Unit Four Assignment:
The Hero’s Journey and Ethics
Michael Harvey Miller
HN144: Human Behavior and the Environment
Professor Jennifer Beatty
May 14, 2013
Mr. Richard Halstead writes about Steve, a client on the Hero’s Journey. The Hero’s Journey is described as the “challenges faced by women and men…[that] reveal[s] a process of personal transformation…when innocence was lost to a personal and often painful call to learning.” It is a time when one realizes that there is no turning back and that one must move forward in order to continue to develop or to do nothing and accept being a victim. The other alternative is to commit suicide (Halstead, 2000).
Halstead acknowledges that his experiences with Steve influenced him and the way he practices his role as a Human Services provider. He writes that, initially, he believed that he should be a tour guide to Steve but after his experiences with Steve he says that his role should have been more like a travel companion (Halstead, 2000). This makes sense because as a Human Services Worker we cannot actually guide anyone. We need to stay on the sidelines, offering our input and advice in a manner that suggests that we are assisting and not attempting to tell the client what to do and how to do it. We listen, ask pertinent questions, make accurate assessments, and make suggestions. Our end goal should be one where the client decides to make changes. This is when true change takes place and the possibility to better oneself presents itself.
Halstead learned that he could not guide a client’s behavior. He learned that he could be an effective counselor by listening to Steve’s problems and to “share in the pain (Halstead, 2000).” Another big idea that probably affected Halstead’s counseling methods is that we should not incorporate our client’s pain and suffering into our own minds. By doing this, we risk the potential of getting too emotionally involved. We need to stay objective and be prepared to hear many sad and disturbing stories. Also, he probably learned that he needs to stay within his role, he is not a mental health counselor and should never act as such unless that is the role he has been trained to perform.
In regards to clients having an impact on their counselors, yes, there is a possibility that in with dealing with clients we may learn something new which would facilitate a change in the way we practice our role. Most people I deal with do not change me. I am forty years old and set in my ways so for most people to change me would require a very dramatic event. These types of events simply do not happen often enough for me to agree that most people change me. I learn new things from people but I do not make changes to myself simply because I have met someone new.
Steve has definitely changed due to his relationship with Halstead. In the beginning we can consider Steve as being stubborn. He refused to accept his limitations (everyone has limits) and essentially was going nowhere. Instead of focusing on how to make changes that would help him with his particular disabilities he has a strong desire to be “normal.” It is not until several approaches are tried that Steve accepts Halstead’s advice. It turned out to be more work but the point is that Steve was able to make the progress he desired. He was successful in his goal and now works as a software programmer designing programs for those with disabilities. He has taken his negative experience and grown from it and used it to better himself and others like him.
While searching, almost desperately, for one example of an ethical issue in the Halstead article I managed to find one. It seems that in Halstead’s journal he makes sure to address the smallest of possible issues by explaining in summation why he did what he did. For example, I was going to address the issue of speaking to another...