The video on domestic violence explains how domestic violence is increasingly turning homes within Australia into crime scenes. The video notes that even in refuges, a woman may still face trials placing their life at risk. Within Australia domestic violence is at the forefront of policy issues. Among the therapeutic techniques that can be used by therapists specifically to assist domestic violence victims include cognitive behavior therapy, and eye movement desensitization coupled with reprocessing, along with stress inoculation training (SIT) to help patients that may suffer from PTSD, which may be more common among domestic violence victims (Chard & Gilman, 2005). Each of these techniques, and in particular CBT, assists an individual that has experienced trauma to identify and challenge unhealthy thoughts or distorted trauma-related thoughts (Chard & Gilman, 2005). Other techniques including EMDR can help desensitize the domestic violence victim to triggers (Chard & Gilman, 2005).
Professional and Ethical Issues in Video?
While the government is pledging money to help prevent domestic violence, therapists still need to work with the women impacted. Many women are still in their teens when they meet the individuals that engage in domestic violence. The individuals involved may be controlling, and require that individuals be at home so they are aware of their presence or whereabouts. Ethically, counselors have a duty to listen to the problems that women may face, but also consider the potential harm that may be present for women and their children and act accordingly (ACA, 2015). Under certain circumstances, a woman or an individual impacted by domestic violence may not be aware that their wellness or the life and care of their children are in danger, often from psychological conditioning that occurs over time. Counselors have a duty to protect and to engage in a relationship offering non-judgmental but also protective care for their clientele (ACA, 2015).
In cases where an individual may require a referral, a counselor has a duty to provide appropriate referrals if the counselor is not capable of providing appropriate care (ACA, 2015). There may be instances where an individual has been persecuted for many years, in which case a restraining order may not be effective, although it does provide appropriate law enforcement agents with tools they can use to prosecute the appropriate perpetrator to halt victimization of individuals impacted (Remley & Herlihy, 2015). The counselor can work with law enforcement to ensure this.
How Counselor Should Deal with Content
The therapist must be aware that while some patients may clearly have the ability to verbalize threats, other clients may be in danger but may not be able to verbalize this threat (Sonkin & Ellison, 1986). There may be instances where the individual may be too terrified to speak out, particularly if there may be repercussions to the children of the victim, or the victim following an admission of violence (Sonkin & Ellison, 1986). In instances like this, as the individual in the video pointed out, a victim may continue playing what they refer to as the “game” to protect their own life and that of their children. A therapist has a duty to be aware of subtle cues that may be present, and when identified, work to assist the client and their family in establishing an appropriate care plan that will ensure their personal safety and the safety of any dependents that the children care for (Sonkin & Ellison, 1986; ACA, 2015). Among the various actions that a client can take include taking out a restraining order, although a person impacted may return to their perpetrators to attempt to protect their children over the long-term, or because they are lonely and have no other individuals to turn to resulting from the isolation that is created as a result of their relationship with the individual in question. Counselors must treat any reports of domestic violence with seriousness, and work with the client impacted to ensure their safety and wellness, as well as the well-being of other individuals including dependents that may be impacted (Remley & Herlihy, 2015).
Part II: Therapeutic Techniques, Issues Presented/Professional and Ethical Issues
In the video by Four Corners, discussing Euthanasia, a reporter discusses the subject of euthanasia. The individual in question is in his mid-30s and may live another 30-years. However, he insists on traveling to Switzerland to acquire the authority to engage in assisted suicide or euthanasia. When the individual (Jay), was just four days old he was diagnosed with a compelling disease resulting from nerve endings that fail to form in the bowel in the womb, which results in a failure of peristalsis of the bowel in the individual. Techniques that a counselor may have used with Jay during his early treatment and while seeking evaluation for depression include cognitive behavior therapy or CBT (Chard & Gilman, 2005). This technique could teach Jay coping mechanisms to deal with having to cope with life with a colostomy bag, and the stress associated with living in chronic pain. This is a commonly used therapeutic technique among patients with long-standing suffering. Other techniques may include teaching Jay, or other clients, to cope with anxiety and manage the anxiety associated with having chronic pain and a chronic, lifelong illness, including providing instruction on relaxation techniques (Chard & Gilman, 2005).
I found the videos relating the attempted murder of the women suffering from domestic violence by being run over with a car horrific and devastating. Such images can only bring terror to the people watching, and to the victims. I feel saddened that anyone would become so angry that they would feel the need to harm another human, or to impact their lives in such an isolating way. In this instance, the woman returned to her perpetrator, which according to the information I received, often happens when children are involved. I am deeply saddened by this, as it seems there are few if any effective methods or tools available to keep the people impacted or victims truly safe, apart from restraining orders that may or may not work.
Reflect On Issues Associated with Counseling Clients: Euthanasia
Euthanasia is the act of taking an individual person’s life, and is often an issue resulting in legal, ethical, and moral debate among the parties involved (Johns, 2015). Physicians have the ability in certain circumstances to assist individuals with aiding their own death (Johns, 2015). Individuals that consider ending their life may face many social taboos, which are among the different factors that clients may need assistance with when working with a counselor (Johns, 2015). Many countries and counselors may have aversions to death (Johns, 2015). This may not be the case, however, for individuals that are affected by conditions that may contribute to their illness or need for euthanasia (Johns, 2015).
What is Relevant Code of Ethics from ACA
The ACA (2015) states that a helping relationship among counselors and patients constitutes the appropriate and correct use of helper’s skills that benefit the safety of the client considering the client’s circumstances. This requires that a counselor offers services that are non-judgmental, and free of discrimination (ACA, 2015, p. 4). In the case of Euthanasia, a counselor may not agree with a patient, but a client like Jay may be struggling with emotions including leaving his loved ones behind. Professionals must offer non-judgmental professional services, which are free of discrimination and honor the individual decisions that a client might make, even if they do not agree with them on a moral basis. In Jay’s case, the counselor may feel that Jay should continue to pursue life despite his hardship, but the ACA (2015) requires that the therapist offers only non-judgmental and discriminatory free service. This means offering client services that provide Jay with an understanding of his purpose and respecting the boundaries that he has established. In the video, Jay is confident of his decision; therefore, he should be supported.
Not having a chronic disease or terminal illness it is impossible to fathom what an individual with such a condition might want to go through. It is clear from the end of this video that the person with the bowel disease is suffering from indecision, particularly after receiving the green light for assisted suicide. This may have prolonged and lasting effects on the individual’s family. I can’t imagine how the person has managed to live so long without feeling depressed, angry, and traumatized.
- ACA Code of Ethics. (2016). Code of ethics and practice, ACA, Version 13, September 28, 2015.
- Chard, K.M., & Gilman, R..(2005). Counseling trauma victims: four brief therapies meet the test. Current Psychiatry, 4(8): 50-63.
- Jackson, L. & Fallon, M. (2013). My own Choice. Four Corners, Retrieved from: http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2013/09/16/3847237.htm
- Johns, A.E. (2015). Ethical decision making of counseling mental health practitioners working with clients right-to-die issues. University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations, Paper 2018.
- Remley, T.P., & Herlihy, B. (2015). Ethical, legal and professional issues in counseling (5th ed). Boston, MA: Pearson.