st_aurafina (st_aurafina) wrote in little_details,

Working a GLBT helpline

I'm writing about a fictional GLBT helpline, set in today's Los Angeles. I've never called any kind of helpline, and I wouldn't want to waste resources calling one now just to find out, but I'm having trouble approximating the kind of dialogue that one would follow to engage the caller in a conversation.

The person calling the line is a straight-identified woman questioning her sexuality.

I'm wondering what kind of scripts are you given when working on such a hotline - I know that once you're engaged with the caller, the conversation would be specific to their problem, but I imagine that volunteers would be trained in skills such as using open questions and being calm and friendly. What's the opening line when you take a call? Do you give your name? What sort of questions do you ask to make the caller feel safe and to encourage them to open up?

I've googled various combinations of "helpline", "helpline transcript", "counselling script" and "GLBT. I've looked at the websites of various GLBT helplines, and obtained lots of useful information but nothing this specific. I've also checked under the psychiatry/psychology tag and the homosexual tag for this comm.

I think, though, this is something that might be better answered by people who have actually worked or called these lines. Any information you'd be willing to share about your experience would be gratefully received.
Tags: usa: california, ~homosexuality (misc), ~psychology & psychiatry (misc)
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