Mnemonic for Common Factors Communication Methods: HELP H = Hope Hope facilitates coping. Increase the family’s hopefulness by describing your realistic expectations for improvement and reinforcing the strengths and assets you see in the child and family. Encourage concrete steps toward whatever is achievable. E = Empathy Communicate empathy by listening attentively, acknowledging struggles and distress, and sharing happiness experienced by the family. L2 = Language, Loyalty Use the child and family’s own language (not a clinical label) to reflect your understanding of the problem as they see it and to give the child and family an opportunity to correct any misperceptions. Communicate loyalty to the family by expressing your support and your commitment to help now and in the future. P3 = Permission, Partnership, Plan Ask the family’s permission for you to ask more in-depth and potentially sensitive questions or to make suggestions for further evaluation or management. Partner with the child and family to identify any barriers or resistance to addressing the problem, find strategies to bypass or overcome barriers, and find agreement on achievable steps (or simply an achievable first step) that are aligned with the family’s motivation. The more difficult the prob- lem, the more important is the promise of partnership. On the basis of the child and family’s preferences and sense of urgency, establish a plan to expand the assessment, change a behavior or family routine, try out a psychosocial intervention, seek help from others, work toward greater readiness to take one or more of these actions, or monitor the problem and follow up with you. The plan might include, for example, APPENDIX 5 37-MHCC_appendix-05.indd 877 4/6/18 11:53 AM
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