|Posted on January 22, 2013 at 11:25 PM|
But, again, the politics can be even worse as I found out later, at the third job. We are not taught in college about the specifics of politics. But like all human behaviors they have to be analyzed, categorized, and understood to avoid being controlled by them, especially when it can hurt your client. Clients are unaware of counseling politics or find it hard to see them clearly, so we have to protect them from it. To do that we need to know how it affects us and our out look on society because we will pass on our burden to clients.
An example is funding sources, they add their politics to the arena. When people want other sources to pay for their counseling, lets say state medical coupons because one is on the State Welfare roles. If you are clearly a victim of a crime the politics are minimal, but if they think you are a perpetrator of a crime, lets say they suspect you have committed domestic violence, the politics can be fierce. Counseling can be scary for the client as they think you are tied into the state when they were court ordered to do the counseling. They fear you will report them if they are honest. And, yes, we have to report any real and legal abuse.
What clients often do not understand is that we counselors see the world very differently from the law. The law is handicapped by stiff rules and regs and definitions, we are not. Counselors can be much more flexible and realistic about what has happened. The law must look at only the suspect, we can look at the situation from the angle of everyone involved, if we know about them, and the source of actions such as perceptions, emotions, thoughts and assumptions, and from what really happened. So, yes, a husband hit his wife, but she hit him first, but she was defending herself, and he was drunk, and she was drunker, and both were on medication that when mixed with alcohol make you crazy…… etc.
We can help untangle the mess and see if the sources of the problem were circumstantial, personality disorders, or one time bombs of anxiety that most likely will not be repeated, especially if causes can be eliminated or modified. In other words, we are more sympathetic to the realities. We must convey this to the client or they will not be honest with us. That is no easy task. If they are honest we can help them, if they are not they have wasted their money and we have let them, and that is not ethical. So we must try and convince them and often that means we must help them understand the politics that affect them and us. We must be honest and expand their world as best we can. We teach them the method of inquiry so they can do it on their own.
I was handicapped, others would treat me badly at times thinking I was lazy rather then unable to do certain things. So we are all handicapped with the law just as our clients are, just as the law enforcers are, once we understand each others handicaps we can better see the dynamics and make better choices that will give us a better chance of solving our problems to the betterment of self and others, including the law. These types of situations are the rule rather then the exception.
We all become handicapped with ignorance. The unseen can be confusing and I was use to that. Our client are a temporary extension of us, and we have to figure out what is happening with and to them, whether they are caught up in the legal system or their own family or job systems. As a counselor we are learning as much as our clients, we learn with them and add our past lessons to the pot, the pot of understanding and dignity to all, or it becomes quickly a pot of something else.