The Triad Lab Session
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In my third triad lab session, the counselor suggested to the counselee an activity called 'the two chairs'. When he is in the first chair, the counselee is supposed to tell his positive effects or thoughts; while being in the second one, he is going to dwell on everything negative, for instance, some stressing situations in his life and Graduate school. In the positive chair, the counselee started to share his feelings concerning all things he had managed to accomplish in his life. The counselee was telling about his good grades at school, about a blissful opportunity to have a job, about his help to the kids who have special needs. He highly appreciates his mother since she is the only person who is always ready to listen to all his feelings and troubles that happen in his life. He said that he ought to learn how to relax as it is affecting his health. He usually has a pain in his chest and muscles.
In order to have some rest, firstly, it is better for you to make new friends and socialize with them more often. Secondly, you can find any hobby to your taste. It will help to relax your mind from all the work that you have at school. Thirdly, you do have to start communicating with your father. Of course, he is not perfect and can make mistakes, but you should understand that not all people are ideal. Lastly, you should start fixing your life and coping with your anxieties. Maybe, you should commence making a new relationship.
It is worth mentioning that the counselee is trying little by little to socialize with his colleagues in order to release some work.
As to the negative chair, it is obvious that you saw a terrible struggle that your mother went through being a single mother who managed to do her best in order to give everything to her children. Surely, this is the main reason why you consider that it is all your father's fault. Your employees don’t help you with your work at all as you are not socializing with them. You are so behind in your school work due to the fact that your books are backordered. Everything is going wrong in your life and health. You don’t know how to balance your social life; you don’t talk to your friends because you are always busy with your work. You have no one to talk to, and your mother is the only person you can really trust everything. Your life is focused on your work and home only.
He does not feel like calling his family. The only thing he does really wish is to give up everything. He feels tired of dealing with co-workers who never do their job rightly and correctly. He has to deal with the audit papers at school. He feels the burden of giving an extra hand to his mother financially.
At the end of the session, the counselee felt relief. He was able to embrace his negative and positive sides during the session. He realizes that it is really important for him to take up his health. He should point out priorities first, and of course, make new relationships outside and inside of his work.
Hills states that the helpers' goals of the action stage are to encourage and motivate clients to explore new behaviors, to help clients in evaluating as well as modifying action plans, and to encourage clients to process feelings concerning action. While in the action stage, helpers should remember to be empathetic and to pace themselves according to their clients’ needs (Hills 2009).
The counselor asks the counselee if he has started a stress management class. The class is supposed to be visited every week after school in the evening. It is worth mentioning that the counselee is trying to build a relationship with his father. He is looking for new hobbies during the weekends. In such a way he can relieve some stress.
The skills used in the action stage are: open questions for action, information, feedback on the client, process advisement, direct guidance, as well as disclosure of strategies. The purpose of the most frequently used skill, open questions for action, is to stimulate clients in their thinking about action. Information is rather important to educate clients about options for action. Feedback on the client allows helpers to let clients know how they come across the helpers. Process advisement is used to direct the process of sessions, particularly to do therapeutic exercises within sessions (Hills 2009).
'The two chairs' is considered a therapeutic exercise. It helps the client to analyze himself/ herself and find solutions to his or her problems. In this very case, this exercise has turned out to be rather helpful to the counselee.
Hills says that relaxation is rather important for the clients who have problems with stress and anxiety. An extensive amount of data shows that relaxing one’s muscle reduces anxiety. The researcher concludes that it is useful to teach certain clients to relax. When people are relaxed, they are more open and able to handle information, so relaxation is a good thing for helpers to teach prior to trying to implement other behavioral interventions (Hills 2009).
One of the reasons why the counselor suggested the counselee to start finding a hobby is that it can help relax the pain that he usually has in his muscles. When people are constantly under a lot of anxieties and stress, they tend to be depressed. In the case of the counselee, he was depressed and was incapable of socializing with other people, except his mother.
In his article Emotions in Solution-Focused Therapy: A Re-examination, Miller tries to reexamine whether emotions play a key role in the solution-focused therapy. The scholar focuses on the usual ways that are used by therapists in order to discuss and define emotions that can be applied to not only in solution-focused but other therapies. Miller stresses that all discussions may be treated as a source that causes much confusion concerning emotions as well as solution-focused therapy. A great attention is paid to the idea that solution-focused therapy neglects emotions. The next important theme focuses on an alternative approach to the aforementioned issues. The scholar believes that it is better to fit with the concerns and assumptions of solution-focused therapy. This approach is based on Wittgenstein's works on private experience, language games, and how emotions can be applied to the rule-following activities. If to view from this perspective, the solution-focused therapists take into consideration their clients' emotions and try to help them create new emotion rules that they should follow (Miller 2000).
In the activity where the counselee played the role of two parts, he was letting out new emotions, which he did really feel, concerning all the stresses and troubles that were burdening him. Solution-focused therapy aims to give priority to the clients to define, express, and analyze their emotions.
To conclude, the questions about stress management and why it is suitable for such people as the counselee are of a great importance. It teaches people many techniques to relax the muscles and other useful things. Today, there is a wide range of stress management techniques that are used in different studies. The following techniques are distinguished: biofeedback, cognitive-behavioral skills, meditation, and muscle relation. In many cases, two or several techniques are combined. Cognitive-behavioral skills and muscle relaxation are considered to be the most frequently used techniques if to compare with others. In order to evaluate the result and success of the stress interventions, the outcome measures are applied to. These measures include: psychological as well as physiologic measurements, job-related measures, and somatic complaints. Approximately three-fourth of the studies suggested the training to all employees, and the highly-stress workers were not specifically recruited. More than a half of the studies were randomized control trials. It is worth mentioning that 30% only managed to conduct the post-training follow-up evaluations. In accordance with the used health-outcome measures, the effectiveness of the stress interventions showed some variations. For instance, cognitive-behavioral skills turned out to be more effective when used for the psychological outcomes while muscle relaxation was more efficient for physiologic ones. Biofeedback was not applied very frequently and considered to be less effective if to compare with others. Murphy stresses that when two or more techniques are combined, for instance, cognitive-behavioral skills and muscle relaxation, this will bring better outcomes (Murphy 1996).
It seems the counselee needs this type of treatment in order to help him cope with his anxiety levels and different stresses that do happen in his life. The counselee feels a great stress on how to balance his work and graduate school life. In order to cope with everything, he should learn how to manage his life.