Individuals’ demographic factors can greatly influence the way they live or respond to life stressors. Hence, sociologists and psychological practitioners give particular focus to individuals’ demographic background while helping them manage their life stressors. This paper will use a hypothetical client case study to create understanding of the roles of a human services professional in a problem solving context.
Description of the Client’s Demographics
Kathy Jain, a 36-year old housewife, is living in the city of California. Kathy belongs to Hispanic ethnic background and follows the religious teachings of Christianity. Kathy’s mother has a Mexican origin and her father is a US-born Hispanic. Kathy’s husband Jim is working as the floor manager of a steel factory. Jim’s salary was not enough to meet the needs of his family, and hence Kathy began to work as a salesperson in a shopping mall a few months back. Her elder daughter Annie (17 years old) is a high-school dropout and she has an affair with a gangster. Kathy’s 14 years old son Steven is attending his high-school studies. Recently Kathy was informed by the school management that Steven has begun using alcoholic products and to attacking his classmates violently. In Kathy’s family, only Jim is protected by insurance coverage, which is provided by his employer. They do not have enough money to bring other family members under insurance coverage. Due to his tough work schedules, Jim visits the family only at the weekend and hence it is the responsibility of Kathy to look after her children. Since Kathy was employed in a shopping mall recently, she hardly gets time to take care of her children properly. As a result of too much life stress and anxiety, Kathy has been experiencing mental problems like sleeplessness and anger over the last two years. She is scolded by her manager often for her absent mindedness. Although Kathy has been experiencing these mental troubles for such a long period, she is yet to consult a psychologist. Actually Kathy does not want to be employed as she loves to bear the roles of a good housewife. Now she regularly visits church and finds mental relief in intense worship practices there.
Recommendations and Interventions
While analyzing the case of Kathy, it is clear that she is going to a depression state. Undoubtedly, Kathy would face severe mental issues unless she approaches a psychological practitioner and seeks treatment immediately. Hence, it is recommendable for Kathy to consult a psychologist immediately to obtain deep insights into her current problems. From the case scenario, it is clear that Kathy is forced to choose a working life that she never wished to opt. In addition, she is forced to raise her children alone because her husband has little time to spend with the family due to his tough work schedules. Although Kathy takes great efforts for the betterment of her family members, she loses control over her children who choose wrong ways of life. In this context, Kathy necessarily needs the support and care of her husband to get rid of this troublesome situation. Family counseling sessions can greatly benefit Kathy to relieve her worries and to regain control over her life. To justify, as Whisman, Johnson, Daniel and Li (2012) state, the participation of partners of depressed individuals in the treatment process is beneficial for the victims to achieve fast recovery. The researchers identify that couple-based intervention for depression may lead to greater positive outcomes (Whisman et al). In addition, cognitive-behavior therapy is also a potential approach to improve the mental health of Kathy. According to Royse, Thyer and Padgett (2009, p. 4), cognitive-behavior therapy is a fruitful strategy to treat women who are affected by intense life stressors.
Resource Attainment Plan
A resource attainment plan is essential for Kathy to obtain information on different sources of services and how those services could be accessed. First, it is advisable for Kathy to access the services of California Family Counseling Center, an organization working to enhance family relationships by offering affordable counseling and outreach services (California Family Counseling Center). It can assist Kathy to strengthen her family relationships and to gain proper love and care from her family members. In addition, ‘Adolescent Counseling Services’ (ACS) is an organization operating in Palo Alto, California to deliver a range of services such as on-campus counseling, substance abuse treatment, and community counseling to adolescents (ACS). Kathy may access the services of this organization to bring her children back to a better life. Finally, Kathy is recommended to access the services offered by the Pacific Gove Hospital, which focuses specifically on people struggling with depression. The services delivered by this organization can help Kathy to get rid of the feelings of sadness and hopelessness. “Pacific Grove Hospital offers private courtyards, lounges, and an attentive staff who understand that life with depression can feel hopeless” (Pacific Grove Hospital). By accessing the services provided by these organizations sensibly, Kathy can fight her life stressors effectively and develop a positive attitude towards life.
Exploration of Client Strengths
The major strength of Kathy is that she has a powerful mind that can vie with adverse life situations. The case scenario makes it clear that Kathy joins a shopping mall as a salesperson so as to meet the financial needs of her family even though she wished to bear the roles of a good housewife. Even when she is forced to raise her children alone in the absence of her husband, Kathy does not lose the presence of mind and she courageously faces her life difficulties. Kathy’s another major strength is that she has an income source and therefore she does not need to depend on her husband or others too much for meeting her daily needs. On the strength of her income earning capability, Kathy can easily arrange an appointment with an experienced psychological practitioner to discuss her mental problems. In addition, although Kathy’s husband visits home only at weekends, he is a lovable and supportive husband who works hard to earn livelihood for the family. In other words, she still keeps a good relationship with her husband realizing the nature of his work and its challenging needs. Finally, she can find mental relief in religious worship practices and it would really help a psychologist while treating Kathy for depression.
Exploration of Potential Barriers
It seems that lack of family support will create great challenges in the plan of care for Kathy. The case scenario reflects that Kathy does not obtain proper love and care from her husband who stays away from home for employment purpose. The care plan would not be really effective unless Kathy has the presence of her husband during the treatment process. In addition, Kathy’s efforts to lead the family in the absence of her husband are disrespected by her children who chose wrong ways of life. For a mother who is striving for the betterment of her children, it is shocking to know that the children undervalue her efforts. Therefore, it would not be easy for Kathy to get rid of her current mental problems unless she obtains proper support and love from her husband and children. In addition, Kathy and her children are not protected by insurance coverage due to their weak financial background. As a result, it may be a challenging task for Kathy and her children to seek mental health assistance for addressing the problems they are facing currently.
Impacts of Culture/religion
As per the case, Kathy is struggling from a range of life stressors, and the situation puts her in a state of depression. A resource attainment plan can greatly assist Kathy to obtain a good understanding of different sources of services to be relied. Kathy is a strong minded-person who takes intense efforts to respond to her life stressors bravely. However, lack of family support limits the scope of care plan for Kathy. It is identified that culture and religion can have positive impacts on the care plan developed for the betterment of Kathy.
California Family Counseling Center
Adolescent Counseling Services
1717 Embarcadero Road Suite 4000
Palo Alto, CA 94303
PHONE & FAX
Pacific Grove Hospital
Pacific Grove Hospital
5900 Brockton Avenue
Riverside, California, 92506
“Hispanic Priorities: Marriage, Family and Youth”. Barna: Hispanics. Retrieved from http://hispanics.barna.org/hispanic-priorities-marriage-family-and-youth/
PewResearchCenter. (May 7, 2014). Religion and public life. Retrieved from http://www.pewforum.org/2014/05/07/chapter-9-social-and-political-views/
Royse, D., Thyer, B & Padgett, D. (2009). Program Evaluation: An Introduction. US: Cengage Learning.
Whisman, M. A., Johnson, D.P., Daniel, B. E & Li, A. (2012). Couple-based interventions for depression. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, 1(3), 185-198. Retrieved from http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/cfp/1/3/185/