At present I am working with a client whom for the purpose of this case study I will refer to as ‘Jane’ in order to adhere to the ethical principle of fidelity. Furthermore I will also change the names of anyone else mentioned throughout in order to protect their identity. I have had six sessions with this client each lasting one hour. She is thirty-five years of age and comes from a working class back round. At present Jane is unemployed and is not actively seeking work as she suffers from a bad back and as a result of this is a recipient of sickness benefit. She is co-habiting with her fiancé of three months whom she plans to wed later in the year, although no date has yet been finalised. This client self referred to ‘Care In Crisis’ as she had heard about the organisation through a friend and felt she ‘needed to talk.’ During the initial assessment she disclosed that her mother had passed away as a result of cancer in March of this year, hence her reason in coming for counselling is to help deal with the bereavement issues surrounding this. Since loosing her mother she has felt very low and misses her terribly as they were very close. Furthermore, Jane also feels that it is starting to take its toll on other relationships in her life as she finds herself snapping at people. She also stated that she has low self esteem and has barely any confidence in herself. Her goals in coming for counselling are to be able to accept her mother’s death as well as building her self esteem and confidence. Firstly I feel that some Cognitive Behavioural Therapy approaches may work well in overcoming Jane’s needs. “Psychoeducation and normalising interventions are frequently used in ACT and CBT.” Bach & Hayes (2002) I can see that they are relational interventions because they involve teaching people new relations. I believe it would be beneficial to psycho educate her on the ‘seven stages of grief.’ My aim in doing so would be to help Jane make sense of the emotions she is going through and to help her understand that they are perfectly normal, in other words ‘normalising.’ As well as using some CBT approaches I would choose to remain faithful to the integrative model which at the heart lies the person centred approach. One of the key concepts within this approach is self actualisation. This is the belief that as humans we will pursue what is best for us as introduced by Maslow in 1943 and his famous ‘hierarchy of needs.’ He himself refers to self actualisation as; “The desire for self fulfilment, namely the tendency for him [the individual] to become actualized in what he is potentially. This tendency might be phrased as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming.” Maslow (1943)
Research does support the notion of self actualising tendency (Sheldon & Elliot 1999) and I can also recognise it in myself. In actual fact, recognition of my self actualising tendency has helped me understand some of my self destructive behaviours, which were introduced in my younger self. I’m hoping that this will also be the case with Jane. I consider this client to be very self aware which will aid her in self actualising and she had clear cut goals. In order to encourage her to reach self actualisation, myself as the therapist needs to ensure that I am offering Rogers’ core conditions of; empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard, in doing so I will be assisting her on her journey. I will aim to be real and genuine and by doing so I hope my client will experience something of my ‘real self.’ Furthermore I will try my upmost best to see things from their frame of reference without being influenced by my own feelings and experiences. In the first counselling session I contracted with Jane and explained the limitations with confidentiality such as disclosing anything which breaks the law or child protection issues. I also stated that I was a member of the BACP. By doing the above I feel...
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