Rounding Up

Discuss the complexity of working with clients who are also pregnant. How would a pregnancy change your approach to treatment? What issues might come up for you as a counselor? How might you talk about these risks with your client? How would you respond if your client continued to heavily drink or use substances while pregnant?
The complexity working with clients who are pregnant is they are emotional. Having a client who is an addict and who is pregnant is a double challenge. If she relapses she is now putting herself and her child in danger. Treatment would have to have more supervision. I would talk about the risks for her and her child. I would do this in nurturing manner because I would not want to scare her. If my client continued to use substances while pregnant I would have to send her to a disciplinary source. She’s is harming an unborn fetus which is a crime.

◦What does it mean to you to advocate for clients and challenge bias? How do you feel about taking on that role? Is that a role you expected to take on as a counselor? Are there some groups for whom it would be harder or easier for you to advocate for? Does that reflect on your own beliefs and values? How so?
To advocate for clients and challenge bias means for me to give my clients a voice. I feel passionate about taking on the role; this is what I’ve always wanted to do. I expected to be an advocate when I became a counselor, who else would fight for them but me. I would be able to advocate for anyone. I have the ability to put myself in someone else’s shoes. When I do this I am able to see things from their perspective. It does reflect my beliefs and values, I believe in walking a mile in someone else’s shoes.

◦Using the Blog References, find and specifically report on at minimum of four websites that you could use for information regarding gender and/or LGBT issues in addictions counseling. Give a minimum of one paragraph of explanation for each site listed.

1. http://www.colage.org/
This resource offered different programs and resources for children who have parents who are LGBTQ. They want to unite and provide a community for them. I found this website useful for myself as well. They have a blog of a family documenting their experience; this will be very helpful for children of parents who are LGBTQ.

2. http://community.pflag.org
This website focuses on advocating for families of people who are LGBTQ. It focuses on the different issues the LGBTQ community is facing. For example, relationship recognition, workplace fairness, safe school, military, hate crime prevention and health. There is an area to sign up for alerts and contact local officials.

3. http://www.trikone.org/
I found this website to be very different from others. It focuses on the LGBTQ community with South Asians. I would have never thought websites were specific according to race. I can imagine that South Asians are judgmental towards the LGBTQ community. I see the importance of this website.

4. http://www.hrc.org/
I often see the stickers for the human rights campaign but I never actually looked up the mission for the organization. The mission for this organization is working for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equal rights. The website provides resources, locations and support. It was a very helpful website.

Advertisements

Memories way back when…

What were your attitudes toward use of substances when you were a child and an adolescent?
As a child I knew that I was not supposed to use substances. I never heard this from my parents but it was an implied rule. Growing up I was exposed to alcohol, cigarette and cigars by my family. I didn’t see them as having a problem. Especially with alcohol, it was normal for everyone to be drinking and having a good time. I never knew what an addict was because I didn’t know any. However, growing up in Baltimore city and county I have had my share of run ins with addicts. I saw them as beggars and unstable people. I must admit I looked down on them. It wasn’t until I became more educated on addiction that I was able to understand.
o What was your personal and peer group experience of substance use? How are your views the same or different now? What might it feel like to work with clients making different choices, or to encourage choices that you did not make?
I started drinking at a young age about 10 or 12, at family functions. It was never to the point of drunkenness but it was for the flavor/taste of the alcohol. When I got older I rarely had alcohol. I would have been considered a social drinker. When I went to college I noticed my peers longed for the feeling of being dunk. They would get drunk every weekend and enjoy every minute of it. During this time I wouldn’t drink at all because I did not want to end up like my peers. My views have changed I’m actually committing to a lifestyle of no drinking alcohol. A friend of mines was killed by a drunk driver last month and it really opened my eyes. There were plenty of drunken nights I should not have been operating a vehicle but I did it anyway. I could have killed someone myself. I would encourage my clients to make positive choices for themselves. I am currently going cold turkey but this may not be the best solution for someone else. My client may have to gradually wean themselves off and all I can do is be supportive of that.
o Who advised you about drugs and alcohol, and when? What was your response? What encouraged or discouraged use in the approaches you encountered? What do you hope to emulate or discard from your models?
No ever advised me about drugs and alcohol. Culturally it was accepted, spiritually it was frowned upon. I received that understanding from observation, no one ever told me. I was discouraged to use alcohol or drugs because I never wanted to get addicted. I never liked the idea of something controlling me or losing control of myself.

Senior Blues

My senior year of college I overloaded myself with so many responsibilities. I was class president, chapter president, interning, and working as a building manager at a gym. I was unhappy with some things in my life during this time. My GRE scores were not high as I want; I was not going to graduate school directly after undergrad and some other social issues. I threw myself into my work taking on more than what I could handle. The result was me crashing. I remember the day I crashed; I was planning an event with my chapter for my sorority. During the planning process we missed some steps and things went south. Instead of having this week full of events we ended up only being able to do one event. I felt like the world ended because I place so much stress on myself. I blamed myself and others for the nonsuccess of the events. Afterwards I took a moment and realized I had way too much on my plate. The failure I felt from not making the high GRE scores and going away to graduate school drove me to become a workaholic. I had to tell myself to take a break. I did just that I took a break from everything. When I came back I was refreshed and able to make improvements in the many hats I wore. I remember this moment in my work ethic today. When I feel like I have too much going on I take a step back from it. After I cleared my mind and thought things out I proceed. Doing this process has made my life more easier and has allowed me to have less stress.

12 steps

How does 12-Step facilitation of treatment relate to your personal theory of life? What parts could you integrate if desired?
Personally the 12-Step facilitation fits directly in line with my life. The steps were created from Christian beliefs and being a Christian I naturally agree with the steps. Currently in my spiritual journey I integrate the idea that there is a higher being that can restore me to sanity. I refer to that higher being as the trilogy God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. The steps remind me of confession and asking for forgiveness. As a Christian I was taught when I sin I should confess my sins and ask for forgiveness, which is something I do daily. In addition to asking for forgiveness it is stressed to forgive others and make amends. I take personal inventory when I am convicted and try to change my ways. Having the gift of prayer is how I communicate with my God.

How does 12-Step facilitation of treatment relate to your preferred counseling orientation? What parts do you see that you could utilize for treatment?
My counseling orientation fits with the 12-step facilitation. If invited to have the opportunity I would encourage my clients to have some type of spiritual relationship. Having the blessing of knowing there is some higher being that loves you and looks out for you is comforting for a client. Often the clients feel hopeless or defeated. Telling the client that there is a God who has created them for a divine purpose will give them so much more meaning to life. If I can give them that opportunity I would be more than happy. I would not force my religion on them; I believe everyone should be able to make their own choice.

Pharmacotherapy

Choose one of the following perspectives and explain your position: “Do you support the use of pharmacotherapy in the treatment of addictions? If so why? If not, why not?”

When I was first introduced to the field of psychology I never agreed with pharmacotherapy. I always felt like the purpose of counseling was to help through human contact and adding medication took away from that. However, as I grew to understand mental disorders I understood the need for pharmacotherapy. Working with a client who has an addiction “cold turkey” will not be a logical treatment. In some cases you do have to put the client on a low dosage of medication like methadone for opioid addiction.
Taking time to understand the effect that drugs have on the brain, really made me understand the need for pharmacotherapy .The brain craves this drug and without it the client loses control over themselves. Having the ability to give the client a low dosage of the drug is helpful to avoid relapsing. The issue with this idea is the client can get addicted to the medication you are using. I do not have a lot of experience with medicating clients. In order to gain experience I will take full advantage of my multidisciplinary treatment team. I will have different clinicians who have experience with medicating clients and can advise me in areas that I do not know. The results can go either way but having the options to use medication is helpful.

The Martyr

I would not say that I have a sense of self-righteousness about myself. I am fully aware of the problems that I have. As a counselor I know that the therapeutic relationship should be focused on my client. The problems I do have can be discussed with my own counselor. Having someone I can talk to helps me stay in touch with my inner client.Life happens and it is important that we have someone we can share our concerns with. Self-care is something I will have to remember to do. Sometimes I get caught up in life. Instead of taking care of myself, I take care of others. I took a personality test about heroic personalities. I ended up being the martyr. The martyr is described as being self-sacrificing and putting everyone’s needs before their own. When I saw this I was stunned because it described me perfectly.I do not like this about myself. I feel like people are prone to try and take advantage of me. I have to be mindful of this personality trait about myself and remember to take care of self.

I can find commonalities with my clients no matter what their going through. We all have had moments of failure, uncertainty, depression and fear. Having the ability to tap into my emotions will help my clients. I think that it is necessary to try and relate to your client but do not make it seem like you know everything their experiencing. Allowing the client to have their moment is important. I would definitely be cautious to not take away from the client’s feelings.

Motivator

The foundational philosophy of counseling I feel the most comfortable with is motivation. Capuzzi and Stauffer say that motivation is external and internal and can receive the most successful outcomes when motivation is used. My personality is very optimistic and encouraging. I think that one word of encouragement can change the direction of someone’s life. Client’s who are mandated have the lowest motivation to come to counseling. Having a counselor who is motivating will keep a client coming to treatment and resisting relapse.

I’m a hopeful person, motivating and encouraging. I always feel like you can make a way out of no way. Having a hopeful personality is how I’ve embraced life. Hopefully this part of me will rub off on my clients. When clients come to counseling usually they have tried everything they could. Being an encourager is the best thing a client can have to help them continue their treatment. My attitude is not judgmental at all. I feel no need to be judgmental with my clients. When they come to see me they need a blank slate. I’m not there to judge instead I’m there to guide them. You can’t guide a client if you are judgmental instead you will hurt them. I read in an article that if you hold back as a counselor this can hinder a clients progress. A counselor must put their client’s concerns first.

Hi my name is Egochi…

When I first read the prompt for the blog this week I said to myself I don’t have an addiction. Last night I was on the phone with my boyfriend and asked me was I playing Candy Crush? I shyly responded with a yes and he said “you’re addicted to that thing”! That’s when it came to me, Hi my name is Egochi and I’m addicted to Candy Crush. It’s so hard for me to say this because I love games! I do see it as a friend that I relax with. Games have always been that way for me. When I need to relax I would pop a game in and go into another world. It was a way of escape for me.
It’s sensual for me because I like keeping active. I like to always be doing something and figuring things out. This game in particular is a puzzle; it feels great to finally figure the puzzle out. When I figure out the puzzle it’s only right I got to the next level right? And then the next level and the next level. Ten levels later I need my Facebook friends help to unlock the next stage. I sit patiently and wait and as soon as they respond I’m playing again.
Life gets too much and I need a way to handle it. I take a moment to free my brain from all the stress. I log into Facebook click on Candy Crush and start my game. It is a way of healing for me. My mind is my best friend and my worst enemy. I’m one of those people who don’t need to talk my mind is already going 100 miles an hour. Having a moment to relax and free my mind from any thoughts is therapeutic for me.
Everyone hates that I play Candy Crush. I don’t care how they feel about it. I remember when me and my sorority sister were supposed to go out. She was so upset with me because I was playing Candy Crush and I was not leaving until I finished. She ended up recording me and putting it on a social media website. I was not upset because someone out there has to understand how I feel about Candy Crush.
A way for me to stop playing this game is to gradually remove it from my life. This is what I have been doing. I only have it on my tablet and computer. I did not install it on my phone because I would never stop playing it if it were on my phone. I know one day I will get tired of the game. The only problem is what will I replace Candy Crush with….probably another game.
I sound like I’m in denial and I probably am but I’m okay with that. I didn’t see my gaming as a problem until other people started to say something. It was then I realized that I’m going overboard with my gaming. I don’t really think I’m addicted to gaming but for the sake of this assignment I went along with the idea. I usually play games online, so this can fall into an internet addiction. According to Capuzzi & Stauffer (2012), there are over 250,000 people struggling with an internet addiction. I don’t feel alone anymore.

 

 

No sin is greater

Personally I don’t have any biases towards process disorders. I treat every behavior the same. I wouldn’t accept some behaviors and reject some. I feel like neither behavior is greater than the other. I have a really open mind and I always try to place myself in the other person’s shoes. I can understand how something can become addictive for someone. People are affected differently, so something that is addictive for someone might not have an effect on someone else. I do believe society has a bias towards process disorders. When something is different than the societal norm it is immediately considered a threat. Society will never be accepting of a gambling addiction. The title addict has a inferior connotation. People become uncomfortable with the thought that someone is addicted to someone. Addiction to someone who lacks knowledge infers that someone lacks control, and people do not want to be around people who lack control.

My view on the process really is shaped from my religion, Christianity. The idea that no sin is greater than any other is how I view life. In regards to process addictions they are all the same in my eyes. Neither is worse than the other just because I have a bias towards something. Calling something an addiction because I’m uncomfortable with it is being judgmental. I avoid being judgmental as much as possible. It’s not my responsibility to judge someone or make them feel less of a person. Before doing this reflection I didn’t realize how much my spiritual beliefs shape how I view my clients. I truly see it as someone who is coming to me for healing.

Reflection Time!

After reviewing the 2nd session of Addictions I’m feeling more confident in the course. In the beginning I did not know anything about addiction and I felt like it would affect me in this course. After reviewing the material I feel better. Currently, I’m more comfortable with the cognitive-behavioral approach. This might change as I learn more about addiction. I have been exposed to this form of therapy before but I also see how effective it can be in treating clients with addiction. I really enjoyed seeing how it could be applied in addiction; I’m used to it being applied with disorders like (PTSD or OCD). Family behavior therapy is something I would always be comfortable with. A person’s family is has a great impact on how someone is shaped.

The strengths I have as a person is showing compassion. I have the ability to not see the client as a addict. I see them as a person first. A therapist has to see the client as a person. I think the client would feel more comfortable with the therapist and they would appreciate it more. I’ve been told I have the ability to be non-judgmental. Addicts are often ostracized in society, having ability to be non-judgmental and open to all types of clients is a good characteristic to have.

I need to work on my knowledge of pharmacotherapies. I was not informed about any type of medication that is used during treatment. Receiving knowledge about this was my favorite part about this chapter. I did not realize how much information I lacked in this area. It deepened my appreciation for this course.