Part B: Written reflective essay: (35%) Word Count: 2000 – 2200
Due: week 11
You are required to submit a critical self-reflection of your role as the counsellor, considering the theories and skills you used during the counselling session and drawing on the literature, class content, and skills practice in the tutorials.
Including the following:
? Describe and explain how your role play followed the process for an assessment when working with an individual or family. Provide examples from your role play to illustrate your comments.
? Describe and give examples of the counselling skills you used in your role play (using the information given in class and via the readings. You may also refer to the learning in Counselling theory and practice 1 in your first year)
? Explain how you worked with the client to assess the situation and planned your intervention.
• Include comments about referral, working with other professions if this is part of your intervention
? Critically evaluate how you performed as the counsellor. What strengths and limitations did you observe? Where did you struggle and what impact did this have on the process of the session? What could you have done differently?
? Comment on the ways in which you would use the professional supervision process to guide your work with the client
Use APA 7 referencing. Your reflective essay should include at least 8 (scholarly) journal articles read and/or textbook references. The format of your essay will be discussed in greater detail during tutorials.
Do NOT utilise sources such as www.tutor2u.com and other such web materials as these in no way constitute academic references for the purpose of your assignments. If you rely on such sources for theoretical support, you will be deemed NOT to have met the requirements of the assessment.
Isabel telephones for assistance 6 months after the death of her stepfather, Andrew concerned about her mother, Ann aged 69.
Isabel is aged 50. Her father was killed in a car accident many years ago and her mother, Ann remarried to Andrew (Isabel’s stepfather) who died very peacefully at home from lung cancer six months ago aged 80. She says we all still miss him a lot.
Ann was born in New Zealand, and she has several brothers and sisters still in Wellington.
Ann and Andrew had been married for 47 years when Andrew died. Ann and Andrew lost a daughter Michelle to suicide when she was 24 years old.
Isabel’s stepbrothers are Alistair aged 43 age and Jean aged 36. Alistair lives in a nearby town to his mother as does Isabel, but Jean lives interstate.
Isabel says her mother Ann seems very frail. She has lost weight. She responds to questions very slowly and admits to crying frequently. She says her mother who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis is having more joint pain than usual. She is eating poorly because her appetite has decreased, since the death of her husband.
Isabel tries to visit her mother every day now if she can. She says her mother is just sitting there in a corner on her chair most of the time. She eats very little, and the house is a mess. She just doesn’t seem to care anymore and that is not like her at all. Isabel says that when she talks about her kids (Ann has 8 grandchildren), her mother occasionally brightens up but then she begins to cry. My brothers and I are very concerned.
You have had previous contact with this family when you were involved as a counsellor assisting Andrew and Ann following Andrew’s lung cancer diagnosis.
In offering assistance to this family, you may choose to base your role play on the first interview with Isabel or you may choose to base your role play on a family interview with all family members – Ann, Isabel, Alistair and Jean.
As a counsellor, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of the assessment process when working with an individual or family. The following essay reflects on a role-play scenario involving Isabel, who seeks assistance for her mother Ann, who is grieving the loss of her husband. The essay aims to describe and explain the assessment process used, discuss the counselling skills applied, evaluate the performance as a counsellor, and comment on using the professional supervision process to guide the work with the client.
During the assessment process, the first step is to establish a therapeutic relationship with the client. As a counsellor, I introduced myself, explained the purpose of the session, and created a safe and comfortable space for Isabel to share her concerns. I demonstrated empathy by listening attentively, acknowledging her feelings and concerns, and validating her experiences. This helped establish trust and rapport with Isabel, which is essential in building a therapeutic relationship (Corey, 2017).
The next step in the assessment process was to gather relevant information about Ann’s situation. I used open-ended questions to encourage Isabel to share more about her mother’s condition, her behaviours, and her interactions with others. For example, I asked, “What do you think might have contributed to your mother’s current state?” This allowed Isabel to express her thoughts and feelings without any assumptions, enabling me to gain insight into the problem and plan an appropriate intervention. It also helped to identify any potential risks and strengths that could inform the treatment plan.
In the role-play, I also used genograms to gather family history and identify the relationships between the family members. This helped to understand the family dynamics and the roles of each family member, which are crucial in planning the intervention (Goldenberg & Goldenberg, 2017). For example, I asked, “Can you tell me more about Ann’s relationship with her daughter Michelle and how the loss might have affected her?” This helped to gain an understanding of the impact of grief on Ann and her family.
The assessment process also involved identifying the client’s needs and setting appropriate goals for the intervention. In the role-play, I worked with Isabel to identify her concerns, needs, and expectations for her mother. For example, Isabel expressed her concerns about her mother’s physical and emotional health, and her inability to cope with the loss of her husband. We identified the need for support and counselling services for Ann, and set goals for improving her physical health, emotional wellbeing, and social engagement.
In the role-play, I demonstrated various counselling skills, including active listening, empathy, reflection, and summarising. For example, I used active listening to understand Isabel’s concerns and validate her experiences by saying, “I can understand how worried you are about your mother’s wellbeing.” I used reflection to restate Isabel’s words and clarify her thoughts, saying, “So you are saying that your mother is experiencing more joint pain than usual and eating less than before.” I used summarising to tie together various pieces of information to show I was listening attentively and to help Isabel move towards identifying her needs and goals.
As a counsellor, I also worked collaboratively with Isabel to assess the situation and plan the intervention. We discussed different treatment options, including individual and family therapy, support groups, and medical care, and identified the appropriate referral pathways. I also emphasised the importance of working with other professionals, such as doctors and social workers, to provide comprehensive care for Ann. For example, I said, “It might be helpful to involve your mother’s doctor and explore medical interventions to manage her physical symptoms.”
Looking back, I believe I performed well as a counsellor during the role-play. I demonstrated empathy, active listening, and reflection, which helped establish rapport and trust with Isabel. I also used appropriate questioning techniques and genograms