The case study involves a client who started college a year after giving birth to her fourth child. She finally walks out of the matrimony after 40 years of being unhappy. She feels disappointed due to the unfair treatment in her marriage and not having achieved her dreams. The client claims that she has a dissertation to write; this makes her feel incomplete. She finally resorts to therapy; she is engulfed in loneliness and finds it challenging to achieve her dreams. This client has agoraphobia and she develops anxiety and panic attacks. Therefore, the use of outdoor and art therapy will work to her advantage.
Client A is the ideal candidate for a combined approach as result of agoraphobia. The person feels tied to the situation which she cannot liberate; having four children and starting college later. She is in a battle with her personal goals as well as a failed marriage. As a result, she feels comfortable confining herself to a lonely space. It is in this regard that the combined approach is suitable in enabling this person to resolve her past experiences, realize her aptitudes, and establish a different perception towards life. For instance, art-making therapy allows the person to realize creativity and her ability to do more giving her control over the situation
This case also allows the client to express her fears and the courage to walk out of a marriage that leaves her feeling unwanted. It is evident that the client for a very long time lacked the courage to speak out, therefore being filled with immense sadness that since engulfed her entire life. The use of art therapy will allow the client to redevelop the sense of identity, improve her relationship with the therapist hence creating a good environment for expression which will lead to productive sessions. Notably, the inadequate remorseful feeling comes as she requires combined therapy of both outdoor and art therapy that will provide an opportunity for the client to realize herself in different ways.
This person feels the urge to restore the energy she lost in her marriage. She desires to find herself stepping out to the environment which will give her the courage to face her fears. An example of outdoor therapy that will help the client is the nature therapy, as it allows the person to develop a relationship with the therapist (Berman & Davis-Berman, 2005). This process evokes memories that will enable the client to narrate the stories and experience a different environment from what they are used to experiencing. Through the combined approach, the individual develops a broad perspective of life. The strategy also allows the person to interact with other people, creating a support system base. It will enable the client to appreciate their situation and celebrate one’s milestone.
Automatic drawing is a perfect way for the client to open up hence an excellent opportunity for the therapy to begin. It is one of the best techniques because whatever the person puts down on drawing is the client’s true reflection. On many occasions, it brings out the underlying individuals’ weaknesses and even highlights their strengths. This technique is designed to ask questions that depict the client’s maturity and the level of ego. Moreover, the therapy analyses the goals and the objectives of the person, focusing on short-term and long-term attainable goals making the most effective techniques for a combined approach.
Adventure therapy is more outdoor-based and is designed to stretch one outside their comfortable position. It acts more as a distraction therapy that focuses on finding oneself as it allows the client to think beyond the box and expand their perspectives and expectations in a particular contextual application. Adventure therapy activities may include but not limited to zip-lining, group survival, hiking, among others. For instance, zip-lining is geared towards a client facing fear and teaching the client’s daring nature. This directly translates to how the client deals with personal fears and anxiety levels (McNulty, Ogden & Warren, 2013).
Group survival would prepare a client always to fight to survive no matter how difficult the situation could be. In addition, adventure therapy allows one to develop their own mind which mainly focuses on the challenge a client is physically and psychologically facing.
Photograph therapy is one of the collaborative approaches used in treatment; this includes taking photos or inviting family members to bring photos. This therapy allows the client to share and open up on their relationship with different people. Photographs help in triggering the positive and negative memories, enabling the client to be more expressive. This process allows the clients to control themselves, giving them the chance to reflect more on personal lives and analyze their gaps while growing up. Therefore, an individual can figure out what is affecting him or herself and express it clearly to others. It establishes a strong bond in relationships, families, and the person requiring remedial attention.
Collaborative partnership is the process of framing counseling goals and deciding on the best pathways that would allow one to reach them. It provides both parties with an opportunity to voice concerns, ideas, curiosity, and even asking with the relevant questions of what is being done well or what could be done differently within the counseling session. Incorporating either outdoor therapy or art promotes the collaborative partnership between the client and the therapist in many ways. It directly instills support and allows the therapist and the /client to direct the whole process. For instance, the therapist might opt to use high direction and low clearance to the clients who are unwilling to participate.
This allows both to learn from each other analyze personal strengths and weaknesses hence fostering a good interpersonal relationship (Kuban, 2015). The use of these therapeutic approaches allows for the enduring connection between the client and the therapist. They provide an eye to eye validation during the process, especially when both are involved in outdoor therapy, which encourages them to be role models.
The curative approaches establish the emotional connection between the individuals involved. Harper and Steadman (2003) exemplify that these therapies also allow for identification of the ability to realize personal abilities admiring another person, which eventually promotes a collaborative approach. Combining these therapies also encourages mutuality due to being with someone you join together for a course. Combining therapies promotes a conducive environment that allows the client to open up their vulnerabilities without the fear of being judged this fosters the effectiveness and strength of support group. The aforementioned therapies provide the environment that portrays tender care and independence, hence leading to a collaborative partnership.
McLeod, J. (2013). An introduction to counseling (5th ed.). Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education.
Kuban, C. (2015). Healing trauma through art. Reclaiming Children & Youth, 24(2), 18–20.
Berman, D. S., & Davis-Berman, J. (2005). Journal of Experiential Education, 28(1), 17–24.
Harper, K., & Steadman, J. (2003). Therapeutic boundary issues in working with childhood sexual-abuse survivors. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 57(1), 64.
McNulty, N., Ogden, J., & Warren, F. (2013). “Neutralizing the patient”: Therapists’ accounts of sexual boundary violations. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 20(3), 189–198.
Darnell, J. S. (2013). Navigators and assisters: Two case management roles for social workers in the affordable care act. Health & Social Work, 38(2), 123-126.