The Six Stages of the Helping Process
Box 1.1 Case Study: Elisa
The Six Stages of the Helping Process. Elisa is a 30-year-old Latina. She and her two sons moved from Mexico to New York City two years ago. She and her children are now living with her sister and her three children in a small apartment. Last week, Elisa’s 14-year-old son, Antonio, was arrested for drug possession. This incident with Antonio has caused Elisa to question whether she wants to remain in New York. In addition to Antonio’s involvement with the legal system, Elisa has just been laid off from her position as a housekeeper at a Manhattan hotel. She anticipates going back to work but in the meantime has been receiving a very small unemployment check. She is now feeling hopeless and overwhelmed and is unable to figure out what she needs to do next. She made a comment to the court services social worker that she has thought about running away and never coming back.
Question 1: Provide a short narrative of how you would welcome the client and get them ready for the counseling session. (This could include small talk, directions, and/or some ice breaker questions.)
“Hello, Elisa? My name is Alicia. I am from family services, it’s nice to meet you. I brought some fruit and baked good for you and your family.”
(I assume Elisa would then invite me into her home).
“I understand how overwhelming this all may be for you but I thank you for meeting with me today. I have a lot of experience with helping families find resources for food and counseling services. Can you tell me more about your family and current living situation? “
Stage 1: Intake and Engagement
When considering the level of strength and perseverance Elisa had to amass when she moved her family to the United States (leaving behind her community, country, and family; learning a new language; navigating in a completely unknown environment; getting a job; and enrolling her children in school), the current “small” series of life events do not appear to be insurmountable from a social worker’s perspective. However, to effectively engage Elisa, the social worker must be able to understand how Elisa is experiencing these events.
Question 2: Imagine you are the counselor who is meeting with Elisa for the first time. What would you say to her? (Provide at least three questions that would allow you to engage Elisa and identify the challenges she faces.)
Stage 2: Assessment
Question 3: Based on Elisa’s case narrative, what would you say are the potential problems that need addressed through counseling service? Additionally, what are some of Elisa’s strengths that can aid her in addressing her problems?
Stage 3: Planning
Question 4: What are some short term goals that both you (the counselor) and Elisa could set that would assist her in addressing her problems? Please provide at least four goals. (For example: Elisa will sign up for the online job notifications through the job site <link is hidden>
Stage 4: Treatment/Intervention
Question 5: What are some of the resources that you could provide or inform Elisa about that could assist her in achieving her short-term goals? (For example: Letting Elisa know about the <link is hidden> job site.)
Stage 5: Evaluation
Question 6: Based on the short-term and long-term goals you have set for Elisa, what changes have been accomplished? This could be behavioral, attitudes, beliefs, etc. (Note: Please record what changes you desire to see during your time with Elisa).
Stage 6: Termination
Question 7: Elisa has accomplished her short-term and long-term goals. With this in mind, how would you terminate the relationship with