Asking the right question with Talking Mats
Theme 1 from Talking Mats Seminar: How do we vary the top scale?
One of the key skills in using Talking Mats is getting the top scale to reflect the question that you are asking and to be consistent.
WRITE IT DOWN SO YOU CAN STICK TO IT!
The following range of 3 point top scales have been suggested:
like – unsure – dislike
managing – need some help – not managing
very important – quite important – not important
really good at – getting better at – not good at
want – sometimes want – don’t want
calm – unsure – anxious
can do it myself – need a little help – need a lot of help
very easy – quite easy – hard
It was suggested that a way of dealing with a negative topic such as ‘anxiety’ or ‘pain’ was to use a quantitative top scale such as:
a little – some – a lot
Or you could ask what strategies make your pain
better – stays the same – worse
In some situations where the person has an acquired disability, it may be best to do 2 mats, one about liking and another about managing. It was suggested that adapting the mid point to reflect potential loss of skills might be useful:
like – like but can’t do it now – don’t like it
More recently we have found that the following wording works very well for lots of people and situations:
going well – sometimes – not going well