The information from the case allows outlining the needs of the client. First, it is evident that Chase Wilson is undergoing an emotionally challenging period associated with the separation from his family. While the client claims to have a strong relationship with his parents, the situation is aggravated by the recent employment problems experienced by Chase’s father, which likely added to his anxiety. It should also be pointed out that in the earlier conversation Wilson expressed interest in transferring to a base that would be closer to home and revealed his intention to terminate service in order to reunite with the family which is probably the strongest indication of his need to reunite with his parents.
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Another apparent need is related to the decreased workload and more adequate responsibility distribution. Extra shifts and disproportionate distribution of responsibilities likely add to the stress and exhaustion created by his schedule, especially considering the fact that the client works night shifts.
It should also be mentioned that several challenges exist that complicate the case. First, due to organizational specificities, the base is experiencing a continuous stream of personnel deployment that makes the workload optimization unlikely. Second, Wilson’s concerns with the financial difficulties experienced by his parents will likely be aggravated by the recent hospitalization of his mother and the employment limitations derived from her condition, as well as by the need to repay the no-interest loan taken to repair the car.
Finally, the fact of alcohol abuse is expected to introduce major complications. Alcohol abuse is known to be a persistent problem in the military and has been conclusively tied to stress, loneliness, and traumatic experience common in the field (Sullivan et al., 2015). While it is possible to dismiss the relation to the latter based on the client’s self-assessment, both of the former are observably present in the case.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that the scenario is not without its strengths. Most prominently, the client is married and has the opportunity to live together with his wife during service, which has a positive impact on the emotional climate. Second, the perceived lack of traumatizing experiences eliminates several major psychological and social concerns associated with the military domain. Finally, aside from his concerns regarding the separation from the parents, Wilson provides a relatively positive self-assessment, including a strong relationship with parents.
Based on the identified set of factors, I would approach the intervention using open-ended non-intrusive questions. Since the client demonstrates sufficient awareness of the main issues of his situation and is relatively resilient, such an approach would allow me to bypass the remaining barriers and establish the necessary level of trust. The previous encounters with the client suggest that such a mode of communication is highly likely. Once trust between us is established, it would be possible to proceed to the issue of alcohol abuse.
Again, since the client has demonstrated an aptitude for a reasonable self-assessment before, it is possible to expect an equally fair understanding of the risks associated with the abusive behavior. Thus, the evaluation of the pros and cons associated with alcohol abuse is recommended to be done in a mutually agreeable fashion (e.g. in a one-on-one discussion). Consequently, the options should be brought up for his transfer to other bases (if located) and discussed in the same manner, with an evaluation of the benefits of transfer and the implications of retaining the status quo. In this way, the client will be able to systematize his thoughts on the issue while the counselor will guide and assist the decision-making process.
Sullivan, K., Capp, G., Gilreath, T. D., Benbenishty, R., Roziner, I., & Astor, R. A. (2015). Substance abuse and other adverse outcomes for military-connected youth in California: Results from a large-scale normative population survey. JAMA pediatrics, 169(10), 922-928.