1. encourage further dialogue and discussion
2. encourage your classmate to think about other aspects of the topic
3. ask a relevant, meaningful question to better assist with your understanding
4. compare and/or contrast your responses
1. Client: David is a 42-year-old single man with a brief history of domestic violence against various women he has been married to. Recently divorced, David has a hard time holding on to hope that he will meet another woman willing to marry him. David has a soft side and is a loving father of two boys, though his bipolar disorder sometimes gets in the way of his fatherhood and ability to be a good husband. David is prescribed various mood stabilizing medications that help him regulate his anger, though when it spins out of control, David can not seem to contain himself. He randomly spends large amounts of money, only to regret his decision the next day and attempt to undo the spending. Never having been dependent on alcohol or illegal drugs, David doesn’t turn to substances to cope when he is depressed or alone. His relationship pattens stem from controlling behaviors, not trusting his partner, constantly arguing about money, and needing to be in control at all times. Though David knows he can be a loving husband, his mood swings make it difficult to maintain a healthy relationship with a partner. David need insight and advice on how to maintain a healthy intimate relationship so he has a chance at meeting someone new and refrain from violence.
2. My Values: A specific personal value I have that would conflict with the client and my ability to actively help the client would be women’s power. I believe it’s important for women in the household to have a voice when it comes to financial decisions and ways to raise children. Men that are raised with a patriarchal view on society often have a hard time being open minded when it comes to the women’s viewpoints in the relationship and solely focus on their own. Often, men will commit domestic violence, both verbal and physical, when they feel a lack of control in the relationship. Mental disorders such a bipolar can also be a difficult factor in maintaining a healthy relationship.
3. The Issue: A corresponding issue or concern that could arise due to the value conflict would be a disagreement between myself and the client’s viewpoints when it comes to a healthy relationship. The client probably believes in the man being the head of the household and entitled to making all the major decisions, when I believe there should be a proper balance between both partners. I may find it difficult to relate to the client’s point of view on relationships, but do my best to put myself in the client’s shoes and keep in mind bipolar disorder can take a toll on an intimate relationship.
4. Handing the Situation: In a counseling setting, I would handle the situation by asking various questions about the client’s past relationship history and issues that arose from them. After learning about the client’s personal story and struggles, I would develop a possible treatment plan for the client involving cognitive behavioral therapy. The text describes cognitive behavioral therapy as being a current trend in behavior therapy by paying increased attention to cognitive factors as an important determinant of behavior (Corey 2017). This therapy challenges inaccurate beliefs and automatic thoughts that may lead to various behavioral problems (Corey 2017). This type of therapy could be one way for the client to deal with relationship issues in the past and develop different strategies in maintaining a healthy bond with an intimate partner and have a successful future marriage. Bipolar disorder is difficult to deal with, especially when one doesn’t take medication. Encouraging David to continue taking his medication and continue therapeutic sessions with me could potentially help David overcome past obstacles that caused his relationships to eventually fail.
5. Issues Facing Beginning Counselors: One issue facing beginning counselors that may be a problem for me would be dealing with anxiety. The text describes beginning counselors having ambivalent feelings when meeting their first clients, fearing of their abilities to actually be there for their clients (Corey 2017). Having self doubt is a normal thing, but what you do with that self doubt and turn it into a positive change is what matters in the therapeutic environment. Another issue I could have a potential problem with in my beginning years would be dealing with demands from clients. Corey (2017) describes this issue as being major with beginning counselors, how to deal with clients to have constant demands. Sometimes, clients may ask for more session time with you and request various special requests, such as social interaction outside of therapy sessions. The text states one way to avoid and deal with this type of issue is by stating initial expectations and boundaries between yourself and the client at the initial counseling session or towards the end of therapy (Corey 2017). One last potential issue that could be a problem for me would be dealing with ambiguity, or not seeing rapid results from the client. This issue involves doubting own personal potential as a counselor, but over time I will learn to tolerate the ambiguity of not knowing for sure whether my client is improving outside of therapeutic sessions in their own personal life (Corey 2017). It’s important to keep in mind that the counselor is there specifically as a guidance tool for one to learn more about themselves and develop various coping mechanisms to deal with daily struggles in his or her life. The counselor’s purpose isn’t to fix the client, it’s the client’s responsibility to improve themselves but have someone there serving as a guide to help them through the process. Over time, I feel as if these issues will minimize and I will find it easier to serve clients with various backgrounds and learn how to work with them.