In this assignment you are asked to demonstrate through the use of readings, practice excerpts and critical thinking how you determined a client’s capacity to form a therapeutic alliance (or working partnership) and how you used this information to help her enter the therapeutic encounter. You should show how your understanding (1) drew on your knowledge base, practice theory and/or other empirical evidence, (2) incorporated relevant data about client need, motivation, resources available (personal and/or environmental), (3) agency context and your function with respect to the particular client, and
(4) led logically to differential intervention strategies to join the client.
You need to complete a paper of 10-‐12 pages in length. Make a cover page with your name, date, and the name of the course (not counted as page total). Do not use plastic binders. References are required and must be cited in the text; a reference list of cited papers must be included (the reference list is not counted in the page total).
Give a brief statement identifying client characteristics (while protecting the privacy of your client, i.e., no names or personally identifiable information). (1/4 page)
Discuss your positionality in relation to your client and the impact, or possible impact that similarities or differences between you have had, or may have in the future, in your engagement with this client and in developing your working alliance (1/2 page minimum). (The Suarez et al article on Critical Consciousness talks about positionality).
Explain your understanding of the importance of the therapeutic alliance/working partnership (include ideas from at least 3 references). Consider the role of empathy and factors that may affect your ability to empathize with the client. Reflect on your perception of your and your client’s abilities to establishing a working therapeutic alliance. What factors may affect a client’s capacity to form a therapeutic alliance/partnership? (Consider factors like the client’s history and status in the agency, the length of time you will work with the client, your role and function in the agency, etc.) What occurred in the early session(s) with this client that helped or hindered the establishing of a working alliance? What were you experiencing during the initial meeting(s)? What did you think your client was experiencing? In the next section provide data to support your hypothesis regarding the client’s feelings of having been understood or not. (3-‐4 pages)
In this section give 2 or 3 detailed excerpts from process recordings that demonstrate how you used different interviewing techniques to engage the client and develop a level of trust between you. (You can use excerpts that demonstrate “mistakes” that you made which led to disengagement and/or mistrust). You can also illustrate examples of your client’s mistrust and how you responded.
Each vignette should include at least four interchanges. More is welcome.
Client said (give the background of what proceeded this interchange) Worker said
Client said; Worker said
Client said; Worker said
Client said; Worker said
Indicate silences or body movement that you observed in the client and in yourself.
In parenthetical comments following each vignette, reflect on each of the vignettes you provide in terms of which interviewing techniques you were attempting to do and how successful your efforts were in establishing a collaborative working alliance. What parts of the process recording demonstrate the client’s feelings of being understood or misunderstood? What informed your thinking? Cite relevant literature. (3-‐4 pages)
5. What were you able to learn about the client’s interpersonal patterns? Discuss your hypothesis regarding the client’s schemas from early life. How might the client’s schemas affect the development of a therapeutic alliance? (1-‐2 pages).
6. Evaluation: How did you do on this assignment? What did you learn? What are your strengths and limitations? What directions should you go to develop your knowledge and clinical skills? (2-‐3 paragraphs)
Competencies and Practice Behaviors that are Assessed in the Assignment
Competency 2.1.5, Practice Behavior 1: Use knowledge of the effects of oppression, discrimination and historical trauma on clients and client systems to guide treatment planning and intervention.
Competency 2.1.10 (a), Practice Behavior 1: Use empirically based, culturally responsive strategies to engage client systems.
Competency 2.1.10 (a), Practice Behavior 2: Demonstrate the use of differential engagement strategies to develop and maximize the therapeutic alliance with diverse client systems
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