Preprogram  Background  Questionnaire


The Preprogram  Background  Questionnaire (PBQ) was constructed by the director and approved by the director's committee chairman prior to implementation of the project.  The PBQ was designed to gather some sociological data and to give the men interested in the program an opportunity to state their Christian convictions. 

The data gathered were used to help the director determine who had a good enough disciplinary record to participate.  Next, the data were used to develop a criteria for constructing the control and experimental groups, and that criteria was explained in chapter 2.




Preprogram  Background  Questionnaire


Name: ___________________________  TDCJ#: _______________  House: _________

Age: ______  Height: __________  Weight: _______  Years of Sentence: ____________

Race: ________________   Your class is  (circle one)   L3   L2   L1   S4   S3   S2   S1.

This is your (check one) 1st___, 2nd___, 3rd___, 4th___, 5th___ time down.

How long have you been incarcerated this time (including jail time)? _________________

How long in TDCJ including other units? __________.   On Gib Lewis? ______________

Your sentence is non-Aggravated ___ Aggravated ___.  Education level? _____________

How long have you been a Christian? __________.  Years of sincerity? ______________

I consider myself (check one) ____ very social ____ somewhat social ____ a loner.

Have you served aggravated time before? .......  Yes   No   How many times? ________

Is this time a parole violation? ..........................  Yes   No.

Have you read the whole Bible? ........................  Yes   No.

Do you try to read the Bible everyday? ............  Yes   No.

Did you grow up in a church? .............................  Yes   No   What faith? _____________

Do you like to learn and grow? ..........................  Yes   No.

Do you receive one family letter each month? .  Yes   No.

Two or more family letters each month? ...........  Yes   No.

Are you a father? ...............................................  Yes   No   How many? _____________

If yes, do you see your children regularly? .......  Yes   No   How often? _____________

Do you see anyone at least once a month? .......  Yes   No.

If yes, what is your relationship with that person? ________________________________

Who was the most important person to you while growing up? _____________________

Each week, I attend chapel activities at least (check one) ___ once ___ twice ___ more.

*  *  *    Thanks for your help and participation    *  *  *




Counselor  Response  Questionnaire



Background Information on Assessment Instrument


The Counselor Response Questionnaire (CRQ)[181] was designed to measure beginning counseling skills and was constructed as a 15-item paper-and-pencil instrument.  The CRQ was influenced by a reflective orientation to counseling in general and by microcounseling in particular.  The model underlying the development of the CRQ assumed that counselors should remain nonjudgmental and should refrain from giving advice.

The questionnaire initially consisted of 16 client statements, each of which was followed by 3 counselor responses of varying quality.  One response was always a good reflective response:  i.e., an accurate reflection of feeling or paraphrase in Ivey's taxonomy,[182] and at least a level 3 on Carkhuff's empathy scale.[183]  One response was not facilitative and was either advice-giving, judgmental, a distorted reflection or an interpretation which would not facilitate exploration of the problem.  The third response was of intermediate quality and was either a slightly distorted paraphrase or reflection of feeling or a question.

A preliminary form of the instrument was administered to a group of 15 doctoral-level practicing counselors and clinical psychologists who were asked to rank order the three counselor responses to the client statements.  If more than three of the these professionals offered rankings that differed from our a priori "correct" ranks, the item was rewritten.  Four of the original 16 items fell into this category and were rewritten and resubmitted to the professionals for ranking.  One item failed to meet the criterion on the second ranking and was therefore dropped from the instrument.  The remaining 15 items constitute the Counselor Response Questionnaire.


The Sample

Initial data on the CRQ were obtained from respondents selected to represent varying levels of counseling skills:  157 undergraduate students enrolled in introductory psychology courses whose participation fulfilled part of a course requirement, 17 professional drug abuse counselors, 19 students in a introduction to clinical psychology course for graduate and advanced undergraduate students which included counseling and interviewing training, and 15 doctoral-level practicing counselors/clinical psychologists. 


Validation Studies

The first validation study tested the ability of the CRQ to discriminate a group of subjects trained in counseling and interviewing skills from an untrained sample.  The trained group consisted of the 15 professional counselors and the 19 advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students who received training in a course.  The untrained group (N=157) was students taking the introductory psychology course.  A simple t-test revealed significant differences between the means CRQ scores for trained (   = 44.71) and untrained (  = 28.41) respondents (t = 12.4, p <.001).



The participants were asked to place a plus sign ("+") by the response which seemed best to them or closest to how they would respond.  Then they were asked to place a minus sign ("-") by the response that seemed worst or was the farthest removed from how they would respond.

To score the CRQ, each response to each item was assigned a value as follows:  "1" for the least appropriate response, "2" for the intermediate response, and "3" for the most appropriate response as determined by the a priori rankings of the responses.  A respondent's score for each item was determined by subtracting the value of the response that he or she ranked as least appropriate from the value of the response he or she thought most appropriate in response to the client statement.  Thus, if a respondent completely agreed with the a priori ranking on an item, his or her score on that item would be 2
(3 - 1 = 2).  If one gave a ranking completely opposite to the a priori rankings, the score for that item would be -2 (1 - 3 = -2).  Scores of 1 and -1 were also possible.  Total scores on the CRQ were computed by summing the item scores and adding a constant of 20 to eliminate any negative scores.



Counselor  Response  Questionnaire  and  Key


The Counselor Response Questionnaire (CRQ) was given as a pretest and posttest instrument to both the control and experimental groups in conjunction with the Responding Questionnaire.  The following was the form of the questionnaire given to both groups with one exception:  the expert ratings for each response were noted next to the response blanks and placed in bold underlined type.  Before each questionnaire was administered, it was explained and any questions were answered.


The CRQ Questionnaire and Key



Print Name:_____________________________________ TDCJ#:_________________



      Play the role of a pastoral counselor.  Near the beginning of a first visit, a person makes a statement.  Three responses follow each person's statement.  Place a "+" in front of the most appropriate or best response, and place a "-" in front of the least or worst appropriate.  Of each three responses, one response remains blank.



Person 1:  "I ain't got no problems."  (silence)

___(2)  A:  "What do you mean?  Everybody has problems."

___(1)  B:  "Then maybe you could help me with some of my problems."

___(3)  C:  "There's nothing going on in your life that worries you."



Person 2:  "Sometimes I get a lump in my throat for no good reason and it stays there until I cry it away. "

___(3)  A:  "There are some things which build up that you can't put your finger on."

___(1)  B:  "It's best to keep busy when things like that happen."

___(2)  C:  "What happens after you cry?"



Person 3:  "Gee, those people!  Who do they think they are?  I just can't stand them anymore.  Such a bunch of phonies.  I don't want to be bothered with them anymore.  And I get angry with myself.  I wish I could be honest with then and tell them all to go to hell!  But I guess I just can't do it."

___(2)  A:  "They make you angry.  You wish you could handle them better."

___(3)  B:  "Damn, they make you furious!  But it's not just them.  It's with yourself, tool because you don't act on how you feel."

___(1)  C:  "Maybe society itself is at fault--making you feel--inadequate and causing you to be unable to interact successfully with others."



Person 4:  "There are times when I feel high school is not important to me.  Since I'm not going to college, maybe there's no need for me to waste time in high school."

___(3)  A:  "You really don't know what to do.  Perhaps you'd like to graduate, but right now you are leaning toward dropping out."

___(2)  B:  "You have a tough decision to make.  You don't want to decide this too quickly."

___(1)  C:  "You know the first thing an employer will want to know to if you are a high school graduate."



Person 5:  "I just hate to go home after work.  If I'm not fighting with my wife, one of us is fighting with the kids.  It's so uncomfortable at home."

___(1)  A:  "Fighting with your children doesn't accomplish anything."

___(3)  B:  "You're tired of being greeted at home by harsh words and an unpleasant atmosphere. You'd just like to feel that you could go home, relax, and be comfortable."

___(2)  C:  "You are dissatisfied with your home life in comparison with work."



Person 6:  "I have to decide by next week whether or not I am going to move out of my apartment.  I would like to move to a better place where I'd feel safer, but I can't really afford it.  It's a tough decision.  I wish I knew what to do.  Maybe it wouldn't be so bad staying "where I am for one more year.  Then I'd have enough money to move."

___(3)  A:  "So you've got a decision to make.  You'd like to move but you're not sure you can afford to.  It sounds like you're leaning toward staying where you are for a while."

___(2)  B:  "Would you tell me why you feel your neighborhood is unsafe?"

___(1)  C:  "Your safety is very important.  I don't see how you can afford not to move."



Person 7:  "Things are really looking up.  I finally got a job a good one, too.  If I stick with it, in a couple of years I'll be the head of work crew.  Getting and going to work is not easy for me, though."

___(2)  A:  "You sound elated and confident.  Your life is at a turning point and now you're going to be someone."

___(3)  B:  "You sound excited about your new job and at the same time a little worried about your ability to handle the responsibility of holding a job."

___(1)  C:  "Holding a job is not so hard.  Getting up every morning and going to work is something you'll get used to."


Person 8:  "I am 2,000 miles from home and my mother just had a heart attack.  I'd like to take care of her, but things are just getting started for me here."

___(1)  A:  "You'd like to forget your responsibilities to your mother."

___(2)  B:  "You feel like you should go take care of your mother."

___(3)  C:  "You're torn between your desire to help your mother and wanting to live your own life here."



Person 9:  "I get so mad at my daughter.  Boy, can she be stubborn!  Sometimes I scream and yell at her and feel like slapping her.  Sometimes I even do it.  I don't like to feel this way, but I just can't help it."

___(1)  A:  "Why don't you give her some precise limitations.  Tell her exactly what you expect and accept no excuses."

___(3)  B:  "Sounds like your daughter really gets to you, and it bothers you a lot to lose your temper with her."

___(2)  C:  "Sometimes your daughter irritates you, but you really care about her."



Person 10:  "When 1 am alone I can play the piano pretty well, but I always goof up when I know other people are not listening."

___(3)  A:  "It makes you uncomfortable and anxious when other people listen."

___(1)  B:  "Just because someone is listening to you is no reason to goof up.  You've got to learn to be your own person."

___(2)  C:  "You can play well for your own enjoyment--that's what counts."



Person 11:  "I'm determined to make good on my new job.  I'm going to work hard and really show them how much I can do.  And I'm not afraid to take on extra duties or work long hours if that's what it takes.  I am going to be somebody."

___(2)  A:  "What is your new job like?"

___(3)  B:  "You're going to climb to the top this time.  You really sound determined to be successful with this new job."

___(1)  C:  "It sounds to me like you are trying to compensate for some weakness. Is there some area in your life in which you feel really weak or inadequate?"


Person 12:  "I'm not sure how I'm going to do in counseling.  I don't really like to talk about myself."

___(3)  A:  "Sounds like you're a little uncomfortable here.  Maybe you're wondering what these sessions will be like."

___(1)  B:  "You've got to talk about yourself, it is going to help you with your problems."

___(2)  C:  "Are there any situations where you do like to talk about yourself?"



Person 13:  "I find myself withdrawing from people--I don't want to socialize or play their stupid games.  There was a time when I got along with everyone and everyone liked me.  I was whatever the crowd wanted me to be.  I used to be proud of that."

___(2)  A:  "It sounds like you're having some interpersonal difficulties with others."

___(1)  B:  "You have to be your own person, even if it involves telling other people off.  You can't let other people control your existence."

___(3)  C:  "You have changed a lot.  You know who you used to be, but you're wondering about who you are now."



Person 14:  "1 can understand how women were discriminated against in the past, but I think women have it good now.  I get really confused when my friends tell me I should work for women's liberation."

___(2)  A:  "Women's lib is a very powerful social force and lot of people feel it is a good thing.  It can be very confusing, though."

___(1)  B:  "Your friends see society's attitudes as threatening to their career goals.  Maybe you don't see any threats because you have set your goals lower."

___(3)  C:  "You don't feel discriminated against personally, so you're wondering if you should work for women's liberation.  You're also wondering how to relate to your friends who do."



Person 15:  "You don't know what it is like to have people talking about you and laughing at you behind your back."

___(3)  A:  "It's pretty painful to have people make fun of you."

___(2)  B:  "There are some cruel people in this world."

___(1)  C:  "Yes, I do.  When I was a teenager I had acne and some of the guys were constantly making fun of me.  But I didn't let it get me down."




Responding  Questionnaire



Background Information on Assessment Instrument


The basic elements of this assessment came from Robert Carkhuff and Don Benoit's "Responding:  Knowledge and Skills Assessments" test in Art of Helping VI: Trainer's Guide (Amherst, MA: Human Resources Development Press, 1987: 65-67).  Several elements were removed, because the deleted elements would not be a part of the program.  Carkhuff and Benoit continued to use this instrument throughout the revisions of the Art of Helping.  The test was approved by the director's committee chairman prior to implementation of the project.  For the purposes of continuity and clarity in the presentation of the project report, the title was changed to Responding Questionnaire (RQ) and that was the title used throughout the project report. 



In the multiple choice section, the participants were asked to select any number of choices under each of the nine multiple choice questions.  In the short answer section, the participants were asked to answer the questions as best as they were able.

In the multiple choice section, there were thirteen correct choices among the nine questions.  Each participant was given one point for each correct selection, and one point was deducted for each wrong selection.  One point was also deducted if the participant did not choose any available choice.

In the short answer section under number "1," there were two correct answers:  "feeling" and "content."  One point was given for each correct answer (or very close approximation), and one point was deducted for each incorrect answer (and one point was deducted if there was no response). 

In the short answer section under number "2," two points were given if the participant's answer closely reflected the correct answer.  A "close reflection" needed two elements:  one, mention of the word "feeling/s" in the context of a sentence that indicated the importance of a focus on general feelings;  and two, a type of personal reference that eluded to an attempt to walk in another's shoes.  Two points were deducted if the participant gave no answer or gave an answer that did not approximate these.

The positive and negative sums of both sections were added.  This sum was then added to a constant of twenty to eliminate negative scores, and this became the total score for this assessment.  The total possible score was twenty-seven.



Responding  Questionnaire


The Responding Questionnaire (RQ) was given as a pretest and posttest instrument to both the control and experimental groups in conjunction with the Counselor Response Questionnaire.  The following was the form of the questionnaire given to both groups with one exception:  the answers to each question were noted in bold underlined type.  Before each questionnaire was administered, it was explained and any questions were answered.




RQ Questionnaire and Key



Print Name:____________________________ TDCJ#:____________ Assigned #:____


Multiple Choice


Circle the correct answer or answers for each question.


1.  We respond to meaning by:


a.  communicating sympathy           c.  asking questions

b.  communicating empathy


2.  Empathy means:


a.  understanding another person's frame of reference

b.  understanding how a person is feeling and why

c.  crawling inside another person's skin and seeing the world through his/her eyes

d.  all of the above


3.  Responding to content emphasizes:


a.  parroting

b.  rephrasing the helpee's expressions in a new way

c.  questioning using the basic interrogatives - the 5WH


4.  Responding to meaning (AE-II):


a.  captures the content

b.  is a verbatim recall of what the helpee said

c.  asks a meaningful question

d.  includes the helpee's feelings


5.  Helpee exploration can lead to helpee:


a.  growth                   c.  warmth

b.  understanding             d.  boredom




6.  Identify the format (formula) for responding to meaning:


a.  "Why do you feel that way?"

b.  "Tell me more about it."

c.  "You're saying that ___________________."

d.  "Don't worry about it. It will be better tomorrow."

e.  "You feel ___________ because ___________."


7.  The empathy question used in responding is:


a.  "What happened to the helpee during childhood?"

b.  "How would I feel if I looked and sounded like the helpee?"

c.  "Why does the helpee do those things?"


8.  Feeling categories are important to use because:


a.  they facilitate the helper's understanding of the helpee's feelings

b.  they enable the helper to find an expert to join the helping process

c.  they clarify the helpee's problems


9.  Responding:


a.  is a helper skill

b.  questions the helpee as to why he/she behaves a certain way

c.  leads to exploration and action

d.  enables the helper to be empathic


Short Answer


Directions:   Fill in the correct answers.


1.  Responding involves two types of responses:


a. responding to ______________________________________


b. responding to _______________________________________


Content, Feeling, or Meaning


2.  Paraphrase the empathy question:_________________________________________


              "If I were the helpee and I were doing and saying these things,
              how would I feel?"




Interpersonal  Check  List  Background




The Interpersonal Check List (ICL) was part of the program overheads and handouts which were made available to each of the participants.  The ICL was used in session four on day four of the program.  The ICL was enumerated as overheads #4.2a-4.2e and placed in appendix 3.  The following history and descriptions were condensed from the background of the checklist written by the ICL creators.[184] 



The ICL was developed by LaForge and Suczek as part of a larger effort to conceptualize interpersonal processes in small groups.[185]  Through empirical studies, the researchers arrived at a set of sixteen interpersonal categories arrayed in a circular pattern around two axes of Dominance-Submission and Love-Hate.  Modifications and alternative circular systems of interpersonal variables were developed over a period of two decades, many of which were reviewed by Wiggins.[186]

The ICL items were chosen so that every intensity classification was equally represented in every interpersonal classification.  Essentially, each of the sixteen interpersonal categories was represented in the ICL by eight words or phrases:  one was an "Intensity One" item, three were "Intensity Two" items, three were "Intensity Three" items, and one was an "Intensity Four" item.  In this sense, the intensity classification was orthogonal to the interpersonal classification.[187]



The ICL was a 134-item list of words or phrases that may be used to obtain self-descriptions or descriptions of others with respect to an interpersonal domain.  Several uses were found appropriate:  studying small-group phenomena, studying family dynamics, and research on assessment and diagnosis.

The ICL was intended to be regarded as a structured channel for communication and not as an instrument for "measuring" personality or general social phenomena.  The list could be modified to meet specific requirements and purposes.  The ICL was written in nontechnical language that was deemed immediately comprehensible to decision makers with no training in psychology or the social sciences.  The ICL's theoretical interpretation was designed to be a communication about a real or imaginary person, and that interpretation was designed to be from an individual to another person in a specified situation.

The check list was considered a convenient device for objectively obtaining and quantifying much of the information about interpersonal relationships commonly obtained in a first interview.  The interpersonal categories were deemed to belong to our common linguistic heritage:  therefore, understanding the categories did not require specialized knowledge, such as of psychoanalytic theory or of psychiatric terminology.


Interpretation Cautions

The authors encouraged interpreters to be careful to not view the ICL as an analysis of personality, but only as communication of interpersonal tendencies.  The choice of items and the scoring, which operationally defined the questionnaire, imposed arbitrary limits and a structure on the participant's communication.  The participant's temporary and enduring motivations, perceptions, and values affected the responses as well as the perceived observations.  For these reasons the check list was deemed to be an "effective and flexible observational device" for researchers or participants.[188]


Adjustments of ICL for the Helping Skills Program

The entire check list and all of the calculations were done by all of the participants.  The detailed analysis of the NIC and AIN scores were omitted as were their lengthy and detailed interpretations.  The limited time allotted for the lesson and the complication of the scales themselves seemed to justify the omission.

The general goals of the lesson sought to provide information and practice in self-disclosure.  Since the participants were using the ICL on themselves, the basic charting of the ICL seemed to provide the participants with a basic understanding their styles of interpersonal relating. 






Pastoral  Observations  and  Reflections


on  Implementation


Day 1:  August 10, 1996:  12:00-3:00 P.M.


Objective:  To help students understand the entire program and to develop their ability to use attending skills set #1 of body language through instruction, observation, and use in class

Twenty-seven men arrived on time.  One man was over a half hour late because of his work assignment.  Five men were absent for a variety of reasons.  In all twenty-eight men participated in the first session.

The overhead #1.1:  Title[189] was showing on the overhead screen as the men arrived.  Some men appeared apprehensive;  others appeared to be skeptical.

As the class waited for the others, the quotes about love on the cover page were discussed.  After the last man arrived, both the presentation of overhead #1.2:  Devotion #1:  Biblical Love and the devotion did not seem to be very interesting to many of the participants.  Several men were obviously bored.  The director proceeded with the devotion.

When overhead #1.3:  Love, Listening, Liberating Principle was presented, the boredom began to spread.  Some were tired.  Others seemed to be wondering where all of the devotion was going. 

The director proceeded forward to present #1.4:  Listening Self-Knowledge, a listening self-knowledge assessment.  After a brief discussion and when the participants were told that all of the answers were false, most of the men became curious and began to look over the questions again and at how they had answered the questions. 

There were some light moments, and most of the men seemed ready to either defend their answers or engage in further discussions.  One man made reference to the confusion of taking an assessment over "stuff they had not studied."  They were told that most of assessment questions would become clear later in the program and that there would be opportunity at a later session to discuss the assessment.

The presentation of #1.5:  Program Outline seemed to stir a small amount of interest, but there continued to be some apprehension.  A few others seemed bored and ready to go to sleep.  The men did not have much of an idea of what they wanted to learn from the program, excepting two men who said they wanted to learn what the term "empathy" itself meant. 

Since #1.5:  Program Outline was an abbreviated outline of the program, and the numbers in the outline did not correspond exactly with the numbers in the table of contents given later (placed at the front of this appendix).  But #1.5 did serve its purpose in giving a beginning overview of the program. 

In retrospect, the overview may not have been needed, for it did not seem to have much affect on the men.  The time spent in the overview could have been spent elsewhere.  None of the men noticed the inconsistency between overhead #1.5 and the table of contents.  The removal of the overhead would have removed an inconsistency in the program.

When the director realized that he had forgotten the beginning exercise in the lesson plan, he flipped back through his program notes and located the blank overhead.  Then he asked the men to give their reasons for being in the program.  The men readily responded.  The responses ranged from wanting to follow God better to knowing how to love better.  Some simply wanted to learn more about what the title of the program meant.  A couple said they just wanted to help the director with his school project.  With this exercise, almost all of the men livened up.

In retrospect, this seemed to be the better place for this exercise.  Having already struggled with the preliminary parts of the program, they seemed to be more able to define why they were in the program.  So this exercise not only piqued interest as it was intended to do, the exercise also helped the men think through the parts of the program that had been presented thus far.

When #1.6:  Allen Ivey's Principles was presented and discussed, there was full participation.  Many were ready to read and comment. 

Considerable time was taken by the men in filling out #1.7a:  Who Has Been Heard?.  About six men took an extra long period of time, well beyond the rest of the group.  As the men finished the exercise, they were allowed to take a break.  (Not until the director was writing the program notes did he remember that he had forgotten to follow-up on #1.7a:  Who Has Been Heard? after the break.)

After the break and when everyone was ready, #1.7b:  What the Professionals Say About Empathy was presented.  There seemed to be an appropriate amount of struggling with the definitions, and the men thoughtfully discussed the meaning of empathy.  A few men seemed to understand all of the definitions.  Most of the men appeared to struggle with the more complicated definitions.  As the director read Rogers' definition, most of the participants seemed surprised at the reading, as though this was a grand insight.  Thinking about empathy in this manner seemed to be novel to them.

When the director and volunteer participant presented the contrived interaction relating to poor attending skills, there was a little confusion at the start.  As the director feigned very poor attending skills with a talkative participant, most did not seem to know what to do.  Two participants were talking and not paying attention at all.  A few concentrated on the poor attending of the director.  As the director continued to feign poor attending skills, even the volunteer participant became embarrassed and struggled to keep up the act of talking to the director.

When the director began to explain what was happening, there was some humor and attention increased.  Even the volunteer participant was shocked at how the director's poor attending affected him:  he was embarrassed and turned red even though he knew what was happening.  Several others expressed a mixture of feelings. 

When the director presented #1.9:  S-O-L-E-R, the participants followed the explanations.  Most of them contributed to the discussions with great interest. 

So much discussion ensued that the program session almost got sidetracked.  The director and several participants began to discuss the nature of personal barriers, proxemics, culturally appropriate touching, and the ethics of when to listen and when to take a stand. 

What became clear was that several men were attempting to defend what they perceived to be culturally appropriate touching and hugging without respect to the cultural differences of others different than themselves.  Some of them felt that it was culturally appropriate for them to hug strangers.  Others thought that a close relationship should usually precede hugging.  Some participants confused the ability to touch with the ability to get interpersonally close in general.

A couple of participants speculated about the utility or health of withholding their feelings, as though such was dishonest.  One man thought the Christian obligation to tell the truth was almost equal to correcting the errors or offenses of others whenever the errors were encountered.  A few men exhibited obvious hostility and defensiveness.  To a couple of the men, honesty and truth-telling were used to counter an attack or a perceived attack of some sort. 

With regard to the general health of being completely open emotionally, the director forwarded that restraint and control was a "vocational asset."  The director also noted that many times a person needed to restrain his or her emotions not only to keep one's job but also to avoid "throwing your pearls before swine" (where your "pearls" were the tender issues of your heart and where "swine" were those who have contempt for the tender and human issues of the heart).  The thoughts went over well.

One man felt he needed to take a stand on every truth and questioned the appropriateness of withholding any feeling.  He felt withholding was lying.  The director pointed out that while a Christian needed to speak the truth, Christians were first to be known by their love (Jn. 13:35).  The decision was ultimately his to make:  he needed to choose in each circumstance whether to speak truth or to preserve the relationship in love.  Most of the times, the director pointed out, the two went hand-in-hand.  A lot of the time, speaking truth could wait while one cultivated a relationship in love.

One man broke in spontaneously and said, "here is the kind of trust I have."  He proceeded to kiss on the side of the face the fellow sitting beside him.  The director ignored the remark and action, continuing with the lesson as though nothing happened.  The action embarrassed the director, and he thought best to deal with it privately and after he had had some time to think about it.

Outside of the one man's kissing, the spontaneous interaction was lively, and the rather serendipitous responses of the director were not only humorous but well received.  After about ten minutes of exchanges, the director steered the discussions back to the focus of the program on love‑‑love for God first, and secondly love for brothers.  The participants accepted the redirection and seemed to accept the concept that true love respected the personal barriers of others.

The assignments for the week were discussed.  Everyone seemed excited about the program.  Several said that they had learned a lot, had found it extremely helpful, and were looking forward to next week.

The first session seemed to accomplish the session objectives.  They seemed to understand that the program was going to be about listening skills with a focus on love.  Attending skills set #1 of body language seemed to be adequately covered, and the men seemed motivated to do the exercises for the following week.


Day 2:  August 17, 1996:  12:00-3:00 P.M.


Objective:  To help students develop their ability to use attending skills sets #1 and #2 through instruction and by use of case study scenarios in class

During the week prior to this session, four of the men who had missed the first session approached the director.  They were given the material and an abbreviated version of the first session. 

Twenty-eight men arrived.  One man was late because of his work assignment, another because of trouble getting off of his wing.  Two men were absent, one of them because he had a family visit.  In all thirty men attended the second session, including the late comers.

Also during the week, the director had consulted with the building captain about the man who had kissed a fellow participant.  The director explained to the captain that, no matter what the motive was, such behavior could not be tolerated.  The captain affirmed the director.  The director felt it necessary to make the exclusion of kissing a ground rule with expulsion from the class as a consequence of further behavior.  Furthermore, the director asked the captain if he could also report the name of the offending party for disciplinary action, and the captain said the director could do that as well. 

Because the school had held graduation exercises for GED graduates, a regularly scheduled chaplaincy activity called "Voyager" had been cancelled and the Islamic study group had been delayed.  These were done without the director's knowledge, so the redirection of these caused the program session to be delayed.  This required some reorganization.  Therefore, the program session began about forty-five minutes past the designated starting time with twenty-seven men in attendance. 

When the session did begin, the director looked at all of the discrimination exercises that the men had completed during the week.  Surprisingly, of the twenty-seven men, nine men had correctly selected the best response in one of the two scenarios.  One man had correctly selected the best response in both of the two scenarios. 

At the beginning of the session, the director confessed his embarrassment over having to mention the incident about kissing, the exclusion, and the consequences.  All of the men seemed to accept the exclusion with no conflict.  A few of the less assertive participants appeared to be a little relieved and strengthened.

To further clarify the nature of the program and what the program was not, the director said that the program was not designed to break down barriers so much as to improve "communication" and "listening" skills.  The director affirmed the men.  Because they were participating in such as program, some of their barriers were already broken down in as much as they were already "helpers" and were ready to learn how to be become better helpers through the program. 

The director also explained that the program was not designed to be a group therapy session.  The group was too large to do therapy, and the format would have to be radically different.  Nor was the program to be a "trust-building" or "esteem-building" program strictly designed to help the participants get closer to each other.  While this might happen during the sessions, the primary goal was to help the participants outside of the classroom and help them help others in the prison.

To emphasize the above, the director asked the few participants who regularly hugged to think about refraining from hugging for the duration of the program.  The refraining from hugging was not to be obligatory, but the director suggested that‑‑again‑‑the program was about communication and listening.  The director said that during the course of the program the participants might gain more through the attempt to communicate the intention that a hug was meant to communicate. 

The director recognized that a few of the participants may be uncomfortable not giving a hug to some persons, for such greetings may have been customary for a long time.  The participants were to judge the issues for themselves.

The man who had kissed the participant rebelled and proposed that they should also refrain from handshaking‑‑including the director.  He was somewhat angry and seemed inclined to exhibit a superior attitude and ability.  At the close of the class he did not return a handshake.  Besides the one exception, all the men appeared to accept the exclusion of hugging at face value.  There were no verbal rejections.

After a prayer the director led the devotion for the day from overhead #2.1:  Devotion #2:  No Greater Love, .  The devotion seemed to be more interesting to the men this time than the one on the first day.  Several men gave some verbal praise at a couple of points.

Because of the late start, the director shortened the length of the review of attending skills set #1.  The overhead #1.10a:  Assignment #1:  Attending Skills Set #1:  Body Language was presented, and a couple of participants were allowed to share their observations of the previous week. 

Following overhead #1.10b:  Assignment #1:  Discrimination Exercise, the director wrote the expert responses in red on the overhead and facilitated a discussion of the responses.  The director affirmed the men by noting the number of men who had chosen the best responses.  This seemed to encourage and lift the men immediately.  As discussion proceeded about the other responses, there seemed to be a few "Ah-hah" experiences among the men as they came to understand the difference between advice-giving, judgment, and non-judgmental listening.

The director prematurely presented overhead #2.2:  Exploring Attending Skills.  After the presentation of #2.2, he proceeded according the lesson plan to tell the men to freeze their position and explore their attending behavior.  Despite the premature presentation, the exploration went well in that the men found numerous things upon which to comment.  Most of them wrote positive statements about themselves. 

In the aftermath, the exploration seemed to consume too much time for the good that was done, less good than if the time had been spent elsewhere.  Since most of the men had written positive statements and were not very critical or observant, the exploration might have yielded just as much if the director had simply presented the exploration according to plan without the use of an overhead and the written exercise.

The discussion about the lower half of #2.2:  Exploring Attending Skills seemed to be informative.  The most significant point seemed to be that the 5WH questions were meant to be used primarily to gather information necessary for understanding and not necessarily to solve problems.  The participants seemed to have made the connection that there was a difference between helping through listening and simply solving other person's problems for them.  The director re-enforced the perception with the statement:  "give a man a fish, you feed him for a day;  but if you teach a man how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime."

The presentation of the story of King Pygmalion through overheads #2.3a:  King Pygmalion Fashions a Dream and #2.3b:  King Pygmalion's Dream Comes True did not go well immediately.  One man questioned the use of a mythical king in a biblical program, shaking his head and non-verbally expressing some disgust.  His attitude exhibited a severe judgment, and he began looking in his Bible as though he was going to prove his point.  The director proceeded without any comment.

As the director explained the role of expectations upon student responses, the class became more animated.  Several of the men seemed transfixed upon the director as though they were reliving some kind of past experience.  The men understood the concept and took the concept to heart.  Even the man who had prejudged the illustration became chagrined at his own assent to the power of expectations upon learners;  he even seemed to become a little ashamed after seeing how well the other participants took the illustration to heart.

The participants were ready to deal with overhead #2.4:  Listening, Expectations, & Growth.  After a brief commentary on how Christians were part of the body of Christ, the director led the participants through the seven dimensions of life and the use of the six helping principles.  Because of the individuality and complexity of growth itself, the men seemed to better understand the need to listen and the need to learn how to listen better.  Though they were animated as they read and commented on the principles, the director felt that the men only partially understood the significance of the seven dimensions and the six principles relevant to the listening process.  So the director encouraged them to look over these throughout the weeks ahead.

The men responded well to overhead #2.5:  Reflecting Verbal Content.  They seemed to enjoy the outline of the reflecting techniques and the discussion.  One man made the comment about the necessity to use the techniques in love, though he did not say what those techniques were.  Nevertheless, the director affirmed the comment.  The director reminded the men that unless all of the program was done in love, none of the program would have any value according to the manner in which true love was defined in 1 Corinthians 13.

The director led the men through #2.6:  Reflecting Verbal Content Exercise.  They participated and grasped the difference between parroting and paraphrase responses.  The director fumbled through the explanation of the lower half of #2.6:  Reflecting Verbal Content Exercise.  Though the men had no difficulty doing the exercise, the director's poor explanation confused several men, and they had trouble understanding just what to write in the blanks spaces.  Some did not get clarification and wrote the wrong information.

Though the participants had articulated an understanding of open and closed questions in the presentation, more than half the men did not understand the difference between open and closed questions in the actual practice of them.  After the exercise and during the discussion, the men picked up the differences as they listened to the examples and the comments of their fellow participants.  These were lively discussions.  The topics that most of the men chose were rather inconsequential, like football or elementary theological concepts.

The assignments for the upcoming week were discussed.  The excitement about the program had grown.  Several said that they had used some of the listening skills and that the results were marvelous.  There was no negative comment.

The second session seemed to accomplish the session objectives.  The participants seemed to grasp that the program was going to be about listening skills with a focus on love and that listening was not as easy as they had perceived.  Attending skills set #1 of body language and set #2 of reflecting verbal content seemed to have been adequately reviewed and covered.  The men seemed motivated to do the exercises for the following week.


Day 3:  August 24, 1996:  12:00-3:00 P.M.


Objective:  To help students develop their ability to use attending skills sets #2 and #3 through instruction and observation and by use of case study scenarios in class

Twenty-five men arrived on time.  One man was late because of his work assignment.  One man had asked to be excused because his football team was playing;  the director gave him the material and some instructions for the following week, expressing that he would be missed.  One man left early.  Five men were absent, and the director was told that two of them had dropped out.  In all, twenty-six men attended the third session, including the one who was late.

Prior to the beginning of the program, the man who had kissed his fellow participant was walking up the hall.  The director extended his hand expecting a handshake, but the man shook his head and asked that the two of them do what the director had suggested in the last session (implying that we should avoid a handshake and verbally communicate the intention of the handshake). 

The director agreed and responded, "Your smile is encouraging.  I envy it somewhat, for I do not know that I could carry the same kind of confidence if our positions were reversed."

He said something similar to:  "The Lord gives strength."

The director said, "Indeed, whatever strength that I could muster would have to come from the Lord.  It is a great strength to be able to trust the Lord in this place."

The man nodded, smiled, and said, "Ok.  (pause.)  Fine."  He seemed to be lost for words. 

The director returned the smile and nodded, then the director lifted his hand and stretched out the palm of his hand toward the door, "We're going to make it, you know.  These have been some good sessions, haven't they?"

He nodded.

The man had been in prison for ten years and had been skeptical and cynical towards most authority since his coming to this prison a year ago.  The above interaction seemed helpful to him in validating what the director had suggested in the last session.  Since he was a very dynamic person to whom many of the younger men looked, having his validation seemed to be worth much toward helping some of the other men open up and accept the program more sincerely.

After a prayer and from overhead #3.1:  Devotion #3:  You Must Love Your Brother, the director led the devotion for the day.  The men seemed to enjoy the devotion.  For several men the devotion appeared to be a very insightful experience, as though they had never previously thought about the importance of listening in love in the manner in which they were being trained.

The review of #2.7a:  Assignment #2:  Attending Skills #2:  Reflecting Verbal Content indicated that several of the men had difficulty grasping some of the exercises.  Those men seemed either unable or unwilling to understand the meaning of "reflect" verbal content.  Though most of the men had appeared to understand the concept, most of them did not record an actual instance of another person "reflecting." 

The review of #2.7b:  Assignment #2:  Discrimination Exercise and the expert responses indicated that most of the men were trying to judge which response was the most ethical rather than which response was the most helpful.  Of the three scenarios, thirteen chose the best response once, three chose the best response twice, and two chose the best response for all three scenarios.  Twelve correctly chose the second best response once.

Because the current day's session was going to focus on the reflection of feeling, the men were told that the best response in all of the discrimination exercises would at least indicate some kind of reflection of feeling.  The men were encouraged to look at their responses on the two exercises and compare their responses to the responses of the experts.  They were encouraged to try and examine how they had decided upon the choices they had made, and several seemed to be curious enough to follow through on the encouragement.

The presentation of #3.2:  Bad Listening Habits elicited a small amount of discussion.  All of the men had encountered bad listening and had been guilty of the same.  Shortly before this presentation, the director had taken an emergency call, and during the presentation of #3.2 the director became distracted‑‑perfectly illustrating bad listening habits as he explained #3.2.  That instance of modeling bad listening proved insightful and humorous for the men.

At the beginning of the presentation and discussion of #3.3:  Four Kinds of Listening, there was some boredom and some visible expressions of a small degree of contempt.  The contempt seemed to be over the use of the words "discriminative, evaluative, and appreciative," as though these were attempts by the director to impress the participants with his education.  The explanations of the first three kinds of listening seemed to be explanations of the obvious to the men.  The men appeared to tolerate the director, even condescend to him in the presentation of his program.  The ready assent and little discussion gave the director the feeling that the men felt confident in these kinds of listening.

Once the explanations of the first three kinds were compared to the fourth kind of listening‑‑empathic listening‑‑the men perked up again as though they were again enlightened, even shocked.  When the connection was made that the first three kinds of listening were intrinsic and selfish and that empathic listening was extrinsic and selfless, the expressions and attitudes of most of the men changed immediately.  A brief explanation of intrinsic and extrinsic was necessary.

When the men had scanned the four kinds of listening on their handouts, they had not realized that empathic listening was in a category separate from and in great contrast to the first three kinds of listening.  What became apparent was that the men had thought that the first three kinds of listening were the most noble.  Since these kinds of listening seemed to be more congruent with their own methods of listening, their methods of understanding appeared to be affirmed by what they initially felt was the pedantic presentation of the director.

When the intrinsic and selfish nature of the first three kinds were compared to the extrinsic and unselfish nature of empathic listening, there appeared to be a small degree of thoughtful reconsiderations by several of the men.  With the immediate change in attitude, the men focused intently upon the explanation of empathic listening.  The discussion of empathic listening was not only an inculcation of the discussions of #1.7b:  What the Professionals Say About Empathy, but the discussion seemed to make clear that listening without judgment was a truly valuable way of relating and being with someone.

After the break, the men were ready to talk about feelings.  The men's exuberance waned quickly with the presentation of #3.4:  Feeling Faces.  Several men became silent and stolid, others seemed to relax.  The feeling faces appeared to be a bit cartoonish and silly to most of the men.  Even through the discussions of #3.5a-e:  Categorized Feeling Words and #3.6:  A Continuum of Feeling Words the men did not seem very willing to participate.  Most of the men did not seem to value the distinction between the categories of feeling words.

A few men seemed to grasp the intellectual value of the words for building their vocabularies.  However, most of the men did not seem to value the words as aids in the expression of their own feelings.  Only a few of men seemed to make the connection that the depth of his self-understanding was proportional to his ability to precisely express his own inner feeling.  Likewise, the greater the ability to express one's own inner feeling was proportional to one's ability to more accurately reflect another person's inner feeling in a helping situation.  A few others seemed to catch on after further explanation. 

The director added some extemporaneous explanations to the lesson plan.  The men were told how a deeper understanding of self was a prerequisite to understanding others.  Moreover, the ability to articulate and explain their deep understanding of their inner selves would pave the way for them to articulate an understanding of another person's inner hurting world.  They were told this was the essence of empathy.

About fifty percent of the men seemed to grasp that understanding themselves was a prerequisite to understanding others.  The others seemed to be doubtful, tolerating the discussion and remaining silent.  A few seemed not to care very much at all about the discussion of feelings.

With the presentation of #3.7:  Six Reasons that Inhibit Self-Disclosure the men seemed to tolerate this as much as they did #3.3:  Four Kinds of Listening.  No one was inclined to speak freely about inhibitions to self-disclosure.  A few participated, but the participation did not seem sincere, as though a few were just wanting to help the program session progress.

In doing the exercises of #3.8:  Listening to Your Own Feelings and Emotions, the men seemed to cooperate and participate with each other.  As has been noted, a few men were slow and labored through the exercise with long responses.  Some were lively in their sharing with each other.  A few of them got confused and thought that they were supposed to choose from the existing lists rather than use the list and find some feeling phrases of their own.

Almost the same thing happened when the men began doing the role-play exercise, #3.9:  Responding to Others Exercise #1.  A few of them got confused and thought that they were to use the words from the example in their own responses.  Most of them did the exercise with few inhibitions.  When the director facilitated discussions on the exercise, most of the men were willing to share their viewpoint on how the persons in the exercises were feeling.  Those who shared were correctly identifying feelings, and this became a great opportunity for the director to affirm the men in their correctness.

Since the class was running about twenty minutes over, those who had finished early were getting restless.  The director had to end the exercise and begin to instruct the men about the assignments for the week.  Because the men had gone through two assignments already, several of the men felt confident and appeared to feel as though they did not need to hear this again.

As the director brought the session to an end, over half the men were preparing to leave.  All of them began discussions of some sort, and the director felt like he was talking to a wall. 

When the director said rather loudly, "I feel like no one is listening," most everyone got quiet.  A few men smiled broadly.  The director told them that since a good number of the men had had some trouble filling out the first part of the homework exercise in the previous two assignments, he wondered if they would like to hear some brief instructions on what was expected on this exercise.  The men listened, and a couple of them asked a few questions for clarification.

The men left excited but distracted.  Though the program had been hard work for several, excitement about the program had grown.  Several said that they had used some of the listening skills and that the results were marvelous.  There was no negative comment.

The third session seemed to accomplish the session objectives.  Attending skills sets #2 of reflecting content and #3 of reflecting feelings seemed to be adequately understood.  The men seemed to understand the basic empathy formula for the reflection of feeling (you seem to feel [insert feeling] because [insert experience]).  The men seemed motivated to do the exercises for the following week.


Day 4:  August 31, 1996:  12:00-3:00 P.M.


Objective:  To help students understand their interpersonal style and develop their ability to use appropriate self-disclosure with the attending skills through instruction and observation and by use of case study scenarios in class

Twenty-three men arrived.  One man was late because of his work assignment.  In all twenty-four men attended the fourth session.

Four men had communicated that they had dropped out of the program, leaving twenty-nine men in the experimental group.  Four men were absent.  One man connected with the director and arranged to get the material to study because he was having a family visit and could not attend the fourth session.  

After a prayer the director led the devotion for the day from overhead #4.1:  Devotion #4:  Give of Yourself.  The men seemed attentive to the devotion. 

The devotion was meant to help the men see a scriptural justification for self-disclosure.  The concept that "loving" their brothers included the sharing of the heart and innermost feelings seemed to be a new understanding for many of them.  While most of them prized love and being loved as prominent Christian virtues, most of them struggled with how to love and trust in the prison environment.  Without giving up the necessity of distrust, the men seemed to come to understand the necessity of self-disclosure before any kind of friendship could be maintained.

The men were very reluctant to share any responses during the director's follow-up of #3.10a:  Assignment #3:  Attending Skills Set #3.  There appeared to be either a misunderstanding about the assignment or about the nature of sharing feelings in general.  After a moment of silence, the director gave a little encouragement, and one man shared.  Of all of the exercises the men had done, this exercise had the least participation thus far in the program.  With regard to the sharing of intense feelings with another, no one shared an incident.  In the descriptive section of assignment #3.10 about observing others, again, only one man shared;  and again, there were no observations of a response to an intense feeling.

From the responses on #3.10b:  Assignment #3:  Discrimination Exercise, the director recorded that in the three scenarios ten men chose the best response once, nine chose the best responses in two scenarios, and six chose the best responses in all three scenarios.  The number of correct choices seemed to indicate that many of the men were beginning to understand the essential meaning and use of the basic empathy formula.

The director gave an introduction to the Interpersonal Check List in the presentation of #4.2a-e.  The exercise was easy for the men at the start, and they readily participated.  In the calculating of the "DOM" (dominant) and "LOV" (loving) scales, several of the men did not have the math skills.  With three calculators supplied, several of the men helped others finish the scales.  The check list took considerable time to complete. 

According the lesson plan, the director intended to enlist the aid of a couple of freeworld volunteers to help the participants with the calculations.  But the director was unable to secure any volunteers for the Saturday time frame.

Most of the men were surprised at how their scores were graphed on the two profiles.  One man did not want to graph his at all:  from the director's observation, his scores appeared to reveal him as considerably more dominant and hostile than he perceived himself to be, and he was aware of how this would look on the graphs.  Another man thought quite well of himself because of his high scores, but he felt humiliated when he found out that having high scores all around meant a low level of accurate self-awareness.  Some of the men were pleased.

After doing the check list, the men seemed bored and restless.  Even though there had been a break, their motivation seemed low and many appeared tired. 

The above boredom seemed to be the reason for the low attention given to #4.3:  Some Rules of Self-Disclosure.  The presentation of #4.3 was tedious and seemed to add boredom to the men.

When the director led the men through #4.4:  Self Disclosure Exercise, most of the men participated, though some were reluctant.  Several men were ready to leave.  Three men were so restless they could not concentrate, and they almost became distracting.  Using their own experience with the case studies provided the men with an opportunity to talk about their own feelings.  This was hard for most of the men.  Many enjoyed sharing about themselves, but few actually shared any deep feelings.

After the check list and the disclosure exercise, the director discerned that few of the participants (if any) had ever before tried to articulate their feelings so intently and in such a controlled manner.  Though a couple of the more gregarious participants found the exercises fun, most of them found that looking at their feelings was tiring.  Most of them struggled for words beyond the basic categories of "angry," "sad," and "happy."  Several of the men seemed surprised at their own struggle for more accurate words to describe their feelings.  Another reason for the inhibition may have been limited vocabularies.

The fourth session seemed to accomplish the session objectives.  At the end of the session, the director felt as though too much time might have been given to the Interpersonal Check List.  But the overall impact seemed to be positive, for the impression was that the men learned about themselves and about the overall importance of self-knowledge as a prerequisite to understanding others.

The director gave a brief overview of the week's assignment.  The men seemed willing to follow through with the assignments.


Day 5:  September 5, 1996:  12:00-3:00 P.M.


Objective:  To help students understand the basic concept of empathy and develop their ability to use accurate empathic skills through instruction and observation and by use of case study scenarios in class

Two more men had dropped out of the program.  These deletions brought the experimental group to twenty-seven men on the attendance list.

Having been able to call the men out early, the session was able to start on time.  Twenty-four men arrived on time.  Two were delayed and about ten minutes late, and one was a little over an hour late because of his work assignment.  In all twenty-seven men were present.

After a prayer the director led the devotion for the day from overhead #5:1:  Devotion #5:  From Where Love Came & Why We Love.  The presentation of the devotion went smoothly.  One of the most essential points of the devotion was that since "God loved you first" then you ought also to "love your brother first."  The men seemed to accept the premise, and they seemed to understand that the Christian had the responsibility to drive out fear. 

The thesis was:  by walking in the shoes of another and listening to his or her struggles of the heart, the Christian expressed love and broke down barriers.  This thesis and the devotion went over well with the men and seemed to adequately set the stage for the review of the previous week's assignment.

The men did not want to share very much about #4.5a:  Assignment #4:  Self-Disclosure.  One reason may have been that the correctional officer monitoring the building sat in the room, and this was unusual since all of the previous officers had remained in the office across the hall.  He was a young officer, and the director perceived that the officer thought he was just doing his duty.  The director also thought that the officer may have been interested in the devotion and topics being presented.  But the director perceived that the men felt like their space had been invaded, so they were inhibited in their sharing.

The director's several encouragements to share observations from #4.5a were met with blank stares and silence.  After waiting for about a minute, one man reluctantly shared, then another.  Four men shared some very personal self-disclosures and a few intense feelings.  That surprised the director, especially since the sharings followed an initial resistance.

The director collected the scores on #4.5b:  Assignment #4:  Discrimination Exercise.  In the three scenarios, four men chose the best response once, eleven men chose the best response in two scenarios, and one man chose the best response in all three scenarios.  Many of the men correctly matched the second best responses in one or two scenarios.  The choices indicated a continued struggle with the concepts of non-judgmental listening.

Throughout the discussions of #4.5b:  Assignment #4:  Discrimination Exercise, the men seemed to be grasping the nature of empathy.  This seemed especially so with regard to the men's ability to identify the judgmental or investigative role of helpers that were represented in the worst responses in assignment four.

The empathy question was presented in #5.2a:  Scriptural Overview of Empathy.  The empathy question was on the knowledge assessment pretest, and that question was one of the topics of confusion during the pretest discussions.  In the light of the previous lessons and discrimination exercises, the director perceived that most of the men understood the question.  The men were understanding the connection between shared feelings and empathy.  As the director facilitated discussions through overhead #5.2, the men were eager to participate, volunteering to read and comment on the scriptures.

The director presented and commented on #5.2b:  Overview of Empathy Behavior.  The men seemed to accept the distinction between accurate empathy and advanced accurate empathy (respectively:  AE-I and AE-II), especially as the director recalled some of the examples the men had shared from assignment four.  Because of the depth of #5.2b the men were encouraged to reread this handout several times throughout the week.

The atmosphere of the room had become quiet.  As though most of the men were thinking or speculating, the director thought that the men would profit from some encouragement on the journey of empathy or the making of empathic communication seem like a journey or adventure. 

The director talked about the difficulty of exploring unknown territory.  But despite the difficulty and challenge that was inherent in exploration, there was no more "unknown" territory left to explore.  The only unknown territory left was the hearts of men and women.  The director elaborated on the journey of getting close to others, for that journey was the most noble as well as the most difficult.  Empathy was presented as the key ingredient.  The illustration seemed to be well received by the men.

With the presentation of the role-play exercise, #5.3:  Responding to Others Exercise #2, the men divided up and began to work through the exercise.  A few misunderstood and failed to use the formulas for reflection that were made available to them on the bottom of their handouts.  Strangely enough though, during the discussions many of the men shared some accurate and advanced accurate empathic responses. 

One man gave a clearly non-empathic response.  Even as he quoted his response, he and several others recognized the response's coldhearted nature.  A few smiles and comments made this a great example of a judgmental and advice-giving comment.  This was made all the more clear by the man himself when he articulated quite well many of the feelings of the person in scenario three.

At the close of this exercise, the director encouraged the men to think about the empathy question and asked them to repeat the empathy question several times.  The director also asked the men to think about the three levels of good responding (responding to content, to feeling, and to meaning) and the empathy formula (you seem to feel [insert feeling] because [insert experience]).  The director asked the men to repeat those several times.  They seemed confident in their responses.

The director presented 5.4a:  Some Prerequisite Scriptural Values of Empathy and 5.4b:  Some Prerequisite Values of Empathy & Their Behaviors.  The men were asked to read the various portions of 5.4a and then 5.4b.  The men seemed to understand most of the concepts, with the exception of the word, "pragmatic," which seemed to be strange to them.  With the scriptural foundation in 5.4a, the men readily accepted Egan's definitions in 5.4b.

A lot of information was presented 5.4a and 5.4b.  Even though the men acknowledged the presentation, the director perceived that the amount of information seemed to be too much for the men to assimilate in the presentation.  The director encouraged the men to reread and study their handouts during the week.

With the presentation of #5.5:  Responding to Others Exercise #2, the men divided up and began to work through the exercise.  Most of the men understood, but a few still failed to use the formulas for reflection at the bottom of their handouts.  Yet again during the discussions, several of the men gave accurate and advanced accurate empathy responses. 

The doing of #5.5:  Responding to Others Exercise #3 so soon after the men had done #5.3:  Responding to Others Exercise #2 seemed to inculcate some of the learning the men had grappled with an hour earlier in #5.3.  Though the director did not look at each man's work, the director perceived that most if not all the men were using the basic empathy formula.  This inculcation seemed very productive and well accepted.  The men seemed to be getting interested in their own learning and to be taking on the challenge of exhibiting empathy.

The assignments for the upcoming week were discussed.  The men felt confident from having followed the same format for the previous five weeks. 

The director showed the men the covers that would be attached to their material at the end of the last session.  The director also showed the men the blank diplomas that he had constructed for the men at the end of the seminar.  The men were very pleased with them.

The fifth session seemed to accomplish the session objectives.  Most of the men seemed to understand basic empathy, and the director observed that many of the men were beginning to understand the distinctions between accurate empathy and advanced accurate empathy.  The men seemed motivated and excited to do the exercises for the next week.


Day 6:  September 14, 1996:  12:00-3:00 P.M.


Objective:  To help students develop their ability to use advanced accurate empathic skills through instruction and observation and by use of case study scenarios in class

Twenty-five men arrived.  One man had approached the director earlier in the day and explained that he might be late because of a family visit, and it turned out that he was indeed over an hour late.  Another man arrived an hour late because of his work assignment.  In all twenty-seven men attended the sixth session.

After a prayer the director led the devotion for the day from overhead #6.1:  Devotion #6:  If One Part Suffers, Every Part Suffers.  The men seemed to accept that empathy was biblical:  especially in the light of 1 Cor. 12:26.  The men seemed to understand how this verse applied to the lessons on empathy and the communication of empathy to a hurting person.

The director also added an illustration not contained in the lesson outline.  A number of the men were martial arts fans.  In a movie by martial artist Chuck Norris, Norris was in an apartment with a woman police officer who had just experienced the loss of her male partner.  The male police officer was killed by a gang, and later in the movie Norris would vindicate the woman officer's loss.

For the time being the woman officer was grieving the loss of her partner.  She was whimpering and crying.  As Norris observed the woman crying, he was at a loss for words.

Finally, as she continued to cry, Norris asked, "Should I leave the room?"

She shook her head no.

This scenario illustrated a poor communication of empathy.  Norris obviously cared about the woman.  He wanted to help her.  His intentions were all noble and caring.  But though he was caring and wanted to help the woman in her grievous loss, the best that he could do was offer to leave the room. 

The men understood the significance of the illustration and the point the director had made.  Norris leaving the room would have been better for the woman and more caring than if Norris had judged her grief or denied her the right to grieve with words like, "don't cry," "I'll get'em," "it'll be all right," "you'll get over it," and so forth. 

The director asked the men how much more comforting Norris could have been if he had just known the empathy formula.  "Even though a helper cares about a hurting person," the director said, "that does not mean that the helper will be able to help."  The men seemed to be encouraged, and the empathy formula seemed to have gained more credibility as a result of this illustration.

The director led the men through discussions of the previous week's assignments.  Most of the men did not want to share their responses from the first part of #5.6a:  Assignment #5:  Accurate Empathy.  After some prodding and patience, one man shared how an officer did not use empathy.  Of the three men who eventually shared, none of them had actually written down the words of their observations.  The same was true for the other parts of #5.6a.

Of the three scenarios and the four responses to each scenario in #5.6b:  Assignment #5:  Discrimination Exercise, six men correctly chose the best response one time, and nine chose the best responses in two scenarios.  Many of the men had switched the best and second best responses.  The choices of the men indicated a continued struggle with the concepts of empathy.

The discussions of the discrimination exercises were lively.  As soon as the director showed the men the expert responses on the overhead screen, the director perceived that the men began to ponder their own responses in the light of the expert responses.

Over the course of the weeks, the men seemed to be less and less defensive over the discrepancies between their responses and the expert responses.  During this session, there were no defensive words. 

The men were encouraged to discuss the appropriateness of the expert responses, and the director explained a few of the suppositions underlying some of the expert responses.  The men appeared to accept the reasoning behind the expert responses.

A break was given to the men.  The director overlooked the planned exercise in the lesson plan calling for a review of #5.2b:  Overview of Empathy Communication.  That element was bypassed by accident.

After the break, the men eagerly proceeded to do the role-play exercise, #6.3a:  Responding to Others Exercise #4.  Most of the men gave an empathic response that correlated well with the expert response given on #6.3b:  Expert Responses to #4 Scenario #9.  One man shared a response that was clearly unempathic as an example to the class of how not to do it, and this received some humorous and affirming remarks.

Before the presentation of #6.4:  Empathy:  A More Clear Reflection, a man asked about the difference between accurate and advanced accurate empathy in reference to the discrimination exercise.  Though the man's question almost seemed sarcastic, the director proceeded as though the man meant well and just had not made the connection between the previous two lessons. 

The director proceeded to present #6.4:  Empathy:  A More Clear Reflection and told the man that this handout and discussion was going to discuss the very point of his question.  As the director placed the overhead on the projector, the director pointed out that the man had been making the distinction when he chose the best expert response in all of the discrimination exercises. 

For that man and a few others the above clarification seemed to be a revelation, and the level four expert responses were seen in a new way.  The men seemed to understand in a more practical manner the differences between AE‑I and AE‑II.  The men had in their possession the very distinctions between AE‑I and AE‑II in the form of the discrimination exercises and the expert responses. 

During the time the director was explaining #6.5a:  Responding to Others Exercise #5, some of the men began to work through the role-play exercise even before the director had finished his explanation.  That initiative indicated some of the sustained motivation that the program had developed.  Whereas in the first couple of sessions most of the men were leery of doing some of the exercises, during the current session most of the men had come to see the exercises and the learning as more enjoyable and less threatening.

When the director led the discussion about scenario #12 of #6.5a, three men shared some AE-II responses.  The men's responses were similar to the expert responses presented on the overhead screen in #6.5b:  Expert Responses to #5 Scenario #12.  The similarities between the responses shared by the men and the expert responses served to affirm the men.  Two of them sat up in their chairs and exhibited even more attention, if not a little bit of pride.  The director observed that they felt very encouraged about their responses. 

The expert responses included two AE‑I and three AE‑II responses.  One man had shared a response that was almost identical to the AE‑II response of the expert.  As the difference was pointed out between the inmate's AE‑II response and the expert AE‑I and AE‑II responses, the exercise affirmed the learning of all of the men through the exercises.

The director presented #6.6:  Empathy Being More than a Skill & the Anti-Helper, but the explanations of this overhead seemed to distract from the thought processes that the previous exercise had appeared to generate.  The director perceived that #6.6 might have been more information than they could assimilate.  So the director went over the several reasons that empathy was "more than a skill" and proceeded quickly to the elements of the "anti-helper."

Time had run out, and the session was being extended beyond the scheduled time.  Since the men had come to understand the homework exercises, only a couple of minutes were spent explaining #6.7a:  Assignment #6:  Advanced Accurate Empathy and #6.7b:  Assignment #6:  Discrimination Exercise.  The most essential point, the men were told, was that they should try and write "the words used" by the person they were observing for assignment #6.7a.

In closing, the director encouraged the men to think about the empathy question and asked them to repeat the empathy question several times.  The director also asked the men to think about the three levels of good responding and the empathy formula.

The sixth session seemed to accomplish the session objectives.  The men seemed to understand the distinctions between accurate and advanced accurate empathy, and the men seemed motivated to do the assignments for the week.


Day 7:  September 21, 1996:  12:00-4:00 P.M.


Objective:  To help students to further develop their ability to use advanced accurate empathic skills through instruction and observation and by use of case study scenarios in class

Twenty-five men arrived.  One man had decided not to come, but later in the week he made up the exercise and completed the assignments.  One man was an hour late because of his work assignment.  In all twenty-six men attended the seventh session.

Most of the men seemed excited that this was the last day.  Many expressed some sorrow that this was the last day, wishing that it could go on indefinitely.

After a prayer, the director led the devotion for the day from overhead #7:1:  Devotion #7:  LOVE:  The Most Excellent Way.  Despite what appeared to be some anticipation from the men, there was some tension in the air.  No one seemed tired or bored.  Though the men did not appear to be distracted, they nevertheless did not seem to be focused either.  The room was with filled with energy that did not seem to be directed toward the director or the program.

Later in the week, the director found out a possible source of the tension he felt from the men.  In the cancellation of the chaplaincy department hospitality program, three trustees from the administration building had been disciplined and removed from the administration building (probably receiving a severe reduction in status and other losses).  The news had spread quickly throughout the unit, and maybe the men were trying to attempt to discern what the director might have contributed to the discipline.

Nevertheless, the director proceeded on with the devotion.  Though the day's devotion was a little longer than the previous ones, the men seemed to follow along.  The director spoke enthusiastically about love and the connection of love to listening.

The men appeared to accept the essential point of the devotion:  that all of the techniques of the program were employed in vain if they were employed without love.  Anything done without love had no true value.  Another point made was that listening was an essential part of love:  not the whole of love, but a significant part of one's expression of love.

During the facilitation of #6.7a:  Assignment #6:  Advanced Accurate Empathy, initially no man was willing share any observation of the poor use of empathy.  After about a minute, one man shared.  Then a couple of men shared the examples of empathy they had observed and had used themselves.  As in the previous sessions, most of the men were reluctant to share.

About midway through #6.7a, Chaplain Alex Taylor arrived to observe and review the session as an expert in the field of criminal justice chaplaincy.  The director had asked Chaplain Taylor a few months earlier if he would help with the project.  He conceded gladly and felt comfortable from the beginning.

In the two scenarios and four responses in #6.7b:  Assignment #6:  Discrimination Exercise, ten men chose the best response to one scenario, and fifteen chose the best responses in both scenarios.  Eleven men correctly matched the second best responses in one scenario, and eleven men correctly matched the second best responses in both scenarios.  The choices of the men indicated progress with the concepts of empathic responding.

As the men alternatively read the response leads from #7.2:  Other Kinds of Empathic Response Leads, the room livened up.  Some struggled more than others, but every one of the men was able to place an appropriate feeling word in the right place to complete the responses. 

As the men read, a few of them encouraged Chaplain Taylor to participate.  A rush of laughter filled the room when Chaplain Taylor responded to number twenty-four, "Very much feeling ____________," with the statement:  "Very much feeling embarrassed."  The statement was apropos and so spontaneous that the men were encouraged and began to exhibit a similar spontaneity.

After the presentation of #7.3a:  Some Common Mistakes, the director led the men in doing #7.3b:  Some Common Mistakes Exercise.  After the men completed the exercise, the director went over #7.3b:  Some Common Mistakes Exercise Answers.  As the director facilitated the discussion, the director perceived that many of the men had not done very well. 

However, as the director explained each answer, the men appeared to accept the reasoning in a thoughtful manner.  From the facial expressions and verbal affirmations of a few men, the reasoning behind the inappropriateness of the negative responses appeared to be a significant insight.

Because the men had by this time completed five similar exercises, the presentation of the role-play exercise, #7.4a:  Responding to Others Exercise #6, went very smoothly.  As though they looked forward to doing the exercise, the men proceeded to pair up and work through their parts.

When #7.4b:  Expert Responses to #6 Scenario #15 & #16 was presented, most of the men had given at least a basic empathic response.  When the expert responses were discussed in terms of accurate and advanced empathy, most of the men took the time necessary to write down from the overhead all of the expert responses to scenarios number fifteen and sixteen.

Because too much time had elapsed, the representations of #1.4:  Listening Self-Knowledge and #1.7:  What the Professionals Say About Empathy were passed over.  The director proceeded to lead the men through #7.5:  Discerning Empathy from Sympathy.  The men were amused by the director's explanations of the differences between empathy, sympathy, and identification.

At the time of the presentation of #7.5, Chaplain Taylor was sitting in the front next to the director.  Some light commenting ensued about the example and some quick and rather half-serious responses to #7.5 were spontaneously exchanged between the men, Chaplain Taylor, and the director.

One tongue-in-cheek remark by Chaplain Taylor was taken seriously.  The men apparently had not read the #7.5.  As the director explained #7.5 from the overhead, reference was made to two previous remarks in the spontaneous discussions, clearly indicating "sympathetic" as opposed to "empathic" remarks.  With the examples in #7.5, the differences between empathy, sympathy, and identification were made all the more poignant.  The exchanges appeared to be a powerful class experience.

The men were ready for the role-play exercise, #7.6a:  Responding to Others Exercise #7.  They proceeded to pair up and work on scenarios seventeen through twenty.

When the director facilitated discussion of #7.6a:  Responding to Others Exercise #7 Scenarios #17-20, most of the men had recorded a good accurate empathic response.  A few men shared a few advanced accurate empathy responses.  When the director proceeded to explain the expert responses to the scenarios, most of the men received some affirmation in how their responses were similar in depth of feeling to the responses of the experts.  As further evidence of interest, most all of the men copied all of the expert responses onto their papers for further reference.

With the presentation of overhead #7.7:  The Last Frontier, the director simply read from the handout and pointed at the overhead screen in reference to several points.  The men were encouraged to view listening as an integral part of love and living.

After #7.7, the table of contents was passed out to all of the men.  The table of contents contained references to all of the handouts listed according to title and number.  The men were encouraged to look at the three pages of the table of contents and look at how far they had come.  They were encouraged to look over the material in the years to come.

In closing, the director presented the final handout, #7.8:  Where to Go from Here:  Towards Wisdom.  On the bottom of the page of several pivotal and information laden handouts, the director had placed an application of the listening principle,[190] and these were summed up on #7.8, with the respective handouts footnoted.  The men were encouraged to look at the collective applications of the listening principle.  As the scriptures in #7.8 were read through, the importance of using wisdom was accented.  The men seemed to accept the encouragement and the challenge to make listening a lifelong learning process.

[181] Edited from Joseph Stokes and Gary Lautenschlager, Counselor Response Questionnaire (Sam Houston State University Library, Huntsville: Sam Houston State University, 1977): ETS Test Collection #010195, microfiche.

[182] Allen Ivey and Jerry Authier, Microcounseling:  Innovations in Interviewing, Counseling, Psychotherapy, and Psychoeducation (Springfield, IL: Charles Thomas, 1978).

[183] Robert Carkhuff, Helping and Human Relations (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1969).

[184] Rolfe LaForge and Robert Suczek, Interpersonal Check List, in User's Guide to The University Associates Instrumentation Kit (San Diego, CA: University Associates, 1988), ICL:1-8.

[185] M. B. Freedman, et al., "The Interpersonal Dimension of Personality," Journal of Personality 20 (1951): 143-161.

[186] J. S. Wiggins, Personality and Prediction: Principles of Personality Assessment, (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1973): 475-488.

[187] All emphases in this appendix were the author's in the uncondensed version of the background.

[188] R. LaForge and R. F. Suczek, "The Interpersonal Dimension of Personality:  III:  An Interpersonal Check List," Journal of Personality 24 (1955), 94-112.

[189] All of the numbered overheads and handouts were placed in appendix 3.

[190] The listening principle:  "When Love and Listening are divided by Wisdom, Liberation results."