Phobias Treatment How Parroting Is Used in Therapy An Effective Conversational Technique By Lisa Fritscher Lisa Fritscher Lisa Fritscher is a freelance writer and editor with a deep interest in phobias and other mental health topics. Learn about our editorial process Updated on September 21, 2021 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Daniel B. Block, MD Medically reviewed by Daniel B. Block, MD LinkedIn Twitter Daniel B. Block, MD, is an award-winning, board-certified psychiatrist who operates a private practice in Pennsylvania. Learn about our Medical Review Board Fact checked Verywell Mind content is rigorously reviewed by a team of qualified and experienced fact checkers. Fact checkers review articles for factual accuracy, relevance, and timeliness. We rely on the most current and reputable sources, which are cited in the text and listed at the bottom of each article. Content is fact checked after it has been edited and before publication. Learn more. by Karen Cilli Fact checked by Karen Cilli Karen Cilli is a fact-checker for Verywell Mind. She has an extensive background in research, with 33 years of experience as a reference librarian and educator. Learn about our editorial process Print GARO / PHANIE / Getty Images Parroting is a conversational technique that can be quite effective in therapy. The therapist loosely repeats what the client has just said. The twin goals of this technique are ensuring that the therapist heard what was said correctly, and encouraging the client to further clarify his or her thoughts. Effective Use When parroting, it is important not to go too far. It is much better to repeat only the last few words than to attempt to repeat several sentences. Additionally, repetitive parroting can become annoying. It can also make the client feel nervous or edgy. When used properly, parroting can help encourage the client to talk through all sides of an issue and come to their own logical conclusion. Part of Talk Therapy Parroting is used in talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy. Talk therapy is based on the core idea that talking about the things that are bothering you can help clarify them and put them in perspective. Some talk therapists follow a specific school of thought, such as cognitive theory or behaviorism. Others use a more eclectic approach, drawing techniques, and principles from several different theories. Goals of Therapy Anyone seeking therapy should have goals in mind. If you're a phobia sufferer, your goal likely is to be freed of your irrational fears. Other goals of therapy are: Learn to deal with the disorder. The ultimate goal of any type of therapy is to help the client deal more successfully with a disorder or a situation. Make goals specific. The specific treatment goals depend on the individual client, the therapist’s theories, and the situation at hand. The goal may be concrete, such as quitting smoking, or more abstract, such as anger management. Overcome and manage fear. When talk therapy is used for phobia treatment, there are generally two goals. One is to help the client overcome fear. The second goal is to help the client learn to manage any remaining fear so that he or she is able to live a normal, functional life. Resolve underlying issues: Some forms of talk therapy have a third goal. In psychoanalysis and related therapies, the goal is to discover and resolve the underlying conflict that caused the phobia or other disorder. In interpersonal therapies, the goal is to resolve problems in interpersonal relationships that have resulted from or contributed to the phobia or other disorders. 2 Sources Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Lord SP, Sheng E, Imel ZE, Baer J, Atkins DC. More than reflections: Empathy in motivational interviewing includes language style synchrony between therapist and client. Behav Ther. 2015;46(3):296-303. doi:10.1016/j.beth.2014.11.002 American Psychological Association. Understanding psychotherapy and how it works. By Lisa Fritscher Lisa Fritscher is a freelance writer and editor with a deep interest in phobias and other mental health topics. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Speak to a Therapist Online Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Verywell Mind receives compensation.