Discuss the complexity of working with clients who are also pregnant. As was discussed in this week’s main post, Sandra’s case study presented some the challenges that women in particular face with respect to receiving treatment for addictions. Which include: societal expectation of women & addictions, shame/guilt, lack of support groups, etc. Include pregnancy on top of these challenges just make everything all the more complex and difficult. How would a pregnancy change your approach to treatment? Well, the biggest concern is the health and well being of not only the individual, but also the child in the mother’s womb. What issues might come up for you as a counselor? I read the story of Lyal in this week’s reading, a child with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), with this disorder come the possibility of other comorbid conditions, such as: OCD, ODD, ADHD, & others. Meaning the client addiction whether that is alcohol or drugs can cause significant harm to the child. The textbook makes mention that, “pregnant women who abuse alcohol put their babies at risk of developing FAS, the most preventable form of mental retardation… Children born with this syndrome suffer developmental delays, behavioral problems, and facial and neurological abnormalities” (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2012). How might you talk about these risks with your client? I would make it abundantly clear to my client the risk they are taking by continuing to consume alcohol or use various substances. I would also provide brochures, books, and videos even about some of the complications associated with FAS their child would experience if they continue to drink/use alcohol or drugs. How would you respond if your client continued to heavily drink or use substances while pregnant? If my client continues to drink heavily or use substances while pregnant, which is indicating to me they’re fully aware of the risks and are choosing not to do anything about it, which is just plain ignorance, I would look into taking legal ramifications. I’m not aware of what power I have to inform, but I would look into what option are before me to ensure this child has a good chance of being born without these complications.
What does it mean to you to advocate for clients and challenge bias? It means that to speak up and raise awareness of general public regarding some of specific challenges that my client may be facing that the average person may not be aware of. And perhaps present in such a way that the average person can understand. Raising awareness can often lead to change, whether in policy or other forms of change that can take place as a result of advocacy work. How do you feel about taking on that role? I feel strongly that as counselor, we must speak up and advocate for the marginalized and the outcast. I feel comfortable doing that, as it is a important aspect of our work as counselors not only to help those who are experiencing difficulties and are hurting, but also to make sure that we represent and advocate for those who cannot often speak for themselves. Is that a role you expected to take on as a counselor? Yes, I think as I gain experience as a counselor, I will look for opportunities to partner with other group to advocate regarding particular issues that are near and dear to me or just things that I have been made aware of during the course of my counseling career. Are there some groups for whom it would be harder or easier for you to advocate for? Does that reflect on your own beliefs and values? How so? Certainly, this goes back to my worldview or anyone’s for that matter. For every individual, there are particular areas where we are more passionate than others. My theology guides my life and there are certain issues that I’m very passionate about and other ones that I’m not so passionate about. I believe if we’re going to advocate on a particular issue, we must believe in the change we’re advocating for, otherwise it will not be genuine, and people will see right through that.
Using the Blog References, find and specifically report on at minimum of four websites that you could use for information regarding gender and/or LGBT issues in addictions counseling. Give a minimum of one paragraph of explanation for each site listed.
Women for Sobriety
Women for sobriety (WFS) is an organization that assist all women in their recovery. This is done through: discovery of self, shared experiences, and hope/encouragement with other women in similar circumstances. WSF is an abstinence based self-help program for women struggling with alcohol or substance use addiction. WSF as the website indicates is an organization of women for women, and this is no different when it comes to their treatment approach, which is very different to that of men, by offering a variety of recovery tools to help with coping skills that focus on emotional growth, spiritual growth, self-esteem, & healthy lifestyle.
March of Dimes
March of Dimes (MD) is an organization that seeks to help mothers have full-term pregnancies, and researches issues that threaten the health of babies. However, MD also helps mothers once their baby is born by helping to issue national guidelines for screening among all states in order that all babies are screened for life-threatening identifiable, but treatable disorders. This would be a great resource for women who are pregnant and have recently given birth to their baby.
Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling
The ALGBTIC helps to promote LGBT issues among counseling and helping professions. This is done by improving standards and delivery of counseling services being provided to LGBT individuals. Identify possible barriers for development of LGBT individuals and communities by using counseling skills, programs, and efforts to protect LGBT development. And to secure equal treatment, advancement, qualifications and status of LGBT members of counseling/helping professions. This is a good resource for counselors specializing in serving the LGBT community. This is a valuable resource for any counselors toolkit.
I found this website very intriguing, and it’s main purpose is to provide an explanation of various belief systems from atheist to theist. I do believe that although religion can be a source of division if handled poorly. However, understanding can often bring people with very opposing beliefs together. I believe this is the attempt of this website. Is to bridge a gap between faiths or non-faiths by allowing for understanding of other worldviews to take place. This too can be a valuable resource irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, or anything else for that matter.
Capuzzi, D., & Stauffer, M. D. (2012). Foundations of addictions counseling (2 ed.). Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.