Julio F Caceres
December 19, 2011
Cognitive and Behavioral Interventions: A Site Visit Report
Famed American psychologist, Abraham Maslow, once said, “We may define therapy as a search for value.” That value that the client is seeking is in one’s self. Self value is very important. Human beings are creatures that require self validation; why do they exist? Why do they continue to live? Why do they live when so many others die around them? Is there is a purpose to their life, to their existence and is that purpose, that value, of enough worth to warrant their continued existence. The job of the therapist, in many ways, is to provide that value. The therapist often serves a similar purpose as that of a Wall Street trader; raise the value of the stock each individual holds inside them self. The therapist, like the Wall Street trader, has many tools at his or her disposal, many theories, programs and tools have been made available through decades of research, trial and error practice and many bright minds have spent countless hours studying the human psyche in order to provide effective means of intervention. Therapists and psychologists spend much time working through different agencies, services and clinics in order to effectively use these tools that have been made available. For the purpose of this paper the writer will consider such an agency, its purpose, methods and the wonderful and professional people that make it happen. The Dorchester County Department of Mental Health is a clinic that falls under the jurisdiction and purview of the state of South Carolina and is part of the larger state department, S.C. Department of Mental Health. The S.C. Department of Mental Health, according to their website, is a state agency that is headquartered in Columbia, S.C. The Charleston/Dorchester Community Mental Health Centers are commissioned to, “provide community-based mental health services to the citizens and families of Charleston and Dorchester Counties.” The writer of this paper interviewed a supervisor at the Dorchester County Department of Mental Health, Vanessa Brown. Vanessa Brown is a professional with a big heart with sixteen plus years of experience in her field. Mrs. Brown is a well qualified professional with a Master’s in Counseling and Psychology and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of South Carolina. She went to school and began her professional career in northern Florida before moving to South Carolina where she has earned herself the position of Supervisor. The writer of this paper first met Mrs. Brown while taking his son to her office for a preliminary interview for counseling and he was struck by her professionalism and her kind demeanor and requested an interview with her for this paper. Mrs. Brown has her heart in the right place and does her job, not for personal gain but rather for the personal satisfaction of helping others; one of the first things that she said in the interview was that, “if you are looking to make a lot of money this is not the profession for you, but then, if you have chosen this career path, making a lot of money is more than likely not the priority you have in mind.” The first thing discussed in the interview was the types of programs that the Dorchester County Department of Mental Health Center participates in and oversees. The writer of this paper was surprised at the wide variety of programs used as he did not have a clear understanding of how the center worked. The center primarily operates with outpatient therapy for both children and adults. This outpatient therapy primarily takes the form of one on one sessions between a therapist and the client, often at the office, though not necessarily the only setting that they have. In cases that are severe, clients that are dangerous to themselves or dangerous to others, or for whatever reason...