Client Description and the problem being worked on
I am a worker in a given school. While here, I am charged with the responsibility of dealing with a client to ensure that everything around him is in order.
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The client I work with is a student named Austin. He belongs to a family and my dealing with him borders on the family too. The family comprises of Ms Pabisz, her son Austin, and Austin’s grandparents. Austin’s grandmother stays with Austin’s parents after she is ill. His grandfather is also ailing, and is at the hospital. Austin is at school.
The problem am working on is that affecting Austin. First and foremost, it is Austin’s health challenges. More than one year down the line, he was diagnosed with Lyme and has been a number of medications to treat the same. One form of medication is the family therapy of which Austin has declined to attend. He believes that the therapy is not of help to him.
The second problem is the health issue of Austin’s grandparents’ state of health and how it affects the student. This has particularly to do with the communication between Austin and his grandfather. The grandfather has been hospitalized for quite some time now, and this really worries Austin.
He is not certain of his state of health. He is not able to visit the grandfather, let alone communicate with him. Third, there is the problem of Austin’s academic performance. He’s reported to have missed assignments and other exercises.
Goals mutually agreed on between the worker and the client and tasks to be performed to reach these goals
After receiving information regarding these issues from Austin’s mom, I decided to communicate the same to Austin and we had to come up with goals on how these problems were to be tackled. The goals were three-fold: improving communication between Austin and his grandfather, looking for a remedy on Austin’s own health issue and improving his academic progress.
The first goal is to enhance communication between Austin and his grandfather. The remedy to this problem would better be understood from the psychological effect that the grandfather’s sicknesses, and his overstaying at the hospital, have on Austin.
After I asked Austin about his feeling regarding what his mother’s and grandmother’s sentiments on the grandfather’s state of health and long stay at the hospital, he was not comfortable with what they said. Besides, he did not like thinking about the grandfather passing away.
The best way was to look for a better way of improving communication between the two. Since the mother could make it to the hospital, sending a letter through her from Austin could be great. We mutually agreed that Austin was to write a letter, expressing his feelings to the grandfather regarding his state of health.
Also, to be included in the letter were aspects of the great moments they had shared together previously. The letter was to be delivered by Austin’s mom who could then read it to the grandfather. On the other hand, it was suggested that the letter be left beside the grandfather’s bed. This was to keep the information in it confidential between Austin and his grandfather.
Putting together such thoughts of great moments previously shared together could be easily achieved if one had a journal, to record the same from day to day. This approach was suggested to Austin and he promised to start keeping the journal.
The second goal was to look for a solution regarding Austin’s own health issue. Apparently, health issues of Austin’s grandparents and what was said about his grandfather’s issue affected Austin’s health, with time. He had also been diagnosed with Lyme disease.
Consequently, a family therapeutic remedy had been introduced but Austin had stopped attending to the same. Since the grandfather’s health was not improving, Austin’s health was not getting any better. To deal with this issue, Austin agreed to give the family therapy a second chance since his parents were still attending to it.
In addition to this, Austin reported that he had been using an anti-depressant for more than one year ago. He also reported that the dosage for the anti-depressant Zoloft had been increased within the past six months. He thought that the anti-depressant could continue being of help too.
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However, this was not coordinated with his mother. Third, improving Austin’s academic performance will require that he be referred to the student assistance team, as suggested by the school authority.
How the tasks are related to the clients’ problem
Using a letter to communicate between Austin and his grandfather will bridge the communication gap that has existed between the two, for a while. It will also enable Austin to express his heartfelt feelings and concerns through words, to his grandfather. This might be a good relief to him especially if he gets the grandfather’s feedback, as a reply to the letter.
On the other hand, using family therapy will go a long way to help Austin improve from the stress obtained from his ailing grandfather’s issue. Research has shown that family therapy produces a positive outcome in relationships and other family issues (Rasheed, Marley & Rasheed, 2010, p. 471).
Also, use of the antidepressant may be effective especially if used in doses that are below the normal ones. There can be a gradual increase of dosing, the way Austin suggests he did (Leonard, 1997, p. 959). However, other studies show that use of antidepressants, over time, may affect the immune system (Bransfield, 2004).
Task Achievement Scale
|TASK||RATING (ON 4 POINT RATING SCALE)|
|Leaving Austin’s letter at the grandfather’s bedside||4|
|Ms Pabisz reading Austin’s letter to grandfather||3|
|Keeping a journal||3|
|Use of antidepressant||1|
|Referring Austin to the student assistance team||3|
Task Implementation Sequence
From the above task achievement rating, the tasks that are likely to be effective in solving the client’s problems include family therapy, Austin writing a letter so that the mother can take it to the hospital and leave it at his bedside, keeping a journal detailing the great moments they have shared together, and referring his academic issue.
The mother reading the letter to the grandfather may be a great thing to him but may not be very comfortable with Austin due to confidentiality intended. The use of antidepressant may not be very effective in treating Austin’s Lyme condition.
Enhance the client’s commitment to carry out tasks
To ensure that Austin jots down a letter that will create a positive impact between his interaction and the grandfather, he will be required to prepare a journal. He will be required to show me a journal after every three days of the week for evaluation. He will then be required to write the letter after two weeks which I will go through before submitting it to the mother.
Plan the details of carrying out tasks
The above tasks require a clear cut plan. I will need to sit down with Austin and agree with him on the schedule required to accomplish the tasks. After looking at his time schedule, it will be paramount to design a plan for all the five tasks and the time when each should be executed.
Analyse and resolve obstacles
Accomplishing the tasks may be challenging at one point or another. For example, since Austin’s mother will take the letter alone, we may not know how she will decide to present it to the grandfather. This issue will be addressed by telling her the need to let him read it on his own and that doing otherwise will only stress her son.
Another challenge is that of ensuring that Austin attends the family therapy. After seating down with him, I will request him to choose two specific days in a week, during which he will commit himself to the therapy. We will also arrange to be giving me feedback on the same on a weekly basis.
Third, there’s the challenge of Austin continuing with the anti-depressant use. This will be tackled by telling him the long term side-effects of its use and insisting on the use of family therapy. I will also communicate with his mother and suggest the use of another form of treatment for his Lyme disease.
Rehearse or practise behaviours involved in tasks
First, Austin will be required to hand in the letter to me, before it is send to the grandfather. Second, before going for any therapy session, I will encourage Austin on its significance and how it’s likely to improve the situation.
Summary of the task plan
- Making a detailed plan to carry out the tasks
- Keeping a journal
- Monitoring attendance of family therapy
- Writing a letter to the grandfather
- Giving the letter to Austin’s mother
- -Referring Austin to the student assistance team
Bransfield, R.C. (2004). Lyme, Depression, Suicide. Web.
Leonard, B. (1997). Chronic fatigue syndrome: Information for physicians. NY: DIANE Publishing.
Rasheed, J.M., Marley, J.A., & Rasheed, M.N., (2010). Family Therapy: Models and techniques. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications Inc.