Working Intensively with Clients
Summary of Issues Identified
- 40 yrs old
- Recently separated from 20 year marriage;
- Two children daughter, 9yrs and son, 14yrs; daughter lives away from both parents, son predominantly resides with Julie
- Relationship with former partner amicable however re-partnered and has become hostile.
- Wants to further education/career
- Financially stable in former relationship, now non-financially secure; no assistance towards children’s’ financial needs.
- Concerned of impact of relationship breakdown on children; and father’s new relationship;
- Minimal family support;
- Isolation like feelings; depressive; difficulty coping and/or accommodating to the current changes in her life.
Julie’s Case Study
Initial consultation with Julie would enable to build a client-counsellor relationship and to undertake assessment in order to identify issues of her current position for development of agreement between her and me as to goals and tasks by achievement of those goals through treatment. More importantly identifying the source of what made bought her to the services, this being whether she is a voluntary or involuntary client as this can impact on the approach taken to achieve the most successful engagement process with the client as has been identified to the effect that “engagement for involuntary clients is often a different and more difficult process than engagement with voluntary clients due to the coercion of the legal system or significant others”
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There are various structural frameworks for successful engagement in counselling a client that could be used however in this paper I am given a general background of Julie and based on that background (generally obtained through initial assessment) have summarised the issues (aforementioned) and believe that the main approach here to be taken, but not limited to is a “Self-Centred” approach and from which the theories of Carl Rogers will be relied upon.
By applying Carl Rogers self-centred approach identification of the three core characteristics of such theory are relied upon, being the following:
- Empathy (the counsellor trying to understand the client’s point of view)
- Congruence (the counsellor being a genuine person)
- Unconditional Positive Regard (“UPR”) (the counsellor being non-judgmental).
Guided by this theory will best approach Julie’s personal situation as the non-directive therapy is likely to be of long term use for Julie.
As Julie is showing emotional instability, identifying that there is no immediate threat of harm. In taking an empathetic approach with Julie is likely to make her more positive about opening up and giving her an outlet to speak about what she has sought therapy for. This in turn will allow a good rapport to initiate between myself and Julie.
Congruence can assist with negative thoughts that Julie is experiencing regarding her education, skill set and employment possibilities. Furthermore it appears that Julie has experienced forms of demoralization by her former husband. Julie’s family history also requires assessment and ascertaining if she has come to acceptance with the death of her mother and recognition of such impact that this has or has previously caused on her approach in relationships and personal life.
Unconditional Positive Regard fits with Julie’s present circumstances when analysing the now hostile relationship that has formed between her and her former husband. This will be by benefit in that she can attend to venting her frustration and allowing her to help disregard the thrust of the anger, frustration, and volatile nature of conflict with her former husband.
Based on the evidence at hand to provide high quality of care relevant to Julie would involve direct and in-depth identification of her needs and being responsive to such will help assist the structure, application and result of therapy. Given her depression a high level of empathetic language and attendance in respectfulness is required. In achieving an even higher level of care ethical and holistic approaches are to be factored in also.
In assisting treatment with Julie engagement with other specialised agencies would be of benefit in that they can provide more thorough assistance in the underlying issues for treatment progression.
In respect of Julie’s emotional state I would highly recommend seeking assessment and ongoing treatment with her local general practitioner. This will assist in thorough diagnosis of her current mental health and, if as indicated, Julie is suffering depression from the impact of changes in her life, then this will allow for medical intervention in the form of prescribed medication to be used in the interim treatment.
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Julie has also been affected by a marital breakdown and is now facing a hostile relationship between her former partner and herself. Given the length of the relationship involving marriage, obtainment of assets and liabilities and children from the former relationship, in particular her son who is a minor aged 14 years, it would be of necessity to Julie to seek legal intervention to ascertain her legal rights and come bring the monetary and parental responsibility that exists to finality.
Although at first recommendation would be to seek advice only and in this regard I would recommend her contacting a community legal centre in her area to obtain such relevant information. If in fact, further intervention were necessary from the outset of the advice received, arrangements could then be sought to facilitate engagement by way of mediation between herself and her former partner and in this regard advice to contact such services providing relationship mediation like Relationships Australia, Interrelate, CatholicCare, Anglicare or any other alike service details would be provided to Julie.
With connecting Julie with one of the pre-mentioned services it will allow her to access more than just mediation given that the services are community family based, they can also offer Julie with information and provide further services for her concerns raised in relation to her children, in particular Damien.
Julie expresses the desire for career development in accounting though lacks self-confidence believing that she is not able to as her employment and education has been limited. Julie has in effect been limited by non-completion of her higher education, parental responsibilities and her former partner insisting that she take on the role of full-time caregiver to the children however Julie has managed to maintain some part-time employment in a customer service role.
Approach to be taken in assisting her goal, alongside therapy for improvement of self-confidence, and medical intervention by her local general practitioner, would be providing details or arranging an appointment for her to attend upon a career guidance counsellor. This would give her the networking tools to assess the possibilities and educational resources that can be offered to her and by seeking assistance from a professional in this area will provide her with further resources for educational and employment opportunities.
Such services that would be provided to Julie, and their corresponding details would be training and/or educational institutions like TAFE, university enabling programs, WEA and other relevant local community institutions. Connecting Julie with employment agencies providing details to Julie of employment agencies that can assist in accountancy roles or facilitation of education such as Randstad or Hudson to assist in these aspects.
Successful therapy would involving guiding Julie to be able to transition from her current circumstances and gain effective tools to recognise, process and deal with situations that arise assisting also in alleviating any future conditions that she may be susceptible to. This can be done by application of a recognised framework such that initial structure can be established, development of rapport between Julie and I; identification of the problems that exist; exploration of herself together with her perceptions and behaviours; the possible assessments and acquisition of environmental input such as assimilation, problem solving and decision making; creation of plan of action; continual follow up with Julie and the possibilities of development with additional strategies prior to termination.
H’elena Gorton Student # 377 160 649
 (Cingolani, 1984; Behroozi, 1992; De Jong & Berg, 2001).
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