Skill Factors In Counseling

2441 Words 10 Pages
LD is a thirteen year-old Haitian -American seventh grader who is enrolled in the General Education program at Middle School 500. She lives in a large household that is comprised of her paternal grandmother, her father, younger brother, aunt, the aunt’s boyfriend, along with her two cousins, ages 2 and 4. LD was referred to counseling by her Guidance Counselor due to conflicts in the home with her grandmother. The source of LD’s problem stems from her grandmother’s strong ties to Haitian culture and traditions. Although LD was initially referred for family problems, the dynamics of LD’s situation changed when her grandmother died suddenly before the holidays. As a result, the focus of LD’s sessions was changed from family problems to grief …show more content…
LD’s grandmother had a strong presence in her family. The matriarch set the family structure and created her family system according to the Haitian traditional customs and beliefs. In the process of working with LD, I had to research Haitian culture and traditions to understand better her dilemma’s with grandma. In my research, I gained knowledge that enabled me to process what LD was communicating to me and used that knowledge to assist her.
Shulman (2016), states that as the middle phase session proceeds the worker uses several groups of skills called skill factors. Skill factors are defined as a set of closely related worker skills that may include empathic skills, sharing feelings, challenging the illusion of work, supporting the client in taboo areas, and sessional ending and transition skills. I believe that I have included and demonstrated these skills with LD in session. Empathic skills were utilized in reaching for her feelings, in the client/worker relationship, trust and caring were established and the client was able to perceive empathy. It is imperative for the worker to differentiate empathy from sympathy. According to Kirst-Ashman (2015), empathy is crucial for the helping process to be effective. It involves not only being in tuned with the clients’ feelings, but also conveying to the client that you understand how they
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It is crucial for her to acknowledge her loss, as she expresses the emotions; while displaying her true feelings. Empathic responding can sometimes elicit feelings that was not previously mentioned by the client. In this session with LD the use of empathic skills allowed her to address the love she felt towards her grandmother.
Sessional endings and transitions entail summarizing, generalizing, identifying the next steps rehearsal and identifying “doorknob” communications. LD appears to be in the acceptance stage of grief. It is her process. Coping with death or a loss is very personal and in this case I can listen and offer support to LD, but she has to understand her feelings (emotions). I can comfort her through the process. It is in this process of summarizing that the client (LD) can assess and work collaboratively with me to secure what she has learned as stated by Shulman

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