Therapist: (softly) it’s difficult when we feel as if there is no way

 

For your final project, you will evaluate and choose 1–2 therapies from those covered in this course (you may apply a maximum of two, and your selection(s) must be from therapies covered in this course) that will successfully address a concern (chosen from the categories indicated in the first bullet point below) brought by a mock client who identifies with a non-majority population.

The first part of this project should be 10–12 pages long and should describe the client’s demography and concern; it should then provide an evidence-based reason for your choice of therapeutic approach with the client.

You will create a 3–4 page transcript of a fictional session with the client. The transcript provides you the opportunity to demonstrate competence and build on the application of both therapy-specific and basic therapeutic communication skills you learned and practiced in Units 3, 4, and 6. The transcript must include a demonstration of the basic communication skills and at least one technique/strategy that clearly reflects the therapeutic approach(es) you identified earlier in the paper. For example, if you wanted to assist a client suffering from generalized anxiety, you might choose REBT and demonstrate refuting the client’s irrational beliefs.

INSTRUCTIONS

To successfully complete this project, you will be expected to:

  • Choose a single disorder that can be ameliorated with psychotherapy (choose from these DSM-5 categories: depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma and stress related disorders, OR substance-related and addictive disorders).
  • Identify a therapy or therapies (no more than two) that may be efficacious for treating that disorder, based on current research.
  • Discuss what the research says about the use of this therapy or therapies with multicultural populations (choose ONE facet to discuss: race, religion, ethnicity, culture, OR sexual orientation) you will address. One example might be arguing the usefulness of Interpersonal Psychotherapy to assist a male suffering from an anxiety disorder and who identifies as a member of the Hispanic population.

After the reference section of the paper, add a second section in which you create a transcript of a hypothetical therapy session with this client. Allow the fictional session to develop with appropriate therapist responses labeled on the transcript. Identify the therapist response in brackets next to the therapist responses in the transcript as an open-ended question, empathic statement, paraphrase, or summarization, as well as other therapeutic responses which align with the approach you will use to assist your client.

EXAMPLE OF THERAPIST RESPONSE LABELING WITHIN TRANSCRIPT

Therapist: What are some of the options you have considered to this point? [open-ended question]

Client: Dropping out of school, moving my children in with my mother who lives in another state, and during my darkest hours (voice breaking) taking a bottle of sleeping pills with a quart of vodka.

Therapist: (Softly) It’s difficult when we feel as if there is no way out of a complicated problem. [empathic statement]

Client: That’s right. I want to finish school so that I can provide for my family and be a good role model, but how do I do that when I worked 45 hours a week just to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table? My mom did a terrible job when she raised me but I try to convince myself that kids are tough and it would only be for a little while….but if something were to happen while they were with her I would never forgive myself. She tells me she has changed and would do a much better job the second time around, but how can I be sure?

Therapist: On one hand, you want to trust your mom to care for your children, but on the other, your memories of growing up were not all that positive. [paraphrase]

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