At this session, the client is a 13-year-old female, a single mother of a three months old son. The son is under the care of the lady’s mother because the lady is currently under Gandara Residential Center because she was displaying violence towards her mother and hatred towards her son. She had an affair with the ex-boyfriend of her sister resulting to the pregnancy, thus the misunderstanding.
Based on my observation, the client is undergoing psychological trauma prompted by the denial of her past experiences. She had an affair with her sister ex-boyfriend resulting to pregnancy. Ever since, the client has lived in self-denial. The fact that her sister was got agitated leading to a fallout between the two coupled the problem. As a result of this trauma, the client developed violent behaviors towards her mother and expressed hatred towards her son.
The client came to the clinic seeking counseling to help her move on. In addition, she was seeking to have rebuilt a healthy relationship with her sister fixed. The client described her problem by giving details of her past experiences. When expressing herself, she displayed symptoms of aggression, depressed, appeared withdrawn, irritable, and exhibited self-denial.
The client’s DSM-5 diagnosis entails case conceptualization, planning for counselling, and evaluation. This diagnosis is supported by the reported and observed symptoms: violence, depression, withdrawal and self-denial. Based on the client’s situation, the counsellor feels that the client needs counselling to help her navigate through the trauma she is undergoing. Six counselling sessions will be required. Consent will be sought if an arrangement can be done and meet the sister of the client to help fix the broken relationship.
During the first meeting with the client who is 13 years old and traumatized as a consequence of her past experiences, the counselor should explain to the client the services that are offered and seek the client consent if she was free to share her experiences with the counsellor. The counsellor further assured her of confidentiality.
Counsellor: Welcome to the clinic. The aim of the counselling services offered here is to work with maladjusted individuals and help them walk through their problems to achieve their goals. During the counselling sessions, the counsellor looks at the things you may wish to improve on and together we make a plan of achieving the improvements. It is crucial to inform you at this initial stage that what you tell me will remain confidential. The counselling process has six sessions that take place during business hours. However, adjustments can be made if the counselling process need to be changed or more sessions added. It is once again important to underscore that fact that I am here to assist you walk through your problems. We will move together at your pace to ensure that your objectives are met. If there are special services that you need and I cannot be able to offer, we will seek other facilities around. Are these the services you expected?
Client: Well, I was told it is a place where one’s problems are attended to and counselling services offered to distressed people.
Counsellor: That is correct. I am right to say that the main reason why you came today is to have a solution to your psychological trauma?
Client: Yes. Can you help me have normal life?
Counsellor: It sounds that leading a normal life is real important to you. Well, we can plan and start counselling sessions. Do you have any other pressing issue that made you come here today?
Client: I had differences with my sister because her ex-boyfriend is the father of my son. This made her agitated and we have been enemies since then. I feel I hate my son too. Whenever my mother questioned me about what transpired, I feel like beating her up. I think it is time to fix these relationships.
Counsellor: You look disturbed and remorseful.
Client: I have not been sleeping well and I experience nightmares. I have been undergoing depression for a long time.
Counsellor: It sounds that you have been violent to your mother and you hate your son because your sister’s ex-boyfriend is the father of your son? I heard you say you need to fix this situation; part of my help is to assist you set a date when to meet your sister and mother to help fix the situation.
Client: My sister is annoyed with me but my mother is ready to have a new beginning.
Counsellor: What you think if we arrange and meet them to help fix the broken relationship?
Client: Well, That is one of the reasons that made me come here today.
Summary of the Session
During the session, the client appeared traumatised and distressed following her past experience. She explained that she had an affair with the ex-boyfriend of her sister resulting to pregnancy. The ordeal caused a downfall with her sister. The client has ever since lived in self-denial causing depression and exhibition of violence towards her mother and hatred towards her son. During the session, the counsellor led the client to undergo self-reflection in the bid to help her navigate through the trauma. Further, a date to meet the client’s sister was set to help fix the relationship.
Offering counselling services to the client at this session was crucial because it related to the goals of the session of ensuring that the client leads adjusted life. Further, setting a date to meet the client’s sister was in line with the session’s goals of ensuring that the client fixes the bad relationship with her sister. The counsellor employed Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theoretical approach to prioritise and address the client’s needs. It was observed that the session goals were in line with client needs.
Mood and Setting of the Session
It is crucial that counselling session is governed by a friendly environment. The counsellor should show concern and commitment toward helping the client navigate through the problem. During this session, the counsellor exhibited active listening and true commitment towards helping the client lead adjusted life and fix the relationship with her sister. About non-verbal communication, the client exhibited aggression, distraught, and depression through her body language communication during the session. The client responded positively to the intervention programme of the counselling services and meeting her sister to fix the relationship.
During the therapy, the counsellor used working alliance technique to help the client navigate through her problems. This involved creating trust, agreeing on and setting goals together. The technique further created a healthy counselling environment that was active, collaborative, and ensured that the client navigated through her depression to led adjusted life.
The session was successful as the counsellor helped the client navigate through her psychological trauma. Future modifications will be required in the techniques applied during counselling sessions. More techniques need to be employed. I feel good about the success a made in counselling the client to led adjusted life. Helping her fix the broken relationship with her sister was another milestone success. My client responded positively to the interventions by taking part in setting goals and working together to ensure that they are realized.
Questions for the class that relate to my counselling behavior
- What does it constitute a successful counselling?
- What are the appropriate counselling techniques necessary during counselling?
- What relationship should exist between the counsellor and the client?
A successful counselling involves active listening to the client, setting goals and the action plan together. The counsellor should help the client to gain independence by leaving the client to do some of the things by him/herself. The counsellor should not do everything to the client. In addition, successful counselling constitutes of referrals where appropriate and regular evaluations to ensure that client’s goals are met.
A counsellor should employ a variety of counselling techniques that will be arrived at after initial assessment of the client. The counsellor should seek clarification, engage active listening and employ open-ended questions during interviews. This will help built trust between the client and the counsellor.
During the counselling sessions, a good therapeutic relationship should exist. First, the counsellor guides the client to the services they offer and the reason why the client should feel confident to share his/her experiences. The counsellor should tell the client the aim of the counselling services and assure the client confidentiality. A relationship built on trust will make therapy a success.