3903 words “Implementing the WDEP system of reality therapy canbe life changing and has been validated Wubbolding, 2011) and is applicable toa multiplicity of clients from various cultures and ethnic groups withpresenting issues in relationships. However, counsellors must maintain an awareness of cultural issues suchas racism, discrimination which can have a direct impact on clients and alos ofcultural values and norms that may prevent clients from asking assertively whatthey want in a relationship. (Corey, 2017)Each partner is asked: What do you want in yourrelationship or what are you willing to settle for?Making Plans:Each partner is asked to tell how their current levelof commitment will help them improve or prevent them from improving theirrelationship and to describe what you mean by trying and whether trying issufficient?Evaluating commitment:Evaluating quality world pictures, both partners areasked to discuss if their expectations of each other are realisticallyattainable? And whether they will able to gain what they want from therelationship? and to share with us your thought about need satisfying thisrelationship will be in the futureIn couple’s therapy, the use of the same openquestions to both partners ensure fairness to both partners.
Questions that were asked? What do you wantin your relationship? What are you willing to settle for? Describe how you have helped or hindered yourrelationship? Can you elaborate on behaviours you bring to this relationship? Howdo you communicate with each other that brings you closer to each other? and inways that damage your relationship?The counsellor assisted the couple to self – evaluate thehelpfulness of their wants or quality world, the various components of theirtotal behaviour and their viewpoints or perceptions.Each partner was assisted to self-evaluate theirperceived locus of control as well as what is outside of their control andexplain how they perceive themselves and their partner in the relationship. Advice was given to both partners regarding theuse of the seven deadly habits within the relationship Both partners were asked to examine their own level ofcommitment to the relationship,In the triad, as the counsellor, having respect forthe cultural/family values of the partners in the relationship, I assisted thecouple to evaluate their own behaviours (not the behaviour of their partner),the attainability of their wants, and whether their own actions are bringingthem closer together or further apartDiscussing Total Behaviour: Partners who were silent wereable to listen and seek a clear understanding of what the other partner wantsin the relationship.
After both partnershave shared their wants, together they create a new shared quality world. Being congruent, showingaccurate empathy and acceptance to both partners during the session enabledthem to feel respected, heard and understood. In the couples therapy session, I facilitated each member of the couple toself-evaluate and explore the negative and the positive aspects of theirrelationship. As the counsellor usingimmediacy, I acknowledged the anger and upset that was felt in the session andobserved in the body language in partners as they interacted with eachother. As counsellor, in the initialstages it was unpleasant listening to both partners being critical andaggressive towards each other before they understood that the use of the deadlyhabits were no longer permitted.As counsellor I sought agreement from both partners thateach party would respect and enable all persons to answer questions withoutinterruption. It was important that everyone was treated with respect anddignity regardless of their values and beliefsIn the triad, as counsellor, it was important for meto establishing a trusting relationship with both members of the couple, bybeing honest, congruent, sincere, acceptant, respecting of clients and willingto be challenged. The next task was toelicit a high level of commitment from both parties.
This involved interacting with bothindividuals in the relationship, being fair, firm, friendly and trusting.Both members were informed regarding the processinvolved using Reality Therapy and I communicated a sense of hope for positivechanges as Choice Theory/Reality therapy is based on the belief thatrelationships can be improved. I workedto ensure that the needs of both individuals in the relationship are metequally and that the primary objective is to treat the relationship between thecouple.The couple were welcomed to the session and made awarethat each person has their own unique personality that bring differentqualities to the relationship having regard to own social and culturalbackgrounds and their own basic needs.
Thecouple were advised that the relationship was the third entity present in theroom. In the initial session, issues relating to duration ofcounselling and confidentiality were deemed to have been agreed. KeySkills in Simulated Couple’s work Through the use of choice theory/reality therapy,structured reality therapy and the solving circle, issues that caused conflictin Lou and Sid’s relationships were dealt with and replaced with the use ofcaring habits.
The couple negotiated and reached a compromise on actions theywould undertake to improve the relationship. Inthe triad session, Lou wanted Sid to come home earlier so that he could be agood father to his children and help put them to bed in the evenings. Sid was not happy to agree to Lou’s requestand felt that it was not his job as he was the main breadwinner for thefamily. After negotiation and discussionwith both partners and mainly between the partners without using the sevendeadly habits, the couple reached a compromise where Sid agreed to put thechildren to bed two evenings, one evening during the week and the second nightat the weekend. It was important forboth partners to respect the cultural family values, beliefs and backgrounds foreach other and to agree on a plan that was consistent with their values. Lou places a high importance on family and wantsto fully integrate her mother as grandmother into family life in addition toher partner as father of her children. Sid wants to help out but also wants to have agood relationship with his wife. He iswilling to agree that his mother in law can help out but that he should be ableto have time with Lou on her own when he gets home in the evenings.
It wasexplained that where a symbolic solving circle is created within the home orelsewhere, this circle provides a safe space for both partners to make a commitmentto work on the relationship with one another using only the & caring habits(See Appendix __). When the couple wish to deal with problems inthe relationship, both individuals enter the solving circle in which three entitiesare present: each individual in the relationship and the relationship. They acknowledge that the relationship needsare more important than individual needs. Both individuals must state clearly what they will do to improve therelationship. The main aim is to getboth partners to compromise on what they can do. Inthe triad, when Lou and Sid returned for the second session, as counsellor, the”Solving Circle” also known as the “Marriage Circle” was introduced for dealingwith conflicts in the relationship.
Different family/cultural values were held by both partners- Lou staysat home and enjoys having the company, support and assistance of her mother tomind the children. Lou also wants Sid to partake in minding children likereading story at bedtimes. Sid believes that it is Lou’s responsibility to mindhis children and that it was his responsibility to be the breadwinner for thefamily and not be the caretaker. Sid feelsthat his wife should not work outside of the home and should raise the childrenuntil they finish schooling and that his mother in law should not be residentin his home as she was interfering and not welcome.When a couple commits to do something positive toimprove their relationship and they follow through every day for a week, thedynamics of the relationship improve almost immediately. Both individuals get what they need, and therelationship grows stronger because of going through the process ofprioritising the relationship over each perso’s individual needs. (Glassser1998) Question 5: Tell me one thing that you can do eachevening this week that will improve your marriage? After a lot of negotiationand dicussion Lou agreed with Sid that she would speak to her mother and thatshe would arrange that she could visit the house earlier in the evening beforeSid returns home from work. Sid washappy to hear this, responding that he will avoid using any of the deadlyhabits and that he will be home and have tea with his family.
Both partners recognised that wanted to dosomething and they were both internally motivated, for the good of therelationship. Both members of the coupleagreed to return for another session.Question 4: This question was asked of both partnersto find out in their opinion, what is good in the relationship. This shifted focus from a negative to apositive aspect and enabling the couple to see what is working in therelationship. Lou said that Sid workedhard to provide for the children and family.
He can be funny and at this point, both partners lightened up. Sid found it difficult initially to say that “Lou”was a caring wife and that she is very open about her feelings.Question 3: This question was asked to understand theperceptions of what each partner believes is wrong with the relationship. Partners were enabled to listen to the otherpartner outlining what they think is wrong in the relationship and get anunderstanding of partners perspective. In the triad, Lou was very defensive and critical of Sid and says that heis being selfish not wanting Lou’s mum to be in their home and not lookingafter his children. Sid was very angryas he feels that he cannot come home to his own house without interference fromhis mother in law and that his partner Lou is not interested in him.Question 2: When both partners acknowledged that they could only control themselves,as the counsellor, information was provided to the couple about externalcontrol psychology, how external control work and what relationship habitspeople use to exert control over others. Both partners admitted using behaviour trying to exert control ever eachother and they were asked to avoid using any of the deadly habits (See Appendix_).
Glasser (2002) advises that weshould stop trying to control and change others, especially important people inour lives. (See Appendix _ ). When a couple cannotconvince the counsellor that both partners want their relationship to succeed,then structured reality therapy will not work (Glasser, 1998). In that case, it is best to work with theperson who is least happy with the relationship to help him or her to find away to change his or her behaviour, accept the behaviour of the partner orleave the relationship to alleviate his or her unhappiness. Glasser & Glasser (2011) states thatthere are basically three options in a relationship: change it, accept it or leave it. If the behaviour is non-negotiable, such asinfidelity, domestic violence, child abuse, the choice may be to leave.Question 1: when both partners in the relationship answer yes to wanting help intheir relationship, this was the first step moving forward in the use ofstructured reality therapy.
(Glasser,2000) The general aim of couple’s reality therapy is to helpboth partners in the relationship to gain a sense of inner control. Using Structured Reality Therapy in the triademphasised that marriage is a partnership and that the only way to help acouple is to focus on what’s good in the marriage, not on what may be good forone or the other. In the Triad Group,counselling using Structured Reality Therapy involved asking a list of sixquestions to both partners in the relationship. (See Appendix _)When counselling couples, it is important for thecounsellor to ensure that the needs of both individuals in the relationship aremet and that the primary objective is to treat the couple.
The use ofstructured reality therapy and the solving circle can be applied ( Glasser ,2000) Evaluationof Interventions used.Before each partner agrees to participate in couplestherapy the counsellor should provide details on the purpose of therapy,typical procedures, the possible negative and positive outcomes of therapy, thefee structure, rights and responsibilities of clients and the option of anypartner to withdraw at any stage and what can be expected from the therapistand limits of confidentiality. Confidentiality ofinformation can be a major ethical issue in couples counselling. Dealing with secrets divulged by individualswhilst undertaking couples therapy is a dilemma that couple’s counsellors mayneed to deal with. On obtaininginformation from one member of the couple in individual sessions regarding anextramarital affair, counsellors need to decide as to whether to breakconfidence based on the Davis Seven-step guide to ethical decision-makingguide. (See Appenidix __) Clarifying what confidentiality meansand how it will be maintained are two main issues part of informed consentwhich should be discussed documented at the contracting stage. Informed consent is a critical ethical issuein couple’s therapy.
Both individualshave a right to be informed about conditions and limitations of confidentialitybefore they consent to a professional relationship. If this does not takeplace, clients lose their rights to make autonomous decisions regardingentering the relationship and accepting the confidentiality risks (Corey,Corey, Corey, Callanan, 2015).Counsellors may face thedilemma of serving one partner’s best interest at the expense of the otherpartner, it is essential to work in serving the best interests of therelationship and not that one of the partners in the relationship. It is important for the counsellor tomaintain a high level of own awareness to avoid bias in counselling. Working with issues off infidelity, requirescounsellors to have an open mind, to be aware of their own values/beliefs aboutaffairs and to acknowledge that what is problematic for one couple is notproblematic for another (Robey, Wubbolding and Carlson, 2012). Counsellorsshall work within the boundaries of their professional competence. Counsellors must identify and be clear ontheir own values and perceptions.
Theoveremphasis on or denial of race as an influence in a relationship can be anindication that a counsellor has biases related to these issues. Counsellors workingwith multicultural couples shall seek supervision to seek assistance inprocessing biases when issues arise.Working as a counsellor with couples or individuals,ethical dilemmas may arise that need to be dealt with. As a counsellor, work is undertaken withinthe IACP Code of Ethics and Practice for IACP Practitioners 2018 (See Appendix __) and the Law of the Country.
This code of practice provides a guidingframework, and an agreed commitment to best ethical practice andaccountability. Its underpinning principles include: autonomy, beneficence, non- malfeasance,justice and care. These five principlesinform and shape the core values of respect for the rights and dignity of theclient, professional responsibility, competence and integrity.
EthicalDilemmas Olver reports that as counsellor, it is importantthat you are clear in own values, beliefs, perceptions and biases. If as counsellor, a person is viewed as beingfrom a “Right or “Wrong” perspective, then the counsellor should switch to acuriosity, seeking understanding from the person whose perceptions aredifferent. Where counsellors find themselves in this position they should alsoseek supervision to assist in processing biases and return to a neutralposition. Extensive focus on issues ofrace may cause the counsellor to lose focus on the clients themselves.
Counsellors shall maintain the balance ofexploring cultural issues whilst avoiding the use of culture to explaineverything that is going on in the relationship. (Robey, Wubbolding andCarlson, 2012)Multicultural couples canexperience challenges related to how to communicate, roles assigned by gender,parenting styles. Forming one’s valuesand beliefs throughout the acculturation process is a natural developmentalprocess. People can develop a sensethat the values and belief as that have been adopted are unequivocally correct,instead of one’s unique interpretation of the world.
A sense of righteousness ensues, which thenlead to conflict between individuals who do not share the same. “Bustamante et all (2011) found thatcultural values related to time and family connections also created stress forintercultural families. Couples statedthat their relationships with their spouse’s family members were strained andthat they often felt marginalised when in the presence of in-laws. Challenges can occur not only between individuals inthe couple, but also between the counsellor and the person whose culture isdissimilar to his or hers (Robey, Wubbolding and Carlson, 2012)As a counsellor undertaking couples therapy, it isvital to consider equally the needs, thoughts and emotions of both individualsin the relationship having due regard for their unique cultural values. It is important there is parity of esteem,equal respect and equal acknowledgement of both individuals.
The counsellor facilitates this by enablingboth individuals to speak, to be heard and not interrupted.Growing up, we developawareness of self, a sense of our own identity and personality throughinteraction with other people – attitudes, needs, traits, feelings and ways ofbehaving. The family of origin is whereindividuals in the relationship learn about intimacy, emotions, power, culture,social structure, language, norms and values. The family provides us with our social position in society anddetermines statuses such as race, ethic background, religion and social class. (Sullivan,2007) Individuals inthe relationship bring with them their own subjective frame of reference. As individuals, we have our own beliefs,values and behaviours that are shaped by our own upbringing within our familyof origin, peers, community and society.”Multicultural couples are likely to face challengesdue to diversity of their values, beliefs and attitudes (Hsu,2001) No two individualshave identical cultural experiences.
“Understandingand accepting this diversity requires a willingness to communicate andunderstand the other’s cultural perspective (Waldman & Rubalcava 2005)”(Robey, Wubbolding and Carlson, 2012).Sociologicalunderpinnings to the relationship.The role of the counsellor in individual therapy is toenable the client to make decisions that will improve the quality of their life. Counsellors enable couples to identify what they aredoing, to assist them to evaluate their present behavioural patterns and toencourage them to make the changes that they deem necessary. The counsellor will assist the couple tonegotiate the values they wish to retain, modify or discard.In couple’s therapy, the individuals in therelationship may have very different goals, level of motivation for attendingcounselling.
A difficult challenge in couple’s therapy is managingmultiple alliances in an environment where there may be conflict, emotionality,vulnerability, and threat. Couples therapy can be more openly conflictual thanindividual therapy. Unlike the therapist in individual therapy, thecounsellor must be able to join and manage skillfully an alliance with eachmember of the couple, as well as the couple as a unit. The counsellor needs tobe able to move freely back and forth between members of the couple.First, the bonds component of the working alliance canbe facilitated by the counsellor expressing warmth toward, respect for, andinterest in the client (Safran & Muran, 1998b).The core conditions modelproposed by Rogers (1957) has been incorporated into a broaderconceptualization of the therapeutic alliance which was defined by Bordin(1979) which identified three dimensions to the relationship: bond, goal andtasks (McLeod, 2013). The construct of the working alliance was defined as acollaboration between the client and the counsellor based on the development ofan attachment bond as well as a shared commitment to the goals and tasks of counselling. It is thought that the working alliance makesit possible for the client to accept and follow through in the counsellingprocess based on a sense of ownership (Horvath & Symonds, 1991).
(Lustig, Struaser, Ricce and Rucker, 2002)In couple’s therapy, the counsellor can witness the couple’sdynamics in the therapy room and can endeavour to mediate and work out issuestalking to both individuals in the relationship ensuring fairness andimpartiality. Counsellors must becautious to the risk of too much empathic understanding to one person in therelationship to avoid manipulation.In couple’s therapy, thecounsellor deals with two subjective frames of reference, where individual’s inthe relationship have two different quality world pictures and the counselloris assisting the couple to build a shared quality world picture for theirrelationship (Glasser, 2000). This is incontrast with individual therapy where the counsellor is dealing with onesubjective frame of reference and exploring the individual’s own needs andquality world.
Dynamicsof the relationshipRe-framing situations for couples can enable anindividual or a couple to see a situation in a different way.As counsellor being congruent, showing accurateempathy and acceptance and communicating this to the client enables them tofeel respected, heard and understood in both couple’s therapy and individualtherapy. In couple’stherapy, interventions having structured approaches such as Glasser’sStructured Relationship Approach, the Gottman Safe relationship House approachand Emotion Focused Couples Therapy can be used.Counsellors are moreinteractive, directive and facilitative in couple’s therapy and bring awarenessto dynamics in the relationship and provide commentary on the process as anobserver. More immediacy skills are used in couple’s counselling by the counsellorto pick up on what’s happening in the relationship in the room such as anger/tears and name feelings attached. Thecounsellor enables the individual who is silent to observe and listen to theother partner when therapist is talking with him or her.
In contrast to individual therapy where theindividual is the client and the work is client led.In couple’s therapy, the relationship is defined asthe client and the focus of work is to improve the couple’s relationship asopposed to the needs satisfaction of the individual and the self-actualizationof the individual. The main differencebetween couple’s therapy and individual therapy is that the counsellor providesa therapeutic experience to two people at the same time, who may have differingexpectations about therapy, different goals, and different personalities. Whereby, in individual therapy the counselloris providing therapy to an individual with their own specific needs and wants.Thetherapeutic relationship Informationreleased by the Central Statistics Office for 2016 (CSO) revealed that 103,895people living in Ireland were divorced.
Dataavailable revealed that in Ireland there were 3,289 divorces granted by theCircuit Court and the High Court in 2015. These figures are a testament to how difficult it is for people livetogether in harmony. Families are morediverse than ever making the challenges even greater. Working with couples in a therapeutic settingcan be a challenging endeavour. The marital relationship can be a major source ofunhappiness.
Marriage is legally,morally and often religiously binding. When marriages breakdown, individuals are faced with penalties such asspousal support, child support visitation rights. Unlike friendships thatdepends on both parties agreeing to honour it. There is never any attempt atcontrol ( Glasser 2000)Introduction: