Discuss the importance of psychological counseling and family support for a victim of sexual abuse as Tara?
This assignment deals with the case study of a 16 years old girl Tara Jones living in a foster home Smith Centre for Youth. She depicts the behavior of repeated running away from the home for three times. Going through the case study, this assignment intends to find out the major concerns faced by a victim of sexual abuse. Related assessment processes, ethical considerations, and interventions are also highlighted.
Reason to seek service-The patient here Tara seems to exhibit outburst and violent behaviors at the foster home she lived in. Reflects from interactions of the family therapist with Tara’s foster mother Ms. Judy Boot reveals considerable mood swings in Tara at times. The report of Tara being sexually abused by her brother and reacting arguably with a resident at foster home due to the revelation of this information indicate the need of medical/psychological help. The social worker perceives the repeated elopements of Tara as concerning due to the possibility of losing confidence and inclining towards weaker actions and behaviors by Tara.
Tara, the 16-year-old adolescent residing in the Smith Center for Youth belong to an African American ethnicity with Baptist religion. Depicting outburst and inappropriate behaviors Tara was reported to run away from her recent foster home. Revelations from the interaction of intake worker with Tara identifies the patient to be a victim of sexual abuse from the older brother at 11 years of age. Lack of belief from her mother, the absence of the father and a fear of gang violence in the neighborhood are revealed by Tara. Tara is seen to leave home forcibly when her mother did not believe her accusations about abuse. A deep hurt is evident. Although Tara herself denies alcohol consumption but the discussion of the case with Tara’s foster mother Judy identifies that Tara consumed alcohol one day after being in a relationship with a 25 years old guy Tyler.
To approach Tara’s family the social worker needs first to meet and retrieve the family details of Tara from Smith Center for Youth (SCY), the last foster home where Tara resides. Obtaining the details of her family, her foster mother Judy Boot and biological mother Sharon Jones are contacted.
To build a strong and close relationship with Tara, the social worker needs to depict a high level of understanding and communication efficiency. With a deep understanding and attitude of listening and interest in the client’s views, a good rapport can be built. The three main skills as effective communication, understanding and decision-making skill assists highly in the development of a therapeutic alliance between Tara and the social worker. Tara depicts the lack of father’s presence in her life and living in a neighborhood with the risk of gang violence. It indicates a culture that is potential of influencing the patient adversely in terms of her mental health. The absence of father figure, neighborhood nature and mother’s belief are the major cultural factors evident to influence Tara.
To conduct an ecological assessment of Tara, a thorough personal interview with her is essential. Approaching her biological and foster mother enable the assessment of her family and culture. Surveying the community in which Tara resided facilitate the community assessment.
The case study of Tara identifies the major Personal Strengths of the patient as a healthy heart, normal blood pressure, weight and height within the normal range. The respectful and kind behavior of Tara towards her classmates at the sophomore years and minimal depiction of alcohol consumption (only one time she was found drunk) further add to her strengths. The medical details of Tara indicate a healthy physical state. The good behavior of Tara to her classmates at sophomore years induce that she is capable of leading a normal lifestyle and learning if counseled properly.
The Weaknesses in Tara comprise of her action of running away from the foster homes 3 times, overreacting from anger with another resident at SCY due to revelation of her personal information and her relationship involvement with a 25 years old guy. It indicates the lack of adequate logical reasoning in Tara to restrain from such a relationship that also reveals the guy treating her forcibly. The incident of holding her wrist and pushing down a flight of stairs and setting up rules to follow for Tara is a clear indication that the guy is controlling her.
The main environmental strengths of Tara include availability of the strong formal support from her foster home and the favorable social environment. There is a wide scope of participating in recreation activities and friends for Tara in her school. The availability of educational opportunity from helpful teachers, understanding, and concerned foster mother is a major environmental strength for Tara. The strong and efficient legal system evident in the case study of Tara is a high environmental strength in this case. The instance of the court putting her to foster home and providing for her education completion and later assigning her to residential home indicates the considerable and efficient judging of her case reflects the environmental strength of legal systems.
The environmental weaknesses for Tara comprise of lack of informal supports from family and relations. Her mother disbelieving her, brother abusing her sexually, the absence of the father and an extremely unstable relationship with an 11 years older guy reveals the sheer absence of mental support for Tara. The lack of adequate work opportunities, stability and safety concerns of occupation is another eminent weakness of Tara’s environment. It seems to put her in a stressful situation regarding her future affordability since she lacks any family support. The inadequate economic status leading to the insufficiency of favorable housing and neighborhood is a vital weakness in case of Tara.
From the microsystem, the concern to change involves changing the mental status of Tara by driving her mental stress away through communication session so that she do not cut herself off to manage stress. In order to address this concern, the relevant goal to set may include the incorporation of a separate and exclusive psychological session or recreation activity as meditation to enable Tara get rid of her stress in other ways rather than cutting herself off from others. It is expected to increase her self-confidence and reduce the tendency of running.
In mezzo system, her attitude towards a relationship with the 25 years old guy Tyler and marrying him is a high concern. Her family and friends needs to change their attitude towards her and deal with her more considerably and understanding manner. It can provide her with the strong base and support thereby helping her to move away from the controlling boyfriend Tyler. The goal to provide Tara’s family and friends with adequate health information regarding how to treat a patient of sexual abuse and mental health issues can help in changing her family’s and friends’ attitude towards her thus benefiting her aptly.
In terms of macro system, the school education system needs to implement a separate psychological session or counseling for adolescents as Tara. The school authority in which Tara is admitted needs to implement a separate teaching procedure for the students like Tara, who are victimized of abuses from family members and lacks informal support.
Considering the case of Tara and the details depicted through her case, the psychological intervention can be considered to be the most efficient and appropriate intervention to apply on Tara. Rehabilitation can be considered if she is found to get inclined towards drug and alcohol. At micro-level, she can benefit from a stress management measure as meditation. At the mezzo level, the intervention of psychological session can prove helpful. Considering the macro level, the intervention of providing such mental health adolescents with an extensive targeted education approach program is highly effective.
The psychological intervention involves a knowledgeable and qualified psychiatrist counseling Tara to reduce her stress level and enable her towards better education management. The meditation intervention seems highly effective in addressing the issue of the unstable mental condition of Tara that leads her to behave through inappropriate actions as running away repeatedly from the foster homes she is put into. The rehabilitation can prevent Tara from succumbing to the addiction of alcohol and drugs. The targeted educative programs for the abuse victims facilitate the effective learning of the adolescents as Tara thus enabling her to reach her goal of passing her sophomore year at school.
Personal strengths and weaknesses
The psychological intervention needs to consider the ethnic values and specific situations of the target individual. It will fit in with the cultural aspect of the adolescent thus proving beneficial to address the identified concerns.
The ethical issues and values raised in this case of Tara include the consideration of the right to freedom of lifestyle for an individual. At a personal (micro) level, Tara’s freedom to lead her life in the way she wants gets interfered due to the psychological counseling restricting her from involving into relationship with Tyler, inclining towards alcohol and leaving the place she is not comfortable in due to unidentified reasons. On a macro level, the implementation of a targeted program for Tara at school means the revelation of her victimized status in the society. It is the violation of privacy and dignity for the adolescent.
The practitioner and the practice setting can be used efficiently to address these identified ethical issues. The issue of interfering with the freedom of Tara’s lifestyle can be addressed by providing her with the option of meditating in a place of her choice and timing. The provision of a psychological session for Tara at school can be arranged in a confidential manner by providing her with the session at her foster home. It can address the issue of maintaining the privacy and dignity of Tara.
Since effective communication is a majorly potential aspect enabling the addressing of ethical issues in the healthcare context, the social worker can employ this measure on Tara to handle the dilemmas. The agency as SCY and the new residential home for Tara, the Tanner House can use exclusive measures as treating the adolescents of victims with special care and counseling compensating the lack of informal support for the victim. It can not only provide Tara with the much needed emotional support to handle the situation and manage the stress she feels but also can assist her in handling the inappropriate actions as involving in relationship with a 25 years old guy.
Being a social worker can help the victim in addressing this ethical issue by building a contact between Tara and her family. Making her mother aware of the fact that she is telling the truth and Tara is in need of her family’s support can help Tara to regain her confidence. It will help her to deal with situations of pressure in place of running away or succumbing to alcohols or controlling relationships. Since the interaction of the therapist with Tara depicts an interest in Tara towards competing her education, concerns about her occupation and career and intension to marry her current boyfriend Tyler to have a family, it is an indication that Tara is quiet open to the social worker. Building on this closeness of relationship, the social worker can convince Tara towards a healthy lifestyle of adopting the counseling sessions, exercise regimen of meditation and focusing more on the education completion process. Another way of helping Tara is to encourage her to discuss more her abusive experience from her brother. Talking on it and discussing it with appropriate feedback from the social workers can generate a feeling of security, safety and the higher level of confidence in Tara facilitating her leading a better and improved life.
This assignment reveals the importance of psychological counseling and family support for a victim of sexual abuse as Tara to lead her back to a normal life. Considering the ethical aspects as the risk of leaving the patient open in society and interference into her personal freedom is a major dilemma to deal with for the social worker and healthcare practitioners.
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