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Professional Counseling

The Diary of Anne Frank is a screened statement that a way of thinking determines human behavior. Counseling governed by the Texas LPC Code of Ethics deals with a big diversity of ethical and professional vignettes. The aim of the services is helping clients to overcome personal troubles and improve well-being. Mental and physiological dysfunction can be treated through various types of psychotherapy.

The Diary of Anne Frank is directed by George Stevens in 1959 on the base of the screenplay created by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hacket. (Stevens, 2004). The story is about a 13-year Jewish girl, who had to stay with her family in a hidden place escaping from fascists during the World War II. However, the girl wrote in her diary “In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart”. (Frank, 1993). The movie can be attributed to the existential theory of Kierkegaard and Sartre who believed that human thinking determines the attitude to life. (Macquattie, 1972). Anne did not abandoned her believes and hoped for the peace and happiness. Moreover, the movie refers to such existential concepts as absurd, facticity and authenticity. The world does not have a meaning assigned to it. Absurd things happen to good people: peaceful Jewish families had to suffer from cruelty. The girl was independent from negative thinking and her commitment was high moral. Demonstrating authentic behavior, Anne acted in accordance with her internal freedom, without reflecting on any other beliefs. (Existentialism, 2010). 

Proposing my way of handling each ethical or professional vignette outlined below, I was governed by the Texas LPC Code of Ethics. Vignette one: my car breaks while I am driving to work and one of my clients sees me and offers to fix it for a fee. I will refuse, explaining that I have already called the emergency service. I will refer to par. 681.41 (i) and (k), which prohibit non-therapeutic relations with clients and any engagement in activities brining personal gain at the expense of a client. (Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors About the Profession - Code of Ethics, 2011). Vignette two: Jill’s husband shows up at my office demanding information about his wife. I tell him that information obtained in counseling is confidential He threatens to sue me because he paid for his wife’s counseling. I will stay calm and repeat my main message about the confidentiality in accordance with par. 681.41 (4) of the Ethic Code. In addition, I will warn him about my right to report him in case of any bad consequences for Jill. Vignette n three: A colleague of mine encourages me to practice “Millenium Therapy” – an intensive new therapeutic approach for which she has been trained and which, she says, has shown promising results with a variety of clients. She gives you a book to read and offers to supervise you periodically. Should you practice this therapy? Firstly, I will read the book to learn more about the Millenium Therapy. If I decide to practice it, I will keep to the norms of professional orientation and ethical practice, established by The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (Section II), Thus, I will have to refuse from my friend’s supervision. (2009 Standards, 2013). 

I will handle the next three situations described below in the following way. Situation one: a client, who tells me she makes $60,000 a year, is in abusive relationship. She says she cannot afford to leave him. I will recommend her to have family counseling to find the best solution, which might be to modify her relations into non-abusive or leave him. Situation two: I smell alcohol on the breath of a client who is coming to see me for substance abuse counseling. I will have to terminate the counseling services, since it is evident that the client does not benefit from them. The client has to be treated in a medical addiction agency. Thus, I will contact the agency to arrange the client’s transfer. (681.41 (t), (u) of the Ethic Code). Situation three: a client you have been seeing for a number of months continually tells me he will work on “homework”. I have assigned, but he consistently comes to the session without it. Similar to the second situation, I will have to terminate the counseling services and discuss the best post-services strategy for him.

Concerning clients’ statement presented below, I will give the following responses. Statement one: so I wasn’t faithful to my lover. So What! I loved him. He didn’t have to leave me. My response: your behavior hurt your lover and he decided to stop his suffering. If you do not change your attitude, you would never be able to set a healthy family.  Statement two: Since I moved into this retirement home I have nothing to live for. I can’t drive anymore and I don’t know anyone here. My response: you can have some other exciting activities here, like walking, fishing, computer games, etc. Moreover, you can share your interest with new friend of your age. Statement three: I don’t know why I keep going back to him. He just keeps beating on me. But, afterward, he always tells me he loves me. He just drinks too much. My response: he needs a professional aid to cure alcohol addiction and uncontrolled violence. You should stop being manipulated by a sick person.

Gestalt therapy is focused on the individual’s feelings, context of personal life and self-regulating practices. It brings out the person’s hidden feelings and painful emotions to get rid of them. (Webber, 2010). Person-centered theory is a talk-based therapy that raises the patient’s self-esteem. Positive potential overcomes the negative attitude enabling a client to find a solution to the problem. (Cepeda, 2006). Behavioral therapy establishes a clear connection between strong beliefs and behavior. The client has to face the phobia to change the attitude and behavior. (Ajzen, 1991). Cognitive (thinking) concept says that people learn by observing other peoples’ situational behavior use the knowledge for their personal development (Santrock, 2008).  Family therapy examines the intimate relations with the aim to get rid of troubles in the family. The theory emphasizes the importance of healthy family relations for good psychological state. (Becvar, 2008).

The main difference between a counselor, psychiatrist and psychologists is the spheres in which they operate and severity of the problem they deal with. Thus, a counselor provides academic or developmental assistance in educational, employment and carrier guidance and help people to overcome problems in communication, relationship, and addiction. A psychologist studies human behavior and carries out experiments to determine the  impact of feelings and beliefs on human actions. They use their findings in mental health, human services and education. A psychiatrist is doctor who treats patients with emotional, behavioral and mental disorders, such as schizophrenia and depression (Therapist Definitions and Modalities, 2013). Difference between counseling, guidance and psychotherapy is the degree and character of the aid. Thus, guidance is leadership and supervision based on respect and trust.  Counseling is a process of assisting people in personal development and resolution of problematic situations. It is focused on “well-being” rather than on medical aid. Psychotherapy is a medical treatment based on mental processes, physical and emotional insights. (Differences between terms, 2013).

To sum up, troubles are an integral part of human life and people should always have a correct attitude and hope for the better. Counseling services regulated by the state authorities, are aimed at improving the standard of living in various social spheres. However, psychologist and psychiatrist provide psychotherapy through various techniques and in case of disorders. 

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