138 Helping with Maladaptive Relationship and Communication Patterns to lose our objectivity and forget that clients’ goals and expectations may differ from ours and our agency’s. Students also often have difficulty recognizing transference and counter- transference and may be reluctant to acknowledge experiences that reflect these dynamics due to embarrassment. Therefore, consider offering examples from your own practice and provide students with reassurance that their personal reactions are an inevitable aspect of their work. We remind students that they are entitled to their reactions, values, and beliefs—whatever they may be. The issue is not their reactions, but rather what they do with them. 1. Begin with a lecture that reinforces the stressor-in-living formulation. The focus at this point is on helping them understand how obstacles in com- munication and in the relationship between worker and client create stress for both. It is important to emphasize that the “interpersonal” concept implies that both worker and client are contributing to the situation. 2. Begin with one or more examples in the chapter that reflect challenges associated with contradictions between agency/worker goals and expectations and client goals and expectations (Mrs. Taub, Mrs. Rodriguez, or Malcolm). Ask students to reflect on the reasons why the workers and clients responded as they did and solicit comparable examples from students’ practice. 3. Use one or more cases that reflect the struggle for interpersonal control and transference and countertransference (Mrs. Charles, Greta, George, or Mr. Wallace). As before, ask students to reflect on the workers and clients reactions and solicit comparable examples from their practice. Because students’ examples may reveal personal information about themselves, you may need to reassure them that they do not have to share any information that makes them uncomfortable. You also can share examples of your own in order to normalize their reactions and encourage them to volun- teer examples from their own experience. 4. Use the Critical Incident Report (or a Record of Service) to assist students in analyzing their contributions to an interpersonal obstacle that has surfaced in one of their cases to promote self-reflection and introspection. Alternatively, you can use the following Record of Service from one of our students or one or your own: Ms. Smith is a 25-year-old African American. Her husband is 27, and their biological child is 5 months old. Her family moved to New York from Alabama when Ms. Smith was 13. She was often beaten as a child. The court mandated that Ms. and Mr. Smith meet for family parenting sessions. She had abused one of her four children, a boy, age 3, when he defecated on the floor. All the children were subsequently taken away and placed in kin- ship care, and Ms. Smith served six months in jail. The baby was born after
Previous Page Next Page