When seeing clients as human services professionals it is our job to make sure we are providing the client with all the care they need. If we are unable to provide the care that they need within our own facility we must provide them with the resources so that they can get the help that is required. It is not only our responsibility to our client but it is also our ethical obligation to outsource to a different agency if we are unable to help the client. Different clients will obviously require different resources. It is our jobs to make sure those resources are there for the client.
So in the case of Tommy James Martin a 14 year old Caucasian male has been referred over to us by both his grandparents and school administration. The client has been expelled from school for smoking marijuana and drinking on school property on several occasions. The problem has been going on for about a year now; however the client does not believe he has a problem. The client thinks that he is just having some innocent fun with his friends. Further exploration of the client’s family situation and the people in his circle of friends is necessary. To determine the cause of his problem the client is currently attending two sessions a week at a teen counseling center. He has a strong support from his grandmother, his girlfriend and some friends.
Although it has been difficult addressing the initial problem there has been some progress made. The client has not really opened up so getting to the root of the issue has been tough. However the client’s attendance in school has improved significantly. There has not been any significant change in the client’s attitude. Prior to attending the sessions at the teen counseling center Tommy was talked to by a school guidance counselor in regards to the effects of drug and alcohol abuse. The client’s need to experiment with drugs and alcohol also has much to do with the death of his parents.
It was determined that Tommy be retained for further assessment and treatment. Before ending our session it is important for me to remind Tommy of the progress he has made. I ask Tommy to remember where he was when we first began treatment. As he looks back he realizes the forward strides he has made to better himself. This is an important technique because it allows the client and clinician to review goals and accomplishments in relation to where the client’s issues and circumstances were when the work began. It is equally important to review the work that we have done together. We look at and highlight the things that we have gotten done. This technique is important for the purpose of identifying changes, honoring persistence and achievements, affirming client’s strengths and discussing transferability of developed skills.
Another important technique to use with Tommy and other clients with similar situations is to evaluate their current status. Basically asking the client where they are in their current state. When evaluating the current status of the client it is important for both the client and the clinician to discuss where the client is now in relation to originally described issues, assets, and problems. They may also touch upon the client’s current functioning, outlook and circumstances, highlighting the client’s strengths and supports and checking for any risks to well-being.
The last technique I find important to use in Tommy’s sessions is foreshadowing the future. Basically asking the client where they are headed from here. This techniques importance is pretty much for the both the client and the clinician to explore what the client anticipates and what kinds of issues might arise for the client in the future. They discuss how a client might respond to old familiar challenges if they were to arise again. Some role-playing might be involved so that the client feels comfortable in a particular crisis or challenge....