Foundations of Clinical Mental Health Counseling
May 28, 2017
The first session is a highly valuable time in treatment and counseling. It is the time when the therapist first meets with the client, and it is in this session that the client gets to know the therapist well. The first session is often marked by several activities including getting to know each other, exchanging contacts and building a therapeutic relationship (Gladding, 2012). A therapeutic alliance is often established in the with the therapist to address the] client’s problem more efficiently.
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In my first session with Aalia, the primary objectives I hope to accomplish is establishing a therapeutic relationship with her. Developing a therapeutic relationship with the client is crucial as it enables the client to share her problems with me as a therapist. Another objective is to gather enough information regarding the client as much as possible. This information will ensure effective intervention during the counseling session (Suzuki & Ponterotto, 2007). Lastly, I would love to know Aalia’s goals of attending the counseling session and what she expects to achieve at the end of the session. In this regard, I will ensure Aalia knows her rights as the client.Also understanding that she is a minor and there will be other circumstances for her to be aware: this would be her privacy.
Gathering information about the condition of the client either from the doctor or the client herself is essential. In this case, the information would request from Aalia include how her current problem is impacting her life, her life history and how long the condition has lasted with her. On the other hand, the information I would seek from her doctor includes Aalia’s medication history, her health records and the type of medication Aalia has been undergoing. The information I will find from her mother includes Aalia’s current behavior and how the condition affects her normal life activities. This information will be gathered through health records and one-on-one discussion with some of the participants.
Assessment for individual counseling is necessary before proceeding to conduct the counseling of the client (Gladding, 2012). One of the most important assessments that I will conduct with Aalia is behavioral assessment so as to know her current behavior and whether that behavior can be changed through counseling.
The knowledge I gathered in Module 4 discussion will highly contribute to my professional growth as a counselor-in-training. The discussion has enabled me to learn about how to develop a therapeutic relationship with the client which is one the major steps in counseling. Moreover, I have learned about how clear communication and empathizing with the client can result in effective counseling session with a client within a therapeutic context.
Gladding, S. T. (2012). Counseling: A comprehensive profession. Pearson Higher Ed.
Suzuki, L. A., & Ponterotto, J. G. (Eds.). (2007). Handbook of multicultural assessment: Clinical, psychological, and educational applications. John Wiley & Sons.
Question to be answered
Very good work. You have shared some very solid rapport building concepts as you would want to try and make connections with Aalia in the initial sessions. It would be important to build rapport, and cover all of the parameters related to role induction (informing the client about the counseling setting, your role, her role, etc.). She is an older minor engaging in treatment, with what appears to be involved parents. How would you handle the situation if her parents wanted to obtain information after each session related to her progress/goals in therapy? Would you say to Aalia about releasing information to her parents if they requested it?Look forward to your thoughts.