Reflection on Narrative Interview Essay Example
Narrative Therapy Reflection
In this narrative therapy interview, my client was known as Emily, who is only 14 years old. Emily sought for social work services because she feels like she does not fit properly at school; she has feelings of disconnection, and therefore, she wants to go back at her home which is in Central Australia. However, Emily just won a scholarship at her school, and she lives with her aunt as well. Following this, she feels obligated to remain to stay at Adelaide despite the emotional and social challenges that she is undergoing. Thus, Emily came to me for assistance where we sat through a narrative therapy interview. This paper will document and evaluate this narrative therapy interview with Emily and me.
During the interview, I was very nervous and also lacked enough confidence when dealing with the client. I think this was the case for two primary reasons; one being that I was from a different culture, and I was handling a very sensitive and vulnerable client. I come from China which means that my cultural understanding and underpinnings are from China. I was there dealing with an Aboriginal client which led to my fearing that probably our cultural understandings and settings may cross and jeopardize the entire process. The other aspect was Emily vulnerable and young; therefore, any slight mistake or saying the wrong thing would worsen the way she was feeling. Being an Aboriginal who is aware of the discrimination that they usually subjected to, I was nervous and less confident of how best to handle her to ensure that I ultimately give her the necessary assistance that she requires. Some grammatical errors were also evident because English is not my first language.
During the narrative interview, I implemented some narrative therapy practices and techniques like proper interpersonal and communication skills, deep listening, and the utilization of simple words and sentences (Morgan, 2002). I consider these as the aspects that I was most successful in during the interview since they worked for me quite efficiently. Precisely, during my interaction with Emily, I tried as much as possible to create a comfortable and safe environment for her which would enable her to share her story comfortably. I also utilized a landscape of some action questions to guide the direction of the actions that I would take or help her take to make her situation a better one. Finally, I was also very keen and sensitive to her emotions and reactions to particular questions which were also a beneficial aspect during the interview.
Some of the theories that I used during the interview were the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Systems Theory, and Strengths Perspective theory. Adopting the CBT approach helped me to strive to develop or establish some coping strategies which would assist me to help the client go through and solve the problem efficiently (Day et al., 2015). Empirical research was a significant guide to my decision-making process in the case that I was handling. The systems theory was another approach that I utilized in the narrative therapy. Using this approach assisted to me to understand human behavior (Day et al., 2015); and in this case, Emily’s behavior to evaluate the way that she interacted with the people that she lived with. These were the people who would affect the situation or the outcome of the situation including her aunt, her friends, and her schoolmates.
All through the entire narrative therapy process, I strived as much as possible to focus on Emily’s problems as well as her strengths to be able to help her progress out of the problem that she was facing. Her main problem was that she felt discriminated and wanted to go back to her hometown yet she had still won a scholarship award at her school. Instead of focusing on the fact that she was Aboriginal, I concentrated on that particular problem. The other central point of interest was her strengths which entailed her resources and abilities. It was evident that Emily was a talented, bright, and caring student that is why she won the scholarship and did not want to worry the people she cared about by telling them what she went through in school. This is why I suggested that she could try communicating with her friends back in Adelaide about what she was facing and maybe she could not lose the opportunity at school and at the same time would feel more confident even she gets discriminated at school.
During the interview, the thing that surprised me about my skills was the way I was consistently able to walk with the client through her feelings and expectations during the entire process. I was empathetic even in the responses that I gave and could somehow feel the pain that she was going through as she told me about her story. However, the thing that I would do the next time differently would be trying to maintain eye contact with the client and always remember to take some notes during the whole process. This way I would connect more and at the same time would ensure that I capture everything that the client shared with me.
Following the narrative that shared with me, the white people still feel like they still have some privileges over the Aboriginal people. This was the case even since the colonization period whereby the Aboriginal people were discriminated by the white (Balaratnasingam et al., 2015). Power imbalances are also evident where the Aboriginals are not accorded the same power as the other white Australians. Therefore, knowing this, Emily was felt discriminated by her white colleagues which are a common thing from the colonial period which is why maybe she feels she is still experiencing it even now when she is at school. Therefore, even in future as I work with the Aboriginals, I would strive to be culturally competent and take into consideration that they have always been discriminated most of their lives and therefore are very vulnerable and sensitive when it comes to such matters (Balaratnasingam et al., 2015).
Balaratnasingam, Sivasankaran, Anderson, Lynette, Janca, Aleksandar & Lee, Jason. (2015). ‘Towards culturally appropriate assessment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social and emotional well-being’. Australasian Psychiatry, 23(6): 626-629.
Day, Andrew, Nakata, Martin & Miller, Keith (2015). Programs to improve the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Australian Social Work, 12 Sep, pp. 1-8.
Morgan, Alice. (2002). Beginning to use a narrative approach in therapy. The International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, no. 1, pp. 85-90.
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