Please number the response
required text –chapter 6
Corey, G. (2017). Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning
Based on your readings and videos from this week, please choose TWO of the presenting problems below and provide a brief response to the below questions:
In addition please choose ONE of the cases below and provide a detailed response to the questions following the case that you chose:
(Please include the case or stem so others can respond to you)
*Assume you were counseling people with the following presenting problems. What would you want to say, and what would you hope to do? What would be your strategies, and how would you work with each of these persons? What issues are involved? How have you come to terms with these issues in your own life?
- I feel like my existence does not matter to anyone. If I were to die today, I fully believe that it wouldn’t make a difference to anyone.
- My fear is that I am empty and vacant inside. I’ve never really had to look at myself before now, but since my husband left me I am lost. I feel deserted, abandoned, isolated, and I fear that I cannot make it alone. I depended on him to give me a sense of worth, and now that he’s gone, I just feel a void.
- I keep looking outside of me for answers. I try so hard to be whatever anyone else expects me to become. I see myself as a stranger to myself. I really don’t know who I am, and what’s worse, at this point I don’t even know what I would like to become.
3.I find myself terrified when I am alone. I need people around me constantly, and if I’m forced to be alone, then I run from myself by watching television. I’d like to learn how to be alone and feel comfortable about it.
- Most of the time, I feel a sense of detachment from other people, and I feel cut off from nature too. I am so caught up in traffic, offices, cities, and technology that I feel a sense of isolation. I want to feel at one with somebody – or feel unified with nature.
- So rarely do I feel close to another person. While I want this closeness, I am frightened of being rejected. Instead of letting anyone get close to me, I build walls that keep them removed. What can I do to lessen my fear of being rejected?
- When I do allow myself to be vulnerable to others I get scared, then I quickly become defensive. It is as though I see everyone as a potential enemy who is out to hurt me. When I become defensive I have a hard time being anything but closed. I’m not too sure how much I want to change. I have ambivalent feelings concerning how much I want and need others in my life. Often I am aware that I feel hard and uncaring toward others, yet there are times when I would like to be softer and more concerned. I’m struggling with whether or not I care enough to change this.
- When I hear about all of the terrible things that are happening in the world (mass shootings and hate crimes, terrorism, poverty, and homelessness), I wonder what the meaning of all this suffering is about. How can I possibly find meaning in a world that is so dangerous and negative?
Cases: (Please choose ONE of the cases below and answer the questions following the case)
*The following case examples Pauline, are designed as a catalyst to apply existential concepts in actual counseling. Each case raises issues of the struggle with personal freedom. You may wish to bring in similar struggles you have encountered in making choices in your own lives.
PAULINE: A young woman facing death
The existentialist views death as a reality that gives meaning to life. As humans we do not have forever to actualize ourselves. Thus, the realization that we will die jolts us into taking the present seriously and evaluating the direction in which we are traveling. We are confronted with the fact that we have only so much time to do the things we most want to do. Thus, we are motivated to take stock of how meaningful our life is. With this existential perspective in mind, assume that a young woman of 20 comes to the center where you are a counselor.
Some Background Data:
Pauline has recently found out that she has leukemia. Though she is in a period of remission, her doctors tell her that the disease is terminal. Pauline is seeking counseling to help herself deal with this crisis and at least get the maximum out of the remainder of her life. She is filled with rage over her fate; she keeps asking why this had to happen to her. She tells you that at first she could not believe the diagnosis was correct. When she finally got several more professional opinions that confirmed her leukemia, she began to feel more and more anger—toward God, toward her healthy friends, whom she envied, and generally toward the unfairness of her situation. She tells you that she was just starting to live, that she had a direction she was going in professionally. Now everything will have to change. After she tells you this, she is sitting across from you waiting for your response.
Questions for Reflection:
Attempting to stay within the frame of reference of an existential therapist, what direction would you take with her?
Think about these questions:
- What do you imagine your immediate reactions would be if you were faced with counseling this client? What would be some of the things that you would initially say in response to what you know about Pauline?
- What are your own thoughts and feelings about death? How do you think that your answer will affect your ability to be present for Pauline?
- What goals would you have in counseling with her?
- In what ways would you deal with the rage that Pauline says she feels?
- Pauline tells you that one of the reasons she is coming to see you is her desire to accept her fate. How would you work with her to gain this acceptance? What specific things might you do to help her find ways of living the rest of her life to its fullest?
- Do you see any possibilities for helping Pauline find meaning in her life in the face of death