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Simulation of a communication exercise in a helping relationship

Lucie Trépanier
Collège de Maisonneuve and CCDMD


The SECRA site (Simulation d’un exercice de communication en relation d’aide or “Simulation of a communication exercise in a helping relationship”) allows the user (the helper) to interact with virtual characters (person being helped) who each experience a different personal problem. The aim of the exercise is to support the person needing help as well as possible.

The exercise allows the user to analyze how they interact with a person who is experiencing hardships to better understand the effect of this type of intervention on the person they are talking to, and to improve this way of helping, if necessary.

Multimedia components provide nonverbal cues that make the simulation more realistic. At the end of each conversation, the user gets a report where they can review their dialogue, see statistics on their most frequent attitudes in the helping relationship, and see a graph that compares the progress of their conversation with that of a theoretically ideal conversation.

On the Documentation page, the Attitudes of the helper section explains the potential consequences of each of six attitudes a helper can adopt in a helping relationship. The Attitudes of the person needing help section shows how the person needing help gradually achieves a better understanding of his or her personal problem and a solution that suits him or her when the helper adopts an effective, encouraging attitude. The Nonverbal Expressions section provides references on the analysis of gestures and expressions to understand how the person being helped is feeling as the conversation progresses.

In the Pedagogical Uses section of the Documentation page, instructors will find ways to use SECRA 4 in a communication course and the information they need to create their custom scenarios.

The proposed scenarios are aimed at a clientele from a variety of disciplines: psychology, nursing, early childhood education programs, and police programs.

French version: SECRA 4


Honourable Mention – Prix du ministre (1985)

Honourable Mention – Prix du ministre (2014)

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