Monday, June 29, 2015

Person Centered Therapy

Person Centered Therapy

Theoretical Foundations

■ Focus is on the person and not the presenting problem


o Philosophical movement that emphasizes worth of the individual and the centrality of human values
o Attends to matters of ethics and personal worth
o Gives credit to the human spirit
o Emphasis on creative, spontaneous, and active nature of humans
o Optimistic
o Human capacity to overcome hardship and despair


o Beliefs that it is oversimplification to view people as controlled by fixed physical laws.
o Encouragement of therapy that considers individual initiative, creativity, and self fulfillment

Self Actualization

 o Innate process by which a person tends to grow spiritually and realize potential

The Experiencing Person

o Important issues must be defined by the client
o Special concerns are discrepancies between what a person thinks of himself and the total range of things he experiences


■ Listening
■ Accepting
■ Respecting
■ Understanding
■ Empathic Responding offers online prep for NASW. Unlimited access to practice exams, case studies, simulations, video, audio, and flash cards 24/7.

Monday, June 22, 2015


Impact on Birth Parents

o Grieving the Loss of the Child. - Sense of loss.
- Loss of immediate life plans.
- Most struggle with the decision to place the child for adoption; those who decide to do so begin to plan for a great loss in their own lives with the hope that placing the child for adoption will result in a better life for their baby and for themselves.
- Trauma can be impacted by the process, lack of support, the behavior of the adoption agency, or level of communication with adopting family.
- Clients often express feelings of numbness, shock, and denial, as well as grief.

o Normalize these as typical reactions to loss. - An added struggle with this type of loss is the greater sense of privacy around it which may limit help from support systems who may not be informed.
- Due to the secrecy, this loss often lacks typical cultural rituals or ceremonies to gain closure.

o Grieving Other Losses. - Loss of parenting role.
- Feelings of loss may reoccur during holidays, anniversaries or birthday.
- Stress of pregnancy and adoption may take a toll on the partner/marital relationship.
- If client is young, this may also cause a significant issue in parental relationships.
- If young, the client my have to drop out of school.

o Guilt and Shame. - Societal values often show a lack of understanding over the circumstances leading up to adoption.
- Culturally, there is an association of shame with unplanned pregnancy.
- Client may express feelings of unworthiness.
- Clients who discuss their feelings with supportive friends, family, or counselors may more easily come to terms with their decision over time and be able to integrate the experience into their lives in a healthy way.

o Identity Issues. - Clients often ask themselves if they are “parents”.
- Some mothers may experience a sense of incompleteness after giving birth.
- Parent status is not acknowledged by society, family, or friends for those who give up children for adoption.
- The issue of being involved in the child’s life and how to integrate with the adoptive family is an important one.

o Long-Term Issues. - Feelings about the adoption may be life long, but varying in intensity.
- Some of the factors that have been found to be associated with longstanding grief include:
⋄ A birth parent's feeling that she was pressured into placing her child for adoption against her will
⋄ Feelings of guilt and shame regarding the placement
⋄ Lack of opportunity to express feelings about the placement
- For some birth parents, the ability to establish a successful marriage or long-term relationship may depend on the openness with which they can discuss their past experiences of birth and adoption placement.
- Some birth parents never tell their spouses or subsequent children of their earlier child. offers online prep for NASW. Unlimited access to practice exams, case studies, simulations, video, audio, and flash cards 24/7.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Effects of addictive behaviors on individual and family system

⋅ Any activity, substance, object, or behavior that has become the major focus of a person's life to the exclusion of other activities, or that has begun to harm the individual or others physically, mentally, or socially is considered an addictive behavior.

⋅ There is similar impact on the family between physical addiction to various chemicals in drugs and alcohol, and psychological dependence to behaviors including: gambling, sex, work, and eating disorders.

  • o These behaviors may produce the endorphins in the brain, producing a “high” sensation.
  • o When addicted, people continue these behaviors in order to get that endorphin rush, despite the detrimental effects on their work and family.

⋅ Addicts may still crave their addiction behavior even after remaining abstinent for long periods of time. Some therapeutic modalities believe this craving will be a lifelong challenge and a continual stress on the addict’s support system.

⋅ Withdrawal symptoms when behavior is ceased can cause feelings of irritability, agitation, and depression which affect the entire family system.

⋅ During active addiction many clients live in denial and hurt their families so building trust back and healing wounds caused in the family is important to keep in mind during therapy. offers online prep for NASW. Unlimited access to practice exams, case studies, simulations, video, audio, and flash cards 24/7.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Risk factors for and patterns of abuse

Recognizing sings of abuse
In the child:
o Sudden changes in behavior or school performance
o Not medical attention for problems brought to parents attention.
o Learning problems, difficulty concentrating, that cannot be attributed to specific disabilities.
o Tends to be watchful, expecting something to happen.
o Lacks adult supervision.
o Overly compliant, passive, or withdrawn.
o Comes to school or other activities early, stays late, does not want to go home.

The Parent:
o Shows little concern.
o Denise existence of, or blames the child, for problems at school or home.
o Asks teachers to use physical discipline.
o Describes child as bad or burdensome.
o Demanding high levels of academic and physical performance.
o Relies on child for care, attention, emotional needs.

Parent and Child:
o Do not look or touch each other.
o View of relationship is only negative.
o State they do not like each other.

Pattern of Abuse
Tension building 
o Anger builds.
o Poor communication.
o Victim feels the need to keep the abuser calm.
o Tension mounts.
o Victim constantly feels weary of abuser.
o Abuse (physical, emotional, or sexual) takes place.
Making up:
o Apology may be made.
o Promise of the last time.
o Victim blaming.
o Denial of abuse.
o Calm
o Abuser acts as if nothing has happened.
o Some promises may be met, during this time.
o Victim may believe the abuse is truly over.
o Abuser may give gifts to victim. offers online prep for NASW. Unlimited access to practice exams, case studies, simulations, video, audio, and flash cards 24/7.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Family Life Cycle Stages


1. Married Couples without children
2. Child bearing families
3. Families with pre-school children
4. Families with school children
5. Families with teenagers
6. Families launching young adults
7. Middle aged parents- empty nest to retirement
8. Aging Family members- retirement to death of both spouses

Family Stage impact on Problems
Vertical Stressors
o Relational patterns that are transmitted from one generation to another
o Family attitudes
o Secrets
o Taboos
o Hopes
o Failures
o Expectations
o Emotional Struggles

Horizontal stressors include predictable events that occur as families move from one life cycle stage to another.
o Birth of a child
o Parenting adolescent children
o Children leaving home
o Death of a parent
o Menopause
o Health concerns
o Changes in self image
o Career shifts
o Infidelity
o Infertility offers online prep for NASW. Unlimited access to practice exams, case studies, simulations, video, audio, and flash cards 24/7.