must be a sense of "newness" about someone else.)

1 2 3 4 5     3. More aware or clearer about feelings, experiences. Client got more in touch with feelings, thoughts, memories or other experiences. Became more aware of experiences which she/he had been avoiding. What client was really feeling or trying to say became clearer. (Note: refers to becoming clearer about what client is feeling rather than why client is feeling something.)

1 2 3 4 5     4. Definition of problems for client to work on. Client got a clearer sense of what he/she needs to change in their life or what s/he needs to work toward in therapy; what client's goals are.

1 2 3 4 5     5. Progress towards knowing what to do about problems. Client figured out possible ways of coping with a particular situation or problem. Client made a decision or resolved a conflict about what to do; got up energy to do something differently.

1 2 3 4 5     6. Felt therapist understands. Client felt I really understood what he/she was saying, or what was going on with client at that moment in the session, or what client is like as a person.

1 2 3 4 5     7. Felt supported or encouraged. Client felt supported, reassured, confirmed, or encouraged by me. Client felt better about self, or started to like self better. Client came to feel more hopeful about self or future.

1 2 3 4 5     8. Felt relieved or more comfortable. Client felt relieved from uncomfortable or painful feelings; felt less nervous, depressed, guilty or angry about the session or in general.

Not at all



Pretty much

Very much






1 2 3 4 5     9. Felt more involved in therapy or inclined to work harder. Client got more involved in what s/he needs to do in therapy; client's thinking was stimulated; client started working harder. Client became more hopeful that activities in therapy will help. Client felt s/he could be more open with the therapist.

1 2 3 4 5     10. Felt closer to therapist. Client came to feel that we are really working together to help him/her. Client was impressed with me as a person, or came to trust, like, respect or admire me more. We overcame a problem between us.

1 2 3 4 5     11. More bothered by unpleasant thoughts or more likely to push them away. Event made client think of uncomfortable or painful ideas, memories, or feelings that weren't helpful. It made client push certain thoughts or feelings away or avoid them.

1 2 3 4 5     12. Too much pressure or not enough direction:. Client felt too much pressure to do something, either in the therapy session or outside of it. Client felt abandoned by me or too much left on own.

1 2 3 4 5     13. Felt therapist doesn't understand. Client felt misunderstood; that the therapist just doesn't or can't understand client or what client are saying. Client felt misunderstood just then for a moment, or generally.

1 2 3 4 5     14. Felt attacked or that therapist didn't care. Client felt criticized, judged or put down by therapist. Client felt therapist was cold, bored, or doesn't care.

1 2 3 4 5     15. Confused or Distracted. Client felt thrown off or side-tracked from the things which were important to him/her. Felt confused by what I said or did. I interfered with what client was thinking or talking about.

Not at all Slightly Somewhat Pretty much Very much
1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5     16. Impatient or doubting value of therapy. Client felt bored or impatient with the progress of therapy or with having to go over the same old things over and over again. Client started to feel that therapy is pointless or not going anywhere.

1 2 3 4 5     17. Other helpful or hindering impacts. (Describe: 

5. Please write the number of the most important impact out of the 17 you have just rated: _____

6. If you can, please describe in one sentence the idea or feeling your client most likely found helpful in the event.

7. To what extent did you find your client's choice of event surprising vs. expected? (Circle one response)

            1. Did not expect choice of event at all; very much surprised by it. 
            2. Somewhat surprised; I did not expect it. 
            3. Not surprised by choice of event; somewhat expected it. 
            4. Event is clearly the one I expected.

8. Please speculate about how this event might possibly affect this client over the next month or so. What specific changes do you think are possible for him/her?

a. Expected change No. 1:

b. Expected change No. 2:

c. Expected change No. 3:

(List additional possible changes on back)



1.         Rate the skillfulness of your responses in event. Based on your understanding of the client and your model for the treatment you were using in this session, rate the skillfulness of your responses within the event, using the following scale:

            1. Extremely unskillful 
            2. Very unskillful 
            3. Moderately unskillful 
            4. Slightly unskillful 
            5. Neither skillful nor unskillful 
            6. Slightly skillful 
            7. Moderately skillful 
            8. Very skillful 
            9. Extremely skillful

2.         Please comment briefly on any skillful or unskillful aspects of your responses: (Be specific if possible.)

3.         Rate degree of client working in event. Based on your observations during the session and in reviewing the tape, to what extent would you say the client was either working toward or avoiding the relevant therapeutic tasks during the selected event?

            1. Avoiding tasks--extremely 
            2. Avoiding--very much 
            3. Avoiding--moderately 
            4. Avoiding--slightly 
            5. Neither avoiding nor working in general; evenly mixed 
            6. Working--slightly 
            7. Working--moderately well 
            8. Working--very well 
            9. Working--extremely well



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Last modified: March 20, 2001