Discuss the complexity of working with clients who are also pregnant. How would a pregnancy change your approach to treatment? What issues might come up for you as a counselor? How might you talk about these risks with your client? How would you respond if your client continued to heavily drink or use substances while pregnant?
Working with a pregnant women who is smoking, drinking alcohol or abusing other substances would be extremely difficult for me. I would really have to dig deep and remind myself that getting pregnant doesn’t make an addiction go away. Knowing how much harm that could be done to the unborn baby I would do everything in my power to educate her and get her the help she needs to get clean and remain sober. I would also educate her on the risks of not getting clean and the rewards of deciding to do so. I think pulling at a soon to be moms heart strings may work better than any other tactic. Letting her know that she won’t be able to keep her baby if the baby has any traces of illegal substances in its system may motivate her to become clean.
Helping this particular client would be very complex for multiple reasons. First, helping a pregnant women detox from harmful substances may be more complex than normal because a medical detox may put the baby in more jeopardy. Secondly, I as a counselor am supposed to have my client’s best interest at heart and honestly I may struggle to do that, depending on the client’s determination to get clean, because I would be worried about the baby.
If a client continued to use I would consult my supervisor. I would also consult laws in the area. I honestly don’t know if I could continue counseling a women who refused to get clean for the sake of her baby. I can understand not wanting to help yourself but when it involves a helpless baby I don’t think I could handle it. I personally would probably have to refer the client elsewhere if that situation where to happen.
What does it mean to you to advocate for clients and challenge bias? How do you feel about taking on that role? Is that a role you expected to take on as a counselor? 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?
I would love to take on the role as an advocate in my community for clients who receive a lot of bias regarding their diagnosis or personal choices. It would be extremely easy for me to advocate for those with eating disorders, suicidal ideations, other mental health issues, those with special needs, those in the LGBT community and rape victims. I would not be able to advocate for rapists or other physical abusers. I know a lot of times people who commit those types of offences were once the victim but it would still be difficult to advocate for them. I think that does reflect my beliefs and values because in my opinion I don’t care if it happened to the abuser when they were a child because they still know it’s wrong to hurt someone else. When a fully competent person’s decisions negatively affect another person is when I struggle to remain understanding and empathetic.