Definition of Process Recording and it’s purpose

Complete a process recording on a classmate, friend or family member and not at work.

What is a Process Recording?

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The Process Recording is a method to record the content of a student’s interview or interaction with a client for learning purposes. In the Process Recording all communication, verbal and non-verbal is written down based on the student’s best recollection. The student also records their own feelings and reflections during the interaction with the client. Students may also be asked to reflect on how effective they were, and how they might improve their interviewing skills.

Why do Process Recordings?

Process Recordings give students the opportunity to assess and improve their practice skills through reflection and feedback. This process assists in the development of communication skills as well as critical-thinking skills. Reflecting on the interaction can help students see their client interactions more objectively, and learn to distinguish between thoughts and feelings. Process recordings are also useful tools for faculty, allowing the faculty to review the student-client interaction, identify strengths, note challenges, and help the student formulate alternative approaches for future interactions.

What should be included in the Process Recording?

All communication during the interview or interaction, both verbal and nonverbal.

Verbal communication includes everything that was said by both the client and the student. Record the interaction word for word, as well as you can remember it. Resist the urge to “improve” your comments or client interaction. Process Recordings are not graded on the student’s performance in the interview, but on student’s ability to apply therapeutic communication principles and use self-reflection to assess strengths, weaknesses, and communication effectiveness.

Nonverbal communication is all other types of communication. This includes speech tone and speed, body language, eye contact and other non-verbal signals. When including descriptions be sure to include any “evidence” that supports your impressions and assessment. You should also include setting, pertinent observations and descriptions, and intrusions such as ringing phones, etc.

What about Confidentiality?

Students should ensure that confidentiality is maintained. Be sure to disguise all information that might make it possible for someone to identify your client, such as the name of the client or agency, the town, or location. Even when you have disguised the information, do not share the process recording with anyone other than as required for the assignment.

Preparing the Process Recording

Begin by recalling all communication during the client interaction, both verbal and non-verbal. While it may seem hard to remember everything, most students find that as they begin to write down what they remember, more of the interview comes back to them. Do not take notes for the Process Recording during the interview with the client as this can have a negative effect on the interaction with the client.

While Process Recordings are typically done in a client interview setting, the Process Recording method can be applied to many other kinds of professional interactions. Students should not simulate an interview or interaction for the Process Recording assignment.

Process Recording Format

I. The Introduction

The first section of the Process Recording provides the context for the interview. Start with a short description of the setting (e.g. kitchen, yard). Briefly describe the client including basic demographic information such as age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, education, and occupation. Summarize the client’s family structure, social support system, and community or cultural context. Describe the client’s appearance and affect. Summarize what you knew about the client before the recorded interview and why they came to the facility. Finally, explain the purpose for the current interview (get experience practicing your techniques).

II. The Interview

This section of the Process Recording includes the word for word record of the interview as well as analysis and feedback relating to the interactions between the student and the client. This section uses separate columns for these different types of columns.

Column 1 – Interview Content

In the first column record the dialogue of the interview, word for word as it occurred to the best or your memory. Do not summarize or paraphrase what each person said, or change the wording. The dialogue should be recorded in the drama format, like that used for a play. For example:

Intern: “How long have you been worried about this problem?”

Client: “For a very long time…ever since my son was born.”

Column 2 – Observations, Impressions and Evaluation

In this column the student should record their observations and impressions of their own reactions, and the client’s response to the interactions. This can include observations of physical actions as well as the student’s impression of what the client might be thinking or feeling. Students should also record their own thoughts, feelings and reactions to the interview. Students should also label which therapeutic technique was used and also identify non-therapeutic communication.

Column 3- Suggestions for Improvement

In this column record ideas how the communication could have been improved. Each non-therapeutic interaction must have a suggestion on how to make the interaction more therapeutic.

Column 4 – Faculty Comments

In Column 4 the Instructor provides feedback on the interaction. This includes affirmation of the student’s practice skills or analysis, constructive criticism and suggestions for alternate approaches in the future.

III. The Summary

The Process Recording is concluded with a summary. This includes a brief assessment of the client problem and the client’s experience in the interview. In the summary the student should also critically assess his/her own practice skills in the interview. Students should address the following:

What was accomplished in the interview?

Did you accomplish what you had intended? If not, why not? What got in the way? Did you

focus on something different, yet equally important?

Include any new insights you gained from the process recoding and how they might assist in developing therapeutic communication skills.


Process recordings should be done as soon as possible after the interview so that the recording will be as accurate and complete as possible.

Recording a client interview is very time consuming. Students should plan ahead to be sure they have sufficient time to complete the Process Recording.

Process recordings are a learning tool to assist you in developing therapeutic communication skills.

Process Recording Template: Available on Canvas under week 8. Use the template to complete assignment and upload here. Process recording should be typed using the template

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