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For this session, I demonstrated the Adlerian therapy. This was my first simulation and I was nervous for this assignment. When reading and educating myself on Adlerian, the main variable that stuck out to me was encouragement. As stated in Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016), encouragement is used in more ways than one that will beneficially help the client as well as the relationship between the therapist and client.
As stated in Capuzzi & Stauffer (2016), the relationship between family members are important. Incorporating this into the session, I asked my partner to describe her upbringing, relationships, and family dynamic.
By asking these questions, I was able to gain another outlook and her family relationships. My partner brought up feelings of living in the shadow of her siblings. This statement concurs with the textbook statement of “youngest may feel incredibly inferior because everyone in the family is older and seen as superior” (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016).
Another similar finding from the readings was that the youngest siblings tend to be good spectators and can “use their observations to develop in ways siblings will not” (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). When I asked her about her siblings and relationship between them, I noticed how observant she was about their behaviors. From a therapist perspective, I can incorporate how she currently feels with anxiety and friendships to the relationships of her siblings.
A technique that I was used involving asking my partner to think back to the first positive memory that she can think of from her childhood. Although, she struggled with her family dynamics her memory included a positive bond between her and her sister.
The Adlerian therapy consists of four phases. These four phases include the relationship, investigation, interpretation, and reorientation (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). Overall, I feel that I did a good job at demonstrating this technique and using Adlerian’s four phases. My partner was open to talking about lifestyle analysis, which includes the exploration of her families through open ended questions (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016).
A strategy that I attempted to incorporate included Socratic questioning. The unfamiliarity of using this strategy was known throughout the session, in my opinion. I am not very familiar or comfortable with Socratic questioning. I feel as though this would be an area of growth that I could work when using this theory in my professional setting. Another growth using this theory would be using imagery. When I asked my partner to relive a memory from her childhood, I felt that I should have discussed that aspect of the session more in depth. According to Capuzzi & Stauffer (2016), working with the client through imagery can lead them to a discovery, and I did not go into great enough detail to allow that breakthrough with my partner.
As for my future work as a counselor, I do see myself utilizing this theory. Based on the literature, the Adlerian could be very effective. After completing the readings, I felt the most comfortable with this theory compared to the others. There are viewpoints from Adler that I agree with how family can affect an individual’s development. As stated in Capuzzi & Stauffer (2016), an Adlerian counselor “views lifestyle formation as an attempt to reach agreement with thoughts, feelings, and actions in the social environment”. The intertwining of thoughts, feelings, and actions could be a beneficial tool with the military population. I want to work with the military population and using a theory that focuses mainly on family dynamics would be a good fit.
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