Working in the field of human services is a unique, yet rewarding career. Human services workers engage with diverse populations and carry different titles to include counselors, case managers, milieu therapists, social workers, etc. Regardless of what title a human service worker may hold, communication between a client and professional is vital. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a client from a particular background and address his presenting issues. It will review how I would interview my client to include specific communication techniques, ways I would establish a working relationship, discuss possible boundary issues, and recommendations or referrals to certain groups for this client.
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I would state my observations to him, without being judgmental or labeling him in any way.
Establishing an effective relationship with Joe took time. I took on the model of “You do for me, and I’ll do for you”. Gaining his trust took time, and I understood that he has been let down his whole life with empty promises from family and friends. Keeping my word with this client is how I began establishing a close relationship. If I told Joe I would stop by and see how he was doing in 3rd period, I made sure I was there, and if I could not be there I made sure he was aware as to why I was not. I gained respect from this kid, and was able to teach him coping skills within just a few months. We were able to understand each other’s verbal and non verbal communication styles, which made his treatment much more effective. My interviews with Joe after developing a relationship were a lot more productive. He was able to state his own goals and more importantly what he needed from me, as his milieu therapist, to achieve those goals.
Working with Joe on a daily basis did contribute to some boundary issues. There were times when he would want to process when no real crisis was present. His attachment to me was obvious, and limits had to be set. I, along with my supervisor and clinical director, did not believe it was a personal attachment, but had finally found someone he could trust to be there for him without