Jakayla obtained her MSW degree from the University of Central Florida.
Meet The Client Where They Are
We should believe that every breathing person is worthy of treatment and services. It is important that we allow clients to express themselves in relation to their own individual faith.
We allow the client to educate us on their cultural or spiritual experiences, as it relates to their own personal lives. No cultural, religious, or spiritual affiliation is right or wrong. If the client expresses that anything is distressing or a barrier to the welfare of their basic needs or mental health, we should pay attention to this.
Spirituality can be understood in the context of, who or what we belong to, who or what we dedicate ourselves to, or what we feel is more important than ourselves. There are many more explorations of spirituality. We only need to explore this if it is important to the client in the healing process.
If a client says they do not have any spiritual identification and it is distressing to them, start with the assessment of their cultural identity. The client's spirituality may be connected with their culture, as they are closely related.
- Assess what the client likes about their religious, spiritual, or ritualistic practices. Also, assess for anything that may be distressing to the client concerning this.
- We only need to assess distress if clients express a presenting problem related to their practices. If the client does not, we do not need to explore their practices.
“In all these things we are more than conquerors.”
A Simple Example
For example, if a client expresses that they enjoy meditation for 20 minutes before going to work or starting their day we should note this.
- If the client proceeds to say “when I am not able to meditate in the mornings my whole day is ruined” the clinician would want to assess further for what restricts the client from being able to do this.
- Further, the clinician would want to work with the client to develop a strategy that allows them to meditate for 20 minutes each morning.
- It does not matter what the practice is, what matters is if it is beneficial (or harmful) to the client. Incorporating this part of who the client is can be essential to the therapeutic process.
Another example: a client mentions that in order to get a good night's rest they like to read in silence for 1 hour before bed.
- They proceed to say they live in a home with two other adults and three children. The client informs us of what they need for their personal well-being.
- The client shares this barrier is keeping them from getting good sleep and resting well.
- In another scenario, the client may say they only need 1 hour of silent reading if they have had a rough day, consider this.
- Allow the client to define what is important to them.
This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2020 Jakayla