Behind closed doors is an excellent resource that demonstrates key skills in family therapy. Both DVDs provide realistic portrayals of people facing the complex dynamics of their relationships. In his role as a professional counselor, Moshe Lang is calm, centered and open to what is being said by his clients. He creates a caring and understanding space where his clients are able to explore their feelings and thoughts in a safe environment.
These DVDs are an important resource for educators to use with students training in counselling, to create truly meaningful discussion. I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity of using both these DVDs with my masters students and each time I watch them with my students, I notice a new skill that we explore and discuss. In classes where the DVDs are shown – the DVD is stopped, enabling the trainer to analyze the feelings, thoughts and process of the couple, creating a comprehensive and meaningful discussion. I will often stop the DVD and ask the students if they were the counselor, what they would do next, or how would they would manage such a response it this was their client. We are then able to watch how the master continues on in the session, which is an excellent learning experience for the students.
Students gain an insight into a skilled session with clarity as to the role of the counsellor and how to conduct a purposeful therapy session. Moshe demonstrates a counsellor in control, time aware and directive to a clear goal of the work to be done. In teaching counselling there are some skills which students struggle with and where words in text books are not sufficient. Examples include creating a therapy environment of respect, safety and trust. Both DVDs presented highly skilled representations of these skills enabling the trainer to explore and discuss these elements with the students. Also, students have reported that Moshe’s calm, soft tone when counselling calms them (the novice counsellor) down and makes the counselling process look very natural.
The booklet of the transcript of the sessions which accompanies the DVDs is also an invaluable resource enabling students to capture some of Moshe’s excellent key questions including ‘how can I best help you’, ‘is there anything else you think I should know’ , ‘what effect did that have on you’ and ‘do you want to ask me something’.
These DVDs are an excellent resource not only for trainers in Australia but I have also used them very successfully in Singapore and Hong Kong where students are delighted to see a current practicing counsellor demonstrating many skills they grapple with. The feedback I receive from students is extremely positive though [Moshe], most Asian students struggle with the notion of a mother not wanting her son to return home in the DVD ‘Coming Home’. Perhaps your next DVD could demonstrate the reverse, with the parents struggling with their adult child who wants to leave home.
Moshe’s years of professional experience enables students to witness the master where he seems so very comfortable, counselling in his office.
Thank you Moshe for providing an excellent teaching resource which makes our job training new counsellors, much easier.
Review by Dr Nicky Jacobs, Program Director, Master in Counselling Monash University, Australia.
Jacobs, N. (2013). Review of Behind Closed Doors: Two therapy session with Moshe Lang. (via personal communication, Aug 21, 2013)