Discuss the complexity of working with clients who are also pregnant. How would a pregnancy change your approach to treatment? What issues might come up for you as a counselor? How might you talk about these risks with your client? How would you respond if your client continued to heavily drink or use substances while pregnant?
As we have read this week, there are great risk for children born of mothers who are using, abusing or addicted to substances. It I would personally find it very difficult to work with a pregnant mother who is also using. I read this week that pregnant mothers who are addicted to substances and may also be in other tough situations internalize a lot of their problems and may often feel very guilty about what they do. They also may feel ashamed or scared that if they do ask for help with their using there may get in trouble or be arrested. Knowing this, I think the approach I would take with a pregnant woman would be to be as non-critical as possible and encouraging while still educating my client about the serious health risks to her baby and her with continued use. I may be helpful for the client to talk to women who used while pregnancy or possibly meet children who are suffering from FAS or other substance induced problems. If my client continued to use, I am not really sure what I would do. That is a very hard ethical question and I imagine that my answer would be different on a case by case basis. I know in some states, like North Carolina, if a baby is tested to be born with a substance addiction, the mother is immediately arrested. If harm to the child is not enough to motivate the client to stop using, possibly talking about the actual legal repercussions that could happen for her, and how that would affect her future may be something else to motivate her. If this does not help, I think it would be a good idea to somehow order inpatient treatment or some other longer term treatment that would keep her from using at least while still pregnant.
What does it mean to you to advocate for clients and challenge bias? How do you feel about taking on that role? Is that a role you expected to take on as a counselor? Are there some groups for whom it would be harder or easier for you to advocate for? Does that reflect on your own beliefs and values? How so?
I believe that advocating for clients and challenging bias means that you are always on your client’s side. With whatever problems your client is dealing with they likely have enough people who are criticizing their actions or shutting them out completely. I believe the counselor is sometimes there to be the one person who your client always knows will be there for their in a non-judgmental and unconditional way. As a counselor, I believe this is a very important role. I realize how much it can mean to someone to have one person who is always there to talk regardless of what they did last night or earlier in that day. I think there are certain clients who would definitely be more difficult for me to work with personally, like those who are harmed children in anyway. However, this does not mean that they do not deserve client-centered counseling as much as anyone else does. Even thought it might be hard for me to put my own feelings or thoughts aside while working with this counseling, I think it would be important for me to realize that having those thoughts or feelings is not helping my client, if anything it is hurting them further and may be keeping them from becoming well.
Using the Blog References, find and specifically report on at minimum of four websites that you could use for information regarding gender and/or LGBT issues in addictions counseling. Give a minimum of one paragraph of explanation for each site listed.
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
PFLAG is a grassroots organization that works to provide support and awareness to LGBT issues and people. There are chapters around the United States that host events that parent, families and friends of gay and lesbian people can join in show their support and spread awareness of issues facing LGBT people. They also have meetings and support groups for LGBT individuals and family members or friends of LGBT individuals.
Trikone: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender South Asians
Trikone is a non profit organization started in San Francisco that is specifically for LGBTQ individuals who trace their ethnicities to one of the following places: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Burma, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Tibet. Their goals is to provide a community environment in which people of this community can meet, make connections and promote awareness and acceptance. They are involved in several service and awareness activities and have a free help line that people can call.
Soulforce is a nonviolent resistance organization that fights against religious and political oppression for the LGBT community. The organization travels around the United States holding rallies and other events in order to sometimes protests and/or gain awareness for issues that are affecting the LGBT community. They have several programs that include holding symposiums, electing delegates, reaching out to religious leaders and people, and many other activities.
National Native American AIDS Prevention Center
They’re mission is to eliminate HIV and AIDS and also to confront related health and social problems that negatively impact American Indians including native Alaskans and Hawaiians. NNAAPC fund several programs that are meant to promote education about HIV and AIDS, support prevention efforts and help foster healthy attitudes about sexual health in the Native American community. One of their programs in the National Native Youth Council – HIV which includes a group of youth from tribes cross the United States. They aim to advocate for unique issues, empower other youth and do various activities that support Native youth with HIV and AIDS issues.