The range of problems facing human service clients today encompass a whole range of troubles that because of environmental, developmental, societal, and cultural situations, along with crisis or traumatic events. There are specific helping skills human services professionals can use to help clients solve their problems and set goals. As I read chapter five, I realize there are several theories and perspectives that help define problems in clients.
The five ways mentioned to help clients identify the problems that clients experience in life are the developmental, situational, cultural, societal change, physical, and psychological theories and perspectives. Human service professionals have to remember that first we have to define what the problem the client has, and who the client is and how can we attain help for the client. It is not as simple as identifying the problem and referring them to the appropriate agency, we have to define the problem and try to help the client solve the problem and accomplish it, or to set goals.
These goals can be short-term or long-term. Referrals are one way a client can obtain help. Sometimes when an agency can only help the client in certain areas, the human service professional will refer the client out to another agency who can help them obtain the services needed. Another thing we have to remember is that we will encounter some clients who will be involuntary clients. This will happen if a patient is a child that parents are bringing in to therapy, a court ordered class or session with a probation officer.
Some of these services need to be monitored and the cooperation of the client is mandatory, and this can be the case of child abuse and neglect, or if the client is released form incarceration. A large population or group also can be selected to receive help, and this is called inadvertent services. Examples of this population are Low-cost housing redevelopment, crime watch programs, shelters, AIDS clients, seniors, and disaster clients. Sometimes these clients because of the services they need or their reasons they need help will cause barriers.
The Situational perspective, which explains problems that happen in accidents or injuries from traumatic events, causes people to come in to see a human service professional not just for one reason, but for a variety of reasons, depending on the services they need. For example, we have a client who was in an accident and he sustained many injuries. He will have several problems in which to deal with because since he is injured, he is unable to function, to support himself or his family. He may need rehabilitative services for a prolonged time, which means he will not be able to bring in the usual monthly paycheck.
Not able to bring in the monthly paycheck will cut short some of his expenses. For instance he will need help with food, and paying his monthly bills. Situations like these demonstrate the “whole person” perspective. This perspective does not only encompass just one need but also different needs the client will have. The human professional will have to come up with a plan for the client. We will first need a treatment plan if the patient were injured, and then one to help with the financial problems that will arise. Solving problems either short or long- term becomes an associated action and will have different ways to solve.
According to the our textbook, “Problems in living from the human service perspective, can have two components: a description of the problem and a course of action leading to its resolution. ” The first part of the problem represents the need of the client. The second is in various stages, since the human services professional has to define the problem and talk it over with the client to try to come up with a plan to resolve it. One hurdle a human service professional will encounter is trying to figure out the problems the client will experience, and if cultural values will make a difference on evaluating the problems.
The human service professional has to remember that some problems can help the client now and some will be long-term. Discovering out the needs of the client is important in problem identification because some clients will lack the skills and the knowledge to resolve their problems. The developmental theory defines problems from crisis or events that happen in our lives. Concerning the developmental theory, we find that there a different stages and phases a client will encounter in their lifetime.
Since this theory deals with the time of birth until the time they pass away, clients will have different problems from the way they were raised and the way they deal with problems. From a person’s characteristics to the way he or she deals with events in their life. Human professionals use Erikson’s developmental model to aid them in trying to identify problems a person will have. The following are the stages: “The Basic Trust versus basic mistrust, autonomy versus shame and doubt, initiative versus guilt, Industry versus inferiority, identity versus role confusion, intimacy versus isolation, generativity versus stagnation, and go integrity versus despair. ”
These stages will help clients in how they deal with crisis in their lives and will help human services professionals in understanding clients. This will help the professional in setting up strategies to help the client in either mental illness or criminal behavior. My next perspective is meeting human needs and physical and psychological needs fall under this category. This will define basic human needs and will see if they are being met. A hierarchy of needs was developed by Abraham Maslow, which aids in the problem identification process.
This process starts with the basic of physical human needs and ends with the understanding of themselves and their environment. () According to Maslow these needs are Self-Actualization, Esteem Needs, Social Needs, Safety Needs, and Physiological Needs. An example of meeting needs is child abuse and neglect. If a child is abused and neglected there basic needs are endangered. A child can be placed in foster care, or the family can put in a plan ordered by the court, where they have to seek the human services professionals help. On a bigger scale we have natural disasters where urgent help is needed, like the basic needs client use every day.
Professionals will try to find shelter whether temporary or permanent, for clients and their families. Social change is another perspective and here the client will have or experience a major point in problems in his or her lives. This can be due to a loss of a job due to the change in technology, having cultural differences, and it can lead to homelessness. Keep in mind that homelessness can fall under the developmental, environmental, and situational perspectives. Other examples are veterans, children, and adolescents Culture has a crucial part in defining problems, especially a culturally environmental change that results in homelessness.
For this example I will use the homelessness we have here where we live. We have children and families, adults with mental disabilities, runaway teenagers, or teenager’s parents have kicked out of the home, abandoned children, families from different countries here illegally, and families who have lost their jobs, all who are homeless. Homelessness can happen for a variety of reasons and I have listed only the major ones. The helping process is needed to form a helping relationship for delivery of services. There are several stages of delivery that human services use, and it depends on the agency you work for.
Depending on the length of time or services the agency gives, will enable you to come up with a plan to set goals and to deliver services, or to refer a client. We need to remember that a helping relationship is important in the delivery of services. Before the client arrives the human services professional will look at both the physical setting and the knowledge he or she have on the client, for instance the records. We need to make sure the paperwork the agency requires has to be filled out, sometimes it is done before, or the human service professional can help the client fill out the forms.
When the client arrives try to make him feel comfortable, we have to remember that the client comes in with problems, and we don’t want to make them feel uncomfortable. We could use an ice breaker about them finding the office. One example the book uses is “did you have any trouble finding the office. ” We provide information about our agency at this stage. We try to get the client to talk discuss their problem, and we try to avoid yes and no questions. We go to the exploring the problem stage and try to use the perspective we learned to explore the problems.
Next we go to the intervention strategies stage and try to set client goals and how to meet those goals. At this point if we are unable to provide all the services, we try to refer the patient to another agency that offers the service. Finally comes the termination stage where we the relationship ends. Hopefully, the client has received all the help he needs or received a referral. During these stages we try to establish effective communication, verbal messages, nonverbal messages, and effective listening. We try to show the client we are listening, and trying to help him or her and this can be done by helpful behaviors in communicating.
Egan (2010, pp. 134-135) suggests a strategy called by the acronym SOLER. To squarely face the client, have an open posture, to lean toward the client, to make eye contact, and to look relaxed. Another is the attending behavior mentioned in the reading. To look people in the eye, watch our speech quality, and to keep from changing the subject to let the client speak his problems, and attentive body language. All this will encourage the client to speak about his problems. Try to use open questions instead of closed questions that need a yes or no answer.
Sometimes using groups meetings help, for example Alcoholic Anonymous meetings or bereavement meetings. Just as we have clients looking for help we have the reluctant or resistant clients. The reluctant client is forced where as the resistant client may be agreeable but will not follow through in the helping process. This can be when a parent brings a child for counseling. We will come across demanding or unmotivated clients that human service processionals will need to make good use of all their skills to help with their problems. A crisis intervention occurs when an emergency or fast action is required.
For example when a mother is abandoned with her children by her husband, this is a crisis that needs intervention and immediate help. A resolution-focused brief therapy is needed because a short-term intervention needs to be used. We need to define the crisis, wither it is a developmental or situational crisis. We then have to find a quick solution to the crisis. As a human service professional, we have to be ready for different situations and find different solutions to the problems our clients will bring. We can utilize all the skills we are taught, but we will still have to use those ingrained in us.