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ERIC Number: ED424060
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Scared Spitless: The Therapeutic Power of Language.
Fitzsimmons, Phil; Elshof, Tony
This paper provides a snapshot of the language used by two outdoor instructors and analyzes its therapeutic components. Following an experience of abseiling with an instructor friend (Tony), Tony's instructional dialogue with the author and his sons during the experience was written down and put aside. A year later, a surfing coach (Mark) was observed to be using the same sort of language while giving instruction to children on the beach. For the next 3 weeks, Mark's lessons were observed, and his language was recorded and compared to Tony's. Analysis of the directions, prompts, and feedback given by the instructors shows that the instructional aims of each language episode were complemented by therapeutic features. Examples of instructor speech are given that demonstrate the following therapeutic components: developing empathetic communication and understanding between instructor and student, encouraging students to confront self-doubt, building student self-confidence, supporting students' assumption of responsibility as they move out of the novice stage, and debriefing student accomplishments. The language "in-use" displayed by these instructors is quite similar to that used in counselling approaches recommended by Rogers, Glasser, and Egan and suggests the instructors' role as change agents with regard to personal development and self-esteem. (Contains 23 references.) (SV)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A