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Assessment in Counseling To A Specific Scenario
In the present times, everyone wishes to have or values a successful marriage as this is the cornerstone of a quality lifestyle in terms of satisfaction, giving birth and raising the next generation as well as the companionship aspect that contributes to physical and emotional health and longevity. According to a study that was conducted in the United States, approximately 93 percent stipulated that ‘having a happy marriage’ is one of their most meaningful purposes in life Doherty and Carroll, 2003). Apparently, the motivations behind the desire to engage in a satisfying and happy marriage tends to be undoubtedly diverse. However, no matter how individuals try to or long for satisfying marriages, divorce and separations are part of life, and this means that not all marriages tends to be successful. Despite this, separation and divorces are not encouraged in most societies, especially due to the fact that it leads to the suffering of innocent children who have been born by the two conflicting couples. As a way of preventing divorce and separations, the role of a marriage counsellor tends be embraced by the conflicting couples. Precisely, the presence of marriage counsellors helps conflicting couples to come into terms between themselves by advising them on what they can do in order to have a satisfying marriages. Just the same way health professionals assess the level of their health services that they deliver to the patients, marriage counsellors also assess the efficacy of their counseling services. In this paper, I will analyze the marriage case study, identify the problem being presented by the clients, applying different assessment tools and describe the assessment`s scoring and interpretation.
Summary of the case study
The case entails the marriage between Mark and Jane, a couple which got married almost eight years ago. The marriage between the two have enabled them to give birth to two children, the first born being five years old and the second one is three years old. According to the couple, their initial love and attraction has turned into a constant argument and bickering. The worst thing is that every argument that they engage in seems to be almost a battle and is affecting every aspect of their life. Each of the party wonders what happened to their love and affection that they initially used to feel towards each other at the beginning of their relationship. One of the main argument has been about money and how to spend it (Marital Medication Staff, 2010). Mark is an accountant by profession while Jane is a part time lecturer in a neighboring college. Mark feels his hard work is not appreciated by his wife, while the latter feels she is always overburdened with taking care of the children, taking care of most of the household chores as well as her part time work. Each partner keeps his or her money in his or her account so that it will be easy for them to move on in case of separation or divorce. This means that the couple does not have a group bank account as this would be a bone of contention in case of a divorce or separation. However, their financial disagreements have gone to the extent of affecting their children, especially due to the fact that no one is willing to take the responsibility of taking care of them.
Primary Question for the Identified Case Scenario
The major question that is affecting the marriage relationship between Mark and Jane entails financial management. The couple has failed to sit down and discuss how they will be managing their finances. Consecutively, poor financial management skills between Mark and Jane has been contributing to the rise of blame game in their marriage. Considering the Mark is working hard for the betterment of his family, he feels that his wife Jane is not appreciating his efforts in terms of providing for the family. On the other hand, Jane feels that her husband has been overburdening her with numerous responsibilities including the fact that she is also working. The fact that each party is keeping his or her money, each one of them may think that the other is refusing to contribute to the needs of the family even when in the real sense he or she is not having the potential or capabilities of doing so. For example, Mark may be having no money to settle some household needs and his wife may fail to understand this and instead contemplate that he is refusing to take his responsibility. At the same time, Mark may refuse to provide for his family due to the perception that his wife Jane will do it since she is also earning.
After identifying the challenges that are affecting the marital relationship between Mark and Jane I will embrace the use of assessment tools and personality assessment is one of them. Personality assessment entails a proficiency in professional psychology that entails the scoring, administration as well as the interpretation of empirically supported measures of personality styles and traits in order to inform and structure psychological interventions (Mcnulty, M., & Carr, 2016). There are numerous tests that can be used in order to conduct personality assessment for clients. However, in this case study, I will use the process communication model. The process communication model is based on human behavior and enables the user to contemplate why and how people communicate as well as providing a validated and reliable method of identifying and understanding personality structures. In this case, the use of the process communication model will enable me to group both Mark and Jane into six personality traits in order to understand which group each belongs and this will help me to help or counsel them effectively. The six groups are not limited to rebels, thinkers, harmonizers, persisters, imaginers, and promoters (Cameron, 2016).
Symptoms Checklist assessment
A symptom checklist in a psychological setting tends to assess the primary and secondary challenges as well as the perception of the clients being assessed by the counsellor. Each item that is listed in the checklist is awarded points based on how the client responds. In this case, I will use the problem checklist in order to learn on how to address their marital problem.
|Checklist to assess the Marital problem of Mark and Jane
To what extent do you think:
|disagree||Slightly agree||Strongly agree||I don’t know|
|1. Your marriage is based on money?|
|2. Your marriage can last with or without money?|
|3. You can sit down and agree on how to spend money as a couple?|
|4. You can openly agree on your income?|
The use of problem checklist while assessing clients helps the counsellor to list the major aspects that he or she would intend to inquire from the clients. This means that the aspect of forgetting or leaving some aspects without being addressed are less likely to occur. In addition, the problem checklist serves as a guide for the counsellor to inquire aspects based on priority. This means that the counsellor can start from the highly priority questions to those which are of less priority. In addition, the rating scale enables the counsellor to award points genuinely, and this is based on what the clients responds (Kohrt et al., 2015). By so doing, the reliability and validity of the assessment is enhanced.
Interviews with clients
Another method of assessing the marital problem between Mark and Jane is through conducting interviews with them. Through this interview, I will manage to identify the perception of each partner at the moment, some days ago, and in the future. I will manage to learn what each of the couple perceives concerning the financial problem that is affecting their marriage as well as the longevity and satisfaction or dissatisfaction of their marriage. I this case, I will use self-assessment tools as this will enable each client to respond without fearing what the other would feel or react with the response. Precisely, I will focus on interviewing each partner at a time.
Background Information and Hypothetical Results for Case Scenario
Referral for counselling
Mark and Jane visited my office in order to be advised on how to manage their finances, how to avoid hot disagreements which have been jeopardizing the stability of their marriage. The couple visited my office on 13th December, 2018 at around 11.00 am. Mark is an accountant by profession while Jane is a part time lecturer besides taking care of her two children.
Summary of the Assessment Results
After carefully assessing Mark and Jane, I have contemplated that poor management of finance and poor communication are the major challenges that are affecting he marital relationship between Mark and Jane. I have assessment the couple using three broad tools which are not limited to problem checklist assessment, personality assessment, and interviewing of individual client. The preliminary behavioral assessment of the couple showed varied aspects between the two. Mark appeared to be calm in terms of the way he was responding to my questions and how he expressed himself concerning the major issues that have been contributing to the occurrence of conflicts and disagreements within the marriage. In addition, mark was straight to the point and this is based on how he used to respond to the questions that I directed to him.
On the other hand, Jane appeared to be violent, and this is due to the fact that she regularly lost self-control of her anger when it comes to explaining her painful situations that she had encountered in the past. She sometimes went to the extent of raising her voice and even shedding tears while explaining her painful situations.
Impressions and Interpretations
Through the assessment, I have established that poor management of finances is the major challenge that is affecting the marriage between Mark and Jane. Each of the party does not want to disclose the amount of money that he or she earns not do they want to open a joint account that each of them should contribute in terms of saving. In addition, I have identified that the couple lives with the perception that their marriage will break later in future, and this has been contributing to each of them devising an exit plan. The exit plan in this case is each party keeping his or her money for future references. Numerous instruments such as the self-reported reports, process communication model as well as a rating scale have been used in this assessment.
However, the couples portrayed varying results to the various instruments that I used. The counsellor has the autonomy of using any instrument based on the needs of the clients (Gladding & Newsome, (2010). This means that the clients who requiring clinical intervention are less likely to use instruments that a marriage counsellor uses. For example, Jane`s performance on the process communication model indicated that she is 63 percent while that of Mark was 40 percent score. In addition, Mary`s performance in the rating scale indicated that 80 percent of the time her perception towards the success of the marriage through effective financial management is 39 percent, while mark recorded a score of 68 percent. Jane`s performance on the self-reported reports indicated that 58 percent of her responses composed of negativities that she was experiencing within the marriage while 42 percent were positive aspects. On the other hand, Marks performance on the self-assessment tool showed that he listed 23 percent negativities while the rest are positive aspects.
Meaning of the results
The results of this assessment shows that the marriage between Mark and Jane is at jeopardy, and the main contributing facts are poor financial management and poor communication between the two. In addition, Mark seems to be optimistic concerning the success of the marriage despite the prevailing challenges that he and his wife, Jane are currently facing. On the other hand, Jane is pessimistic about the success of the marriage, and this is detrimental in as far as the satisfaction and lasting of the marriage is concerned. However, for a young couple, financial management and poor communication tends to be a major challenge, and can be effectively addressed especially if the couples seek the help of a marriage counsellor (Falconier, 2015).
Reliability and validity of the results
The use of the process communication model, rating scale as well as the self-assessment tool have enabled me to obtain valid and reliable assessment results. The use of rating scale in the problem checklist assessment, I have ensured that I addressed each and every aspect and awarded points accordingly (Whiston, 2017). By so doing, I have ensured that each of the points awarded is based on the responses of the clients, and this enhances the reliability and validity of the results.
It is, therefore, evident that poor financial management and lack of communication is detrimental when it comes to the success of a marriage. The marital affair between Mark and Jane stands at a jeopardy due to the aforementioned challenges. However, as Psychological counselor, I have managed to embraced the use of numerous assessment instruments in order to not only identify the prevailing challenge in this marital affair, but also to embrace effective intervention measures. Precisely, I have used self-assessment tool, rating scales and process communication model in order to identify that poor financial management and lack of communication are the major challenges that have been affecting the marriage relationship between Mark and Jane.
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Whiston, S. C. (2017). Principles and applications of assessment in counseling (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
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