Can a Significant Other Provide Therapy to The Other?                                                   


Not being an ethicist I cannot speak to this question with any authority. I can, however, reflect on it as it does raise at least one intriguing clinical issue: Is it possible for a former “significant," that is to suggest intimate, "other” to be viewed objectively by either the practitioner or the client or one seeking therapy? If the answer is yes, it is feasible, does this possibility assume this objectivity is simultaneous for both parties, that is to say that both parties will be equally objective and detached from the previous relationship at the moment of their reintroduction as practitioner and client? If the answer remains yes, does this necessitate a quantifiable period of time between one’s status as significant other and becoming either practitioner or client in order for this objectivity to be realized? Assuming the answer to all these question continues to be yes and that objectivity is indeed possible, are there other implications raised by the fact that one or both parties have specific intimate knowledge regarding the other that may impact judgment as regards treatment planning and/or follow-through irrespective of objectivity? 

Just as the admiral and captain on a naval flagship dine separately from each other as well as from the crew at large—they literally dine alone so as to discourage the development of close friendships and emotional ties that could affect personal judgment regarding command decisions that necessitate the sending of one's subordinates into harm’s way—can a practitioner every truly detach him or herself from “what once was” in order to thoroughly engage in the pursuit of “what might become”?

Please know that I do not doubt the sincerity of my colleagues who suggest seeing former significant other's professionally is possible and I recognize that the vast majority of us would never intentionally jeopardize the clinical outcome of work with a client if thinking that previous knowledge of said client could result in providing subjective treatment, but we all know what we have learned and learned what we were taught, be it in the classroom, home, or previous intimate relationships. AA has a saying that is somewhat apropos here: You can always turn a cucumber into a pickle, but you can never change a pickle back into a cucumber. Albeit a bit folksy, it is nonetheless a poignant statement that speaks to the clinical issues raised in my initial ethical question: If I had been your lover, could you ever see me as other than that former lover? I am not sure I could see you as otherwise.


What do you think?
Dr.Robert

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Register to 4 Hour Drug And Alcohol Test Online and Get Your Florida Learners Permit

For me, finding a 4 hour drug and alcohol test online was a necessity because I was not willing to spend any of my free time in a classroom. I also wanted to get my permit as quickly as possible, so taking an online course seemed like the fastest way to do that. I was right because I signed up for the course online and started working on it in just a few minutes; it was that easy. Plus, you get to choose a user ID and password for your account so you can access the course anytime you want and from anywhere; all you need is a computer that is connected to the internet.

The drug and alcohol test FL is broken into units that you can log in and out of anytime you want. This worked really well for me because I could easily fit it around my schedule without ever having to change plans to accommodate it. The whole course moves much quicker than you think too and a lot of that is because it’s actually fun. I know this sounds unbelievable, but it’s true. And the final exam at the end of the course isn’t so terrible either; they make sure you know everything that will be on it and you can take it as many times as you need. This guarantees that you pass the course.

When I signed up for the 4 hour drug and alcohol test online I was pleasantly surprised by the permit practice test they gave me for free. At the time, I didn’t know how awesome it truly was but was happy nonetheless. When I went to the DHSMV to take my permit written exam was when I realized that all the practice questions were on it, so I already knew the answers!





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4 Hour Drug And Alcohol Course Online - The Best Way To Prepare For Your Permit Test

As far as I’m concerned taking a drug and alcohol course online is the only way to do it because you get to do everything on your own terms. We all have to take a course to get our permit, so it might as well be fun and easy. The main reason I signed up for this drug and alcohol course was because I could work on it all from home; it’s accessible from any computer with an internet connection. This is a really nice change of pace for anyone, who like me, gets tired of sitting in classrooms all day in school.

There is no time limit on the Florida 4 hour drug and alcohol course, so you can do it in 4 straight hours or you can break it up into multiple work sessions. I chose to work in multiple sessions because I don’t like to sit still for long periods of time, yet I was still able to finish it all in just a few days. Part of what makes the course fly by is the interactive 3-D animations, graphics, and videos in every unit. It’s nice because you can have fun and don’t feel like you just have endless amounts of reading to do and facts to memorize.

There is a final exam at the end of the drug and alcohol course online, which would normally make my stomach turn. However, this final exam is one that you’re guaranteed to pass because you can take it as many times as you want. This is cool because there’s no pressure and you’re guaranteed to be able to get your permit afterwards. And if it means anything, I passed the final on the first try; the course really does teach you everything you need to know for it.

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Towards an Eclectic Theory of Counseling

Counselor Educators have discussed and debated the role of theory in professional counseling since, "forever." Generally the discussion includes references to the importance of being grounded in theory so that the practitioner is "doing counseling" instead of "chatting up" an acquaintance. To this end, understanding theory and using it to center oneself as a counseling professional is productive. However, when theory becomes the issue of primacy for the practitioner, everything else tends to follow...including the services the client/patient/individual receives from the counselor. Hence, the importance of identifying a theory of eclecticism or and integrated approach to counseling that recognizes the importance of theory-drive practice, but is nonetheless sensitive to the needs of the individual with whom the counselor is working.


I have found Prochaska’s Transtheoretical Model of Counseling (sometimes referred to as the "stages of readiness to change" model - see http://www.aafp.org/afp/20000301/1409.html) to be the closest thing I have yet found to a bona fide “eclectic theory” of counseling. Its refocusing of the practitioner’s attention on the client by attending to his or her stage of readiness to change rather than presuming the primacy of the practitioner’s theoretical orientation is both refreshing as well as productive.

I agree that it is important to teach counseling theory as a “walk through the museum,” but the benefit of such a course is not that it shows student “how” to do counseling effectively so much as proffer an understanding of from “where” it originated. Personally, I have discovered that I need to have three things in order to “do” counseling effectively: (1) an understanding of why humans think and act the way we do – Personality Theory, (2) an understanding of the options available to me to do counseling – Counseling Theory, and (3) a personal “bag of tricks” born of training, experience, mentoring, etc. Whether one’s personal approach to counseling is a more fundamentalist’s adherence to “X” theory or integrated and eclectic personal approach, my argument is, one’s personal theory of counseling is essentially an amalgam of these three elements.

Prochaska’s model, for me, is a nice way to both honor the contributions of “theorists of yester year” while providing me the opportunity to practice “person-first” approaches that focus on meeting the client/patient/consumer where he or she is in the counseling process. If counseling is more about what we do with the individuals with whom we work than what we do to them, it seems that theory may well be an important component in the design of an effective vehicle to move folks from where they are to where they want to be, but it likely should not be “driving the bus.”



What do you think?


Dr. Robert

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