1. Recognising the presence of an apparently serious adjustment difficulty, 2.
Gathering extensive data on the client and recording them in the form of a case history, 3. Interpreting and evaluating the data in relation to observed symptoms, 4. Recommending appropriate treatment, 5. Applying therapies, and 6. Following up the case for the purpose of determining the kind and extent of adjustment effected. The client is referred to the psychiatrist or the clinic when it is believed by the person or institution making the referral that his maladjustment is such as to require expert care.
It is usually the responsibility then of a social worker to accumulate relevant data on the immediate situation and background history. If the study is being made by a clinical staff, the psychiatrist, pediatrician or physician, psychologist, and social worker hold staff meetings at which the findings are discussed. Expert interpretation and evaluation of available data is extremely important. Usually it is found necessary to supplement data resulting from the administration of tests, scales, and inventories with the utilisation of evaluating techniques peculiarly suited to clinical purposes.
The techniques of appraisal include individually administered measurements of sensory acuity and muscular coordination, mental capacity, learning achievement, and personal qualities. One of the most valuable techniques of evaluation for clinical purposes is the projective method, mentioned earlier, through the utilisation of which one may gain insight into the individual’s unconscious or fantasy life. The Rorschach method of ink-blot interpretation and thematic apperception tests are widely used by clinicians. Another approach to the study of young children is that of play therapy, in which children are supposed to give vent to their unconscious desires, animosities, and conflicts as they play with “doll families” and other toys.
In their behaviour with these objects they express their attitudes toward the adult or situation which appears to be the cause of their difficulties.
Changing or removing maladjustive elements in the individual’s environment, of course, is important. More significant, however, are the desirable changes that can be effected in his own attitudes and patterns of behaviour. This purpose can be served best through a series of therapeutic interviews conducted by skilled persons. A ‘case’ should not be closed when the individual has been led to gain insight into his difficulties, as a result of which he starts on an improved course of action. He needs help during his adjusting process, and he should continue to have the services of the clinical staff and any others who have participated in the remedial procedures until his adjustment is satisfactory to himself and his counsellors.
Unfortunately, clinical treatment often ceases too soon, leaving an individual who is still mentally half-sick to continue unaided in his struggle toward complete adjustment. 2. Interview Procedures: We have discussed interview technique as a tool of counselling, therefore, hereunder, only in brief some aspects of interview technique in respect of individual situations as per needs of this chapter:
The interviewing phase of counselling for personal adjustment is an art; for it the interviewer must have certain specific personality qualities, thorough training, and experience under expert guidance.
It is important that the interviewer possess those desirable personality qualities stressed in this book as requisite for dealing with people in any guidance situation. No matter what the purpose of the interview may be, the teacher, the school counsellor, the employer, or the staff member of a guidance clinic should give evidence of being an understanding and personally well-adjusted human being. In adjustment interviews, especially, possessing these qualities is imperative. According to practically all state requirements for school counsellor certification some teaching experience is needed. The reason for this is easily understood. Before a person can undertake the responsibility of counselling an individual pupil wisely, he needs the experience of working with individuals in classroom groups. The counsellor’s behaviour should be friendly but dignified. He must avoid a sentimental or a ‘kidding’ approach that is supposed to set the counselee at ease.
An individual seeking help from a counsellor needs to have sufficient confidence in the latter’s acceptance of him so that thoughts and feelings can be expressed freely, without fear of recrimination.
Most counselling within a school setting is, in a sense, initial interviewing. School counselling is not marked by a long series of weekly or biweekly interviews.
The student visits the counsellor, for example, in November for one or two interviews, and they may not have another conference until spring of the following year. Although the counsellor follows the student’s progress and may have several brief chats in the corridor or at an athletic event, their next meeting starts the process all over again.