Evaluation and assessment of individuals’ behavior are critical to help them to evolve in an appropriate way and acquire the social skills needed to remain integrated with society and cooperate with peers. To determine the existing problems and find appropriate ways to solve them, a counselor, as a specialist responsible for the in-depth assessment of persons’ cognitive, developmental, and communicational skills, should devote special attention to unusual behaviors, inappropriate or undesired patterns, or other threatening signs.
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For this reason, counseling sessions become a potent tool that can be used to communicate with a client and determine his/her current problems using strategic approaches and specific skills demanded for the critical analysis.
The given paper presents a transcription of a counseling session with Kenry Lambert, a 7th-grade student. He is Cuban American, Catholic. He grows up in a nice family that does not have signs of violent behaviors or other inappropriate patterns. He has a younger sister and a caring mom. The addressed problem is the boy does not want to share the ball at the gym and plays by himself. Last Friday he had a fight with his best friend Mike because of the ball. Kenry punched the friend on his face. It shows the existence of anger issues.
The given transcription outlines communication between the counselor (C) and the student (S). The dialogue between the specialist and the boy is presented in detail because of the necessity to understand utilized techniques and make a conclusion about the existing problems and the further need for actions.
Transcription and Analysis
|Verbatim Transcription||Clinical Skills and Competencies||Analysis of Clinical Thinking||Evaluation of Counselor’s Response|
|C: I am glad you came to see me, especially because I see that you are not happy and you are having some issues. As your counselor, one of my tasks is to help to figure out what is really happening, and explore how we can make better choices, and if you agree, we can talk about what is really affecting you.||Explains the main reason for communication||It is important for a person to understand the reason for the intervention||Appropriate use of words and demonstration of sympathy. It was important to align trustful relations with the student at the very beginning of the conversation|
|S: Yes, Miss (the student makes a pause). The thing is that I am getting in trouble a lot during recess.||.|
|C: Can you educate me more about how is that you are getting in trouble.||Minimal simple encouragement||Noticed that the boy wants to share his problem||Good use of skills. Helped to start communication in the appropriate way|
|S: Well, you know how I love to play basketball, and I am really good at it. We have lunch at 11:30, and then we go to the gym for recess. I try to eat very fast, so I can get there first, and get the ball to cease. I love to play alone.|
|C: So you are telling me that every time after lunch, you run to the gym to get the ball, however, your teacher mentioned that last Friday you get into a fight with one of your best friends, Mike, and, therefore, your recess is suspended for this entire week.||Posing the problem||It was a need for clarification of the main issue for the boy to understand what is the main purpose of the meeting||Helped to align communication|
|S: Yes… I did not intend to, but he wanted the ball, and I did not want to give it to him because…|
|C: Go on||Encouragement||Noticed that the student hesitated||Appropriate skill. Promoted better cooperation. It also helped to show that the counselor is listening to the boy attentively|
|S: I got there first, Miss… it is not fair (screaming and banging on the desk)…that is why I punch him on the face….and he does not know how to play basketball anyways…|
|C: Ok. I can tell you are very angry by recalling what happened that day. It is understandable, can you walk me through what happened that day?||Reflection of feeling||The student still has strong negative feelings||Helped to find the cause for these feelings and discover the boy’s motifs for initiating the fight|
|S: Well, like I said, I always get there first, and I like to play by myself, but my friend Mike, he does not get it. And he is annoying… So he pissed me off, and I punched him.|
|C: Help me understand. This is something that happens every day. So you do not share the ball with anyone else.||Reflection of the student’s feeling||It was important to understand the reason for conflict||I think it was important as it helped to understand the boy|
|S: No, Miss Rodriguez…it’s my ball…I am the first one there. Like I said, it is not fair. I have to practice.|
|C: So what do you want?||Direct question||The boy was confused and did not know what to say||Appropriate question. It helps to direct the conversation and achieve the needed effect|
|S: I wanted to play at recess time, by myself.|
|C: I can see that you are unhappy with this situation… now let us explore how the situation made you feel.||Reflection of feelings||Noticed hesitations in the boy||I think it was important to ask about his feelings to be able to provide appropriate solutions|
|S: I felt sad and angry|
|C: I noticed how disappointed you are, and I am sure you are not happy with the choice you made.||Simple empathic statement||The boy was upset||Appropriate choice. Promoted better communication|
|S: Yes… You know, at home my father gets me one of those basketball hoop that looks like a professional one, and I used to play every day after school, but it is too cold now and the only time I have is during recess.|
|C: I understand that you love to play by yourself, and it is ok to do it so. Now, at home it is only you, right, you do not have brothers or cousins or any friends.||Empathy||The boy seems to suffer from loneliness||I think it helped to reveal some causes of the problem and loneliness at home|
|S: No my father sometimes plays with me. My cousins usually come over the summer.|
|C: (makes a pause) When I talked to your teacher, she told me that this was not happening during classes. She says that you share and take turns during activities. When you are home is one thing, however, when you are at school, it is important to consider that you are sharing every activity with your classmates. Probably, your friend is interested in learning how to play, and he is not that lucky to have a basketball hoop at home like you have.||Summarizing||The boy did not understand the basic rules||Could have emphasized the necessity to communicate with peers more.|
|S: Yes …that is true.|
|C: Looking at your grades, you are doing great in all subjects, and that is why you were selected to be the student of the month from your class.||Encouraging||The student was upset||It was important to show that he is taken as a good person and this conflict is not the end of his good relations with the class and teachers.|
|S: Yes… I know, and we are having breakfast with the VP and my parents are coming. What makes me sad is that next month we have a big tournament in PA… and my mom says that if I keep getting in trouble, she is not going to let me go.|
|C: So you love to play basketball, and you put a smile on your face when you talk about the tournament, so it is clear that you want to go and you are excited about this trip. With that being said, what are you doing to get what you want?||Empathy, encouragement, open questions.||It was noticed that the boy likes the game||Was a good question to make the student think|
|S: I already promised my mom that I would not get into a fight anymore.|
|C: That is good that you talked to your mother. What are your plans in order for you to not get in trouble at recess?||Open question||Need to see if the boy understands the idea||It was a good choice of the strategy|
|S: I have already talked to Mrs. Clark about what happened and apologized to her, she says that she is going to let me play for 5 minutes only and then I have to share the ball.|
|C: Oh, that is not bad… How do you feel about that solution of getting 5 minutes and then sharing the ball?||Encouragement and question||It was not clear if the boy was satisfied||Helped to determine his true reaction|
|S: I am ok. At least, 5 minutes is better than nothing.|
|C: I understand that it is frustrating because you want to spend 20 minutes there, and you want to practice. However, I think she was really nice to give you 5 minutes.||Empathy||The need to support the student||Helped to establish trustful relations|
|S: Yeah…she is always nice to me, but now, my friends are all mad at me because of what happened.|
|C: Have you apologized to Mike and the others?||Genuineness||The student feels guilty||Helped to determine his intentions|
|S: No, but I was thinking about talking to Mike…. I thought that I could teach him how to play basketball.|
|C: That is a wonderful idea…I know that Mike has been your best friend since 1st grade, and I am sure he will understand and accept your apologies.||Encouragement||Noticed the emergence of appropriate behaviors||The need to support the right decision|
|S: Yeah…that is what my mom says.|
|C: Ok. So let me put everything together. The fight happened past Friday, and you get suspended for the whole week. I know that you are passionate about basketball, and you are happy about the tournament coming in PA…. You already talked to Mrs. Clark, the teacher that takes care of your class during recess, and she is going to give you 5 minutes to play alone. You already talked to your mother and apologized to her and promised that you would not get in trouble again. You said that you wanted to talk to your friend Mike and use your basketball skills to teach him, if he does not mind. And I think it is a great idea. So, today is Wednesday, when are you planning to talk to your friend?||Summary||The boy seemed to lose the initial idea||Helped to demonstrate all significant issues|
|S: Today, at lunchtime…|
|C: That sounds really good. I want to meet you tomorrow to see how that conversation with Mike went. Do you agree to check with me tomorrow doing the first period? You have Math with Mr. Brown, right?||Negotiation||The student was ready to continue talking||Was critical to arrange a new meeting to see whether a boy was ready to it, determine his reaction|
|S: Yes, I do.|
|C: I will call him now to let him know you are coming to see me for just a few minutes. Is that ok with you?||Suggestion||The boy was confused about what to do now||This suggestion helped to end the meeting appropriately.|
|S: Ok yes that is fine…. Thanks, Miss Rodriguez, I will see you tomorrow.|
|C: I was glad to have a conversation with you. I see you tomorrow.|
The investigation of the given cases presupposes the creation of the specific theoretical framework that can be applied to the case to help the student to eliminate undesired behaviors and achieve success in socialization. During the session, the boy and the counselor engaged in trustful and friendly relations, which are critical for the final success (Geldard, Geldard, & Yin Foo, 2017).
Regarding the existing problem, the main idea was not to blame the client for his action, but to attain the increased understanding of its negative impact on his socialization, the impossibility of violent behaviors, and teach him appropriate patterns that can be used in society (Slaten & Baskin, 2014). In such a way, the humanistic behavioral and psychodynamic approaches were combined to achieve the goal during the session and ensure that the boy will not act similarly again.
The central idea of the humanistic approach is that the present is more important than the past. In other words, instead of blaming the student for this fight, the counselor emphasizes the fact that he is a good learner and player with multiple opportunities for achieving success, self-development, and self-actualization (Gilfillan, 2017).
The counselor believes in the goodness of the boy and does not spend time on past negative behaviors; instead, there is the focus on the cultivation of the desired responses and appropriate skills that will help to achieve the highest potential (Gilfillan, 2017). Utilization of the given framework helps to engage in trustful relations with the boy as he also sees a specialist’s interest and is ready to act in accordance with the new instructions to achieve success and remain in good relations with the class.
Furthermore, the behavioral approach states that every person can be taught to act in certain ways to achieve success. The major concern is to demonstrate the appropriate behavior and ensure that an individual understands the need for it correctly (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). For this reason, during the session, the counselor tried to emphasize the necessity to use other methods while communicating with peers and playing basketball. With the help of questions and encouragements, the specialist ensures that the impossibility of violent acts becomes obvious to the boy. Moreover, he should realize the importance of compromise and how it can be achieved.
Finally, with the help of the psychodynamic framework, the counselor can determine external factors impacting the boy’s behavior and his decision to fight with his friend. The core factor that motivated the student to behave in this manner was the usual patterns he utilized while playing at home (Kelly, 2017). There were no partners, and the game was important for him. In such a way, understanding the central motifs, the counselor can create additional motivation to act appropriately and socialize with peers. It will help to solve the existing problem and achieve good results. Altogether, the utilization of the given framework contributes to the improved understanding of the session and decisions made by the counselor during the communication with the student.
The given case provided an excellent opportunity to work with a client and evaluate my own skills which are critical for the successful work of a counselor. From the given experience, it should be said that I am ready to work with children to assess their states and suggest various solutions to improve their socialization and cooperation with peers. I have enough knowledge to determine the needed theoretical framework that can be utilized to create the best possible intervention and assist students in elaborating appropriate behaviors.
At the same time, there is a need for new experience as it will help to improve competence and acquire new skills that can be used in more complex situations. I think my work during the session was successful as the improved understanding of the case and possible solutions were outlined through the investigation of existing literature.
The case also shows critical importance of socialization skills for individuals who belong to a collective and have to cooperate with its members. For this reason, this area should be given special attention and investigated more attentively to increase the ability to cope with complex cases and provide appropriate care. Additionally, analytic skills should also be developed, since, in multiple cases, the correct analysis of the situation and the central causes for the emergence of some incident help to create the needed course of actions and assist participants in engaging in appropriate behaviors (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016).
Furthermore, role-play skills can also demand additional attention as one of the potent tools to work with students who have problematic behaviors and assist them by utilizing a certain model. These competences are critical as they will contribute to the improved outcomes of the next session and a better understanding of the essentials of counseling.
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The case also contributed to developing of such skills as empathy, sympathy, emotional intelligence, and cognition. Their use is critical in almost all situations that presuppose counseling intervention as they help to determine the need for certain measures. In such a way, utilizing these skills while communicating with patients, it is critical to achieve positive outcomes. In general, it can be described as a positive experience that contributed to the improvement of counseling skills. The boy recognized the impossibility of violence in solving problems and engaged in appropriate social behaviors. The correct intervention and the effective session helped to discover the main reasons for the emergence of these negative patterns and achieve progress.
Capuzzi, D., & Stauffer, M. (2016). Counseling and psychotherapy: Theories and interventions (6th ed.). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.
Geldard, K., Geldard, D., & Yin Foo, R. (2017). Counselling children: A practical introduction (5th ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
Gilfillan, B. H. (2017). School counselors and college readiness counseling. Professional School Counseling. Web.
Kelly, K. (2017). Basic counselling skills: A student guide. New York, NY: Counsellor Tutor.
Slaten, C. D., & Baskin, T. W. (2014). Contextual school counseling: A framework for training with implications for curriculum, supervision, practice, and future research. The Counseling Psychologist, 42(1), 97–123. Web.