Onsider Systemic Issues in a Counselling Case Study

For the third assignment you need to provide a fictional case study of a counselling client with issues relating to fear and sadness and then consider how their individual problems might be located in the social context in which the clients are embedded. Your case study should clearly focus on systemic issues, such as present relationships and family pattern, family of origin, peer and work context, etc. You might also consider some wider sociocultural issues, but be careful not to spend too much of your time on this a keep your focus on relationship and family systems. In the guidance here we have given an example fictional client whom we have made up (John). However you must not use him in your own essay! This is just to show you the kind of things we are looking for.
You will find the relevant material for this assignment is in Block 3 of the module, particularly in Week 13 of the Module Guide and Chapter 9 of the textbook (a?Systemic approachesa). The introduction of Chapter 9 will be useful in recognising how important systemic issues can be in considering individual distress. Section 9.2, a?Development and fundamentals of systemic counselling and psychotherapya, provides you with an overview of central systemic ideas and concepts developed in the last fifty years, such as dysfunctional family structures, recursive interaction pattern (circular causality) and the role of social conversations and narrations in shaping beliefs and experiences, to name but a few. Section 9.4 on a?Getting a?stucka?a is helpful in realising the role of family and relationship systems specifically in fear and sadness. Some of the wider sociocultural issues covered in Chapter 14 (like race and culture, gender and sexuality) will also be relevant to the case you are presenting, but, as mentioned above, they shouldnatbein the centre of your discussions.
When thinking about how you would work with the client as counsellor you might want to draw on Section 9.3, a?Systemic counselling and psychotherapy todaya, and Section 9.5, a?Working systemically with fear and sadnessa,in Chapter 9. Audio-visual Excerpts 13 and 14 might also give you an idea of how systemic counselling can look like in practice. However, your fictional work with the client may also be informed by one or more of the earlier chapters of the textbook as you might be particularly drawn to one (or several) of the other counselling approaches.
Look back to the guidance on TMA 01 for general advice on how to structure, write and finish your essay.

After the introduction to your essay (100a 200 words on how the essay will be structured and which approaches you are drawing on), you should write a fictional description of a client. This could be based on one of the case studies in the book, or on one of the people you have met in the audiovisual
materials for this module. Alternatively, you could base the case study on someone you know. If you do so you need to make sure that you anonymise them a changing their name and any identifying details such as where they live and occupation. Also, keep in mind that the feedback you get from your tutor on this case study is intended to help you in your learning process and is not intended for the person you based your case on. Our advice is to keep the case description fictional. Using your own life and personal experiences for this assignment may cause emotional distress (as you may find it difficult to maintain the necessary distance to the material) and can make it problematic for your tutor to comment on your work (due to sensitive personal issues raised in the case study).
The case study should provide the context of counselling, a brief character sketch and details of the presenting concern of the client (which should broadly relate to fear or sadness). This should be written in around 300 words.
Example:
a?John is a 32 year-old, white mental health nurse who was born and brought up as the youngest of three sons in a wealthy family of entrepreneurs in a Northern UK town. He always had a very close bond with his mother and a rather distant and conflictual relationship with his strict and authoritarian father and his two brothers who were very successful in their careers. John sought counselling because of the periodic depressive episodes he experienced since he lived together with his partner Sarah whom he met two years earlier at his workplace. Their relationship had been idyllic in the beginning, but began to deteriorate when they moved in together, with Sarah complaining that John was too uptight and clingy and John accusing Sarah of being too laid back and distant. In conflict situations, Sarah becomes angry and withdraws and John either tries to get her to talk it through or continues to remain engaged in the argument. Both have a tendency to believe that there is only one right way to solve any issue and to think in black and white, either/or terms. In the first counselling session, John said the following things about his problems a¦a (Go on to provide more details about what happened during the depressive episodes, how he feels about his life and relationships more broadly, etc.)
Following this description you should consider how the systemic issues covered in this block of the module could relate to the clientas problems: structure and interaction pattern in family and relationship systems, events in the family life cycle, possible functions of a symptom, different views and perception held by system members, shared family beliefs and experiences, stories and narrations. You might also include some thoughts on the clientas sociocultural context without focusing too much on these aspects. Make sure to reference academic material from the module and textbook to support the points you make. This section should take around 600 words.
Finally, you should reflect on how you might work as a counsellor with this client in a way which takes accounts of the systemic issues raised in this block. This should take around 700 words. Again, as in TMA 02, it is appropriate to use the first person (a?Ia) when talking about your own views and ways of working. However, you should still make sure that you draw on academic material (appropriately referenced) from the textbook chapters and audio-visual excerpts throughout this section.

Discuss the kinds of questions you would ask or topics you would explore in order to attend particularly to the kinds of systemic issues covered in this block. You might even decide to work explicitly from a systemic perspective, in which case make sure that you state this and discuss what that would mean. Also here you could talk about the kind of counselling relationship you would aim for, whether you might consider family or relationship therapy rather than oneto-
one, what practices or techniques you might draw on, and what your aims would be as a counsellor. Again, make sure that you reference appropriately throughout this section of the essay. Here it would also be appropriate to consider some of the issues about whether one-to-one counselling is always the most appropriate way of helping people with fear and sadness and what alternatives there might be.
This should leave you around 150a 200 words to conclude your essay. In this conclusion you can summarise the decisions you made about how you would work as a counsellor with the client and what these were informed by (for example, the previous material you had covered in the module on different counselling approaches). Make sure you consider whether the approach you took gave you room for thinking about the clientas social context, particularly the relevant family and relation issues, and how important you consider these aspects to be.

Self-reflection
On a separate page, we would like you to write a few sentences (not more
than 50 words) saying:
. what you found interesting about this assignment
. what you found difficult about this assignment.
The 50 words is part of the overall word count.

Onsider systemic issues in a counselling case study.

Consider systemic issues in a counselling case study.
Word limit: 2000

Student notes
For the third assignment, you need to provide a fictional case study of a counselling client with issues relating to fear and sadness and then consider how their individual problems might be located in the social context in which the client is embedded. Your case study should clearly focus on systemic issues such as present relationships and family pattern, family of origin, peer and work context, etc. You might also consider some wider sociocultural issues, but be careful not to spend too much of your time on this a keep the focus on relationship and family systems. In the guidance below we have given an example fictional client who we have made up (John). However, you must not use him in your own essay! This is just to show you the kind of things we are looking for.
You will find the relevant material for this assignment in Block 3 of the module, particularly in Week 13 of the Module Guide and Chapter 9 of the textbook, a?Systemic approachesa. The introduction of Chapter 9 will be useful in recognising how important systemic issues can be when considering individual distress. Section 9.2, a?Development and fundamentals of systemic counselling and psychotherapya, provides you with an overview of central systemic concepts developed in the last 50 years, such as dysfunctional family structures, recursive interaction pattern (circular causality) and the role of social conversations and narrations in shaping beliefs and experiences, to name but a few. Section 9.4, a?Getting a?stucka?a, is helpful in realising the role of family and relationship systems, specifically in fear and sadness. Some of the wider sociocultural issues covered in Week 14 (like race and culture, gender and sexuality) will be relevant as well to the case you are presenting, but as mentioned above, they shouldnat be central to your discussions.