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Counseling Case Study: Woman Coping with her Mother's Death

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This solution deals with a hypothetical scenario as a case study.

Imagine that you are the counselor who will be working with the client described in the case study below. Describe what techniques may be most effective when working with this client. Would this client be identified as at-risk bereaved? Why or why not? Can you help me understand this?? Thank you.

The Case Study:

Woman: You are a 51-year-old single woman whose mother has died. The two of you always lived together and had a close but ambivalent relationship. You cared for your mother during her lengthy illness, which involved several hospitalizations. Your mother was not an easy person to get along with, and several times during her final years you told her in anger that if she didn't shape up, you would send her off to a nursing home. You really wouldn't have, but now that she is dead, you miss her terribly and you're feeling very guilty about having said these things.

Counselor: A 51-year-old single woman has approached you for help with the guilt she has been feeling since her mother's death. Your task is to help her reality test her guilt and to find a better way to cope with it.

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Solution Preview

In this case study, what one should be discerning about is not the fact that the individual has suffered a loss and that there is a secondary neurosis that surrounds this loss, but rather, whether there is a clear link between the impact of this loss perpetuating the grief in the individual to a level where natural long-term diminishment through self-coping might not occur. Basically, this summarises the goals of identifying whether or not she is of at-risk bereavement status; to determine whether her grief is standard or complicated (Zisook & Shear, 2009, p.67-74).

Taking on board the general uncertainty regarding the topic of grief, as well as the scepticism towards grief counselling efficacy, it is best to treat this matter with the utmost sensitivity and seriousness (Larson & Hoyt, 2008, p. 347-355). While the loss of a parent at such a stage in life is quite normative, it can also have far reaching ...

Solution Summary

This solution involves a hypothetical case study as the scenario where a middle-aged single woman is grieving the loss of her mother, whom she looked after in her final years. The personal and rather emotionally charged nature of the client's relationship with her mother compounds the grieving process with aspects of guilt and regret. Includes 3 references.