3. Textbook Requirement:
4. Corey, G. (2009). Theory And Practice Of Counseling & Psychotherapy, 8th Edition. Belmont, CA: Thomson*Brooks/Cole.
6. ISBN-13: 978-0-495-10208-3
7. ISBN-10: 0-495-10208-
Read Rahman’s therapy session below, then read chapter on Reality Therapy, White a two page paper on how you would handle the case as a co-therapist.Two Pages!
I thoroughly enjoyed the straightforwardness of the Reality Therapy technique. The no-nonsense present moment focus was charming to my personal tastes. For example, according to Reality Therapy, if the client exhibits transference, the therapist responds, “I am not your mother, father, or anyone but myself.” (Corey, 2013, pp. 309). I actually find this to be humorous with its directness! I also respect Choice Theory which stipulates that the client should take control of his/her life.
Though the method was enjoyable to read about, it was more difficult to put into practice than I had expected. Certainly this is due to my limited training, but also my client Daniel, with whom I have been working, presented some problems which were not easy to create an achievable plan around as you will see.
Daniel is a 65 year old IT Tech. In our previous session of Existential therapy we identified some of his goals: to be more altruistic, to be open to inspiration and to be more organized and peaceful. In our CBT session we talked about making lists and as a way to achieve that. This week I am following up on these items.
Reality therapy stresses the importance of a client having one or more satisfying relationships, postulating that the lack of this is the underlying cause of life’s problems (Corey, 2013, pp.308). Reality therapy also stressed a clients need to have “power or control, freedom or independence, and fun” (Corey, 2013, pp. 310). I focused more on the second factor with Daniel as it flowed seamlessly from previous sessions and I feel he is not open to relationship discussions yet; until he gets more control over himself, his relationships will be affected by his anxiety. At the same time positive relationships can help to put life into perspective and diffuse anxiety so I would like to pursue positive relationship building with Daniel at some point.
I opened the session asking if the client had made lists for organizing as we’d discussed. He had somewhat, and also he’d been allocating more time at work to this task of organzing. We talked about creating an even calendar and a to do list on the phone which he asked if I could show him. I agreed and showed him a phone application for list making and the Iphone calendar later, at the end of the session.
I then asked Daniel what he could do to change his life, as inspired by the Reality Therapy questions in the text (Corey, 2013, pp. 311):
•?How would you most like to change your life?
•?What would you want in your life that you are not getting?
•?What would you have in your life if you were to change?
•?What do you have to do now to make the changes happen?
This is where we ran in to some difficulty, as Daniel answered that he would be more peaceful. However when asked what he could do towards this goal, as far as activities, we spent several minutes with him unable to come up with anything. Daniel would like to “just be in the habit” of being peaceful and flexible. And we weren’t really able to come up with any activities to promote this. I suggested he could try to do something out of the ordinary this week to prove that change can be okay. He was resistant to this idea. However he did point out how he had done something differently at work, as a result of our discussion last week, so he did feel like he was making progress. I said, ‘Okay, sure, you do not have to do it all at once. That was good progress and we will see what you can do next.’
I felt like the session was a little bit of a failure in that we weren’t able to come up with any tangible new ways for Daniel to meet his needs, except for organizing. But actually, making lists and organizing should help him to relax and be less scattered which will be very good for him. So it was not a total loss. And now Daniel is at least aware of his desire for peace and flexibility… hopefully he can be working towards it even if we didn’t come up with a concrete plan. Practitioners of Reality Therapy like to have clients create plans and even firm them up in writing (Corey, 2013, pp. 318) however for an issue like Daniel’s of wanting increased peace and flexibility it would take some more counseling to find what activities he could actually commit to towards that end.
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