Visiting a medical doctor before counseling process is crucial both to the patient and the therapist. As such, the therapist gets prior knowledge ofissues that he/she is supposed to deal with rather than working on mere assumptions. It is worth noting that some symptoms are signs of serious diseases and infections that require medical intervention rather than counseling. The confirmation report by the medical doctor that biological processes of the client were okay, and that the patient was healthy, was a good start for the counselor to understand that symptoms exhibited by the client did not require any medical diagnosis or care. The client’s trust in the counselor was also fostered when the doctor referred her to the counselor.
A non-Muslim counselor may need to alter an interaction between parents of a young Muslim client and the patient. This is because such a bond often bears negative implications on counseling process, since children are unable to revoke comments made by their parents, or even express themselves due to fear that they may disappoint their parents. In order to alter such an interaction, the counselor should first allow parents to participate in the initialsessions of the process, and thenlater request them to give some space for a direct and uninterrupted session between the client and the counselor.
Passive and somatic distress expressions in the form of withdrawal and headache in Sawsan’scase were central to her situation. Withdrawal expression designated that she was stressed, and, thus, she did not want to interact with people, since she had a negative attitude towards them. On the other hand, headaches confirmed that she had been engaged in deep thinking, and there may have been issues that could have been disturbing her.
The counselor often has a hard task when intervening between a case involving Muslim parents who are less empathetic towards emotions and feelings of their children. This is especially after such parents have catered for theirmaterial needs. However, the counselor has the role of enlightening parents and creating awareness that material needs may not always solve all distress among individuals. Therefore, a counselor should intervene by asking such children their needs in the absence of their parents, and later communicate the necessities to their parents through a controlled process with the counselor, thus ensuring effective and productive communication between the two parties.
There is a great need for a counselor to ameliorate the belief of Muslim parents that traditions and values are more critical as compared to the feelings of their children. Without the creation of such awareness, there is a high probability that the needs of children will always go unnoticed and unsolved, often leading to stress among such children.
The counselor needs to address and change the belief among most Muslim parents that immoral behavior always results from associating with bad friends and debauched readings. A counselor should discuss with such parents and enhance their understanding that internal needs and pressures such as the desire to attend a good school and lack of parental support may fuel changes in the behavior of children.
As a counselor who understands that behavior of Arab children tends to differ in the presence and absence of their parents, I would always make sure that I have an exposure to both parties before drawing any conclusions. I would always make sure that I familiarize with parents’ perception of their children as well as the insight of children towards themselves. Such a background would help to give an effective therapy process.
The counselor should not avoid discussing information regarding the client’s parent. This offers a good beginning, and, thus, makes clients free when expressing themselves. Arab clients always seek to ensure that they portray a positive image of their parents, and, thus, the counselor should acknowledge such norms. This can be done by giving the client an opportunity to express positive ideas to trigger his/her feelings out.
I agree that, in the case provided, a solution would only be accomplished through the creation and establishment of a positive relationship between the client and her father. Such a relationship would help to commit the parent to ensure the satisfaction of the client’s needs. This would also help to foster positive and direct communication between the client and her father.
A counsellor can use resources available in a family setting to change the situation created by culture. This can be done by teaching family members how to make positive use of available resources to solve their problems for the sake of conservation of family structure and culture. For instance, in the case provided, the counselor took the time to understand the values and culture of the family before offering his guidance.Understanding resources available within a family setting helps a counselor to come up with various solutions that could be employed in settling an issue without necessarily interfering with the family’s culture, structure, and values.
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