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Ending a counseling session

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Could you please describe a personal or professional challenge you think you would encounter when ending a session with a client who discloses a critical piece of information at the end of a session, including what specific steps you would take and why you would take them?

For example, David, a 15-year-old, has been your client for the last 2 months. He is struggling with his parents recent divorce and has gotten into trouble skipping school. David has cut himself off from his friends and has been complaining of a variety of vague and unsubstantiated illnesses. You are working with him to adjust to these recent changes in his life. During your last counseling session, David appeared more withdrawn. For the past few weeks, you have attempted to work with David's mother to get him into a child psychiatrist for a medication evaluation to help him with some challenging symptoms. David finally has an appointment and will see the doctor next week. As your counseling session draws to a close, David thanks you for being his counselor. As he puts his hand on the doorknob to leave he says, Don't worry about me, I won't be any problem anymore.

Another example; Shawn is a 35-year-old male with whom you have worked for the last 18 months. He recently lost his job due to company downsizing. He is very talented and has a lot of experience. He does not think he will have a problem finding a new job but is upset that less talented individuals with more seniority were able to keep their jobs despite the fact that he had always received excellent evaluations for his work performance. Even though he believes he will find a new job, he is frustrated about his present situation. He reports that he spent a lot of time with his coworkers outside of work, and really enjoyed his job and the atmosphere. Shawn spends a lot of time talking about how much he misses everyone at work. As he leaves his counseling session he states, â??Maybe if one of those idiots that still has a job has an unexplained accident they might beg me to come back.

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Solution Summary

The solution provides advise in tackling demanding and problematic disclosures at end-of sessions.

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The first step would be to continue the session as a disclosure was made which could have a harmful outcome to the client or others. The second step in each case would be to address the statements in a non-confrontational manner and in the clinical setting in order to ascertain the level of threat. This would be done to keep the patient in a controlled ...

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