Environment in Which All of Us Go Essay

Pages: 7 (2049 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Family and Marriage

¶ … environment in which all of us go about our daily lives is a stressful one: war, the economy, political unrest, terrorism, and the revolution and evolution of the human mind, body, and spirit create challenges that people must confront and rise above individually and as a family unit. These stressors can manifest themselves in many ways, and the ways in which parents and siblings respond to them can alienate them from the adolescent in the family who is undergoing natural physical and mental growth as an individual. These dynamics often put the adolescent at the center of the family dysfunction (Taibbi, 2007). In turn, the family dysfunction often becomes the center around which all else revolves in the life of the adolescent, and, thereby becoming the adolescent's nemesis, and that by which the adolescent explains everything he or she can explain, and everything he or she cannot explain about his feelings and his behavior. Unresolved, the adolescent is at risk of life altering consequences, such as drug use and abuse, addiction, alcoholism, abuse and neglect, teenage suicide, juvenile delinquency, and any number of other serious issues.

One of the first steps to resolving the adolescent's place and time in the family dynamics is by engaging in family therapy. Family therapy can help all members of the family, especially the adolescent, to better understand the stressors that are the precipitating factors for the dysfunction that they experience individually, and as a family (Micucci, 2009).Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Essay on Environment in Which All of Us Go Assignment

One of the most important social issues surrounding adolescent development today, is many adolescents are the product of single-parent, usually a mother, homes and families. In many instances, this was the family condition they always knew from birth; and in other instances, the adolescent experienced the disintegration of the family unit through divorce. In the latter example, the adolescent often takes on a sense of guilt over the disintegration of the family through divorce. The experience of a changed economics within the family setting because of divorce is a common theme, yet it adds to the adolescent's feelings of guilt and insecurity. The adolescent is perhaps the family member who internalizes his or her feelings about divorce, or about being different as a single-parent family, than the college-age family sibling, or the elementary-age sibling. The vulnerability that the adolescent experiences by virtue of the physiological and psychological changes they are experiencing as adolescents can be exacerbated by family situations and changing family dynamics.

All of these things pose great challenges for families, and especially for adolescents. This is why family therapy is an essential component of family, individual, and community mental healthcare. It is one of the reasons that my interests as a potential field worker lean in the direction of family therapy and especially in the area of the adolescent as the focus in the family's therapeutic treatment plan. Today, perhaps more than ever before, the expanded understanding and accomplishments in the field of family therapy has presented itself as an opportunity to face the challenges of working with adolescents. There exists a wealth of literature to support the family therapist in today's mental health settings, and clinical practitioners are eager to share the techniques of their success (Lowenstein, 2008).

My undergraduate work and, more recently, my graduate studies, have prepared me for the rigors of clinical social work that I will experience as a field intern. If successful in achieving my goal as a field intern in family therapy working with adolescents, I will have the benefit of the experience of a vast number of individuals and treatment teams. I will have the opportunity to compare the various theories in assessment and treatment that I have studied throughout the course of my graduate work with their hands-on application in the field. And while it is my greatest desire to learn from these individuals through my field experience, it is equally my desire that I might have the opportunity to implement and test some of the theories through application of some of the clinicians I have studied, like the sociological and psychological development theories of such individuals as Carl Rogers (1980) and B.F. Skinner (1971). There will, no doubt, be the additional experience of learning about the work of my peers as I move through my field experience, and I am confident that I will benefit personally and professionally from that experience.

I am also confident that my peers and professional colleagues will benefit from what I will be able to contribute to my work in the field. I have had virtually unlimited benefit in the training and education I have thus far received in my university studies; and my excitement in taking that knowledge and skill into the field and working alongside proven professionals remains haltered, but ambitious.

I cannot help but be keenly aware that my own life experiences, education, family dynamics and social experiences will be comparatively different than many of the people and clients I will work with. This, however, is not at all intimidating to me, because I embrace diversity in all respects, and I have an enthusiasm and great interest in learning and understanding the cultural traditions and practices of others. That we are each so different in the fibres our culture and traditions is what makes us so interesting. I am especially interested in helping families and adolescents who are experiencing the difficulties of assimilation into the fabric of American life. I am especially interested in the ways that language impacts assimilation in American life, and how that manifests as dysfunction in the family setting with adolescents. Much work has been done in this area, but much more is needed in order to resolve the problems of assimilation and at the same time retain individual cultural identity (Reyhner, Rosier, and Echo-Hawk, 2005).

I have been well educated in the ethics of the profession upon which I am embarking, first, as a field intern and, later, as a practitioner. Patient rights are the tool by which to empower people, especially those people who have experienced or are about to experience, mental healthcare (Annas, 2004). There is no end to the legal ramifications of failing to adhere to the professional codes of ethics in mental healthcare (Ebert, 2006). However, the individual who cannot embrace the professional code of ethics in clinical mental healthcare practice might be an individual better served by a different profession. Not only do I recognize the reason and value in our professional code of ethics academically, but I embrace them personally. Much of the work done in our profession is about resolving client issues by empowering them with choices; and our professional code of ethics, especially that of informed consent and patient confidentiality, are tools that empower our clients in the choices they make for themselves.

On a personal level, I am convinced that some of my personal traits will serve me well in my profession, and especially in my field work. I have the skill of listening. I normally wait until a person has reached the period or question mark before responding to them; because if we do not practice that skill, we no doubt will miss very important information that might be useful to us in treating our clients. It is also a social skill, and one that is appreciated by colleagues, peers, friends and family. And while I will not say that this skill was one I was born with, but certainly acquired through the encouragement of my mother and father, and by experience in embarrassing situations early in my academic career with professors; it is a skill I have practiced, and continue to work on perfecting, but one which I now include in the package of respect that I afford others as often and whenever possible. This one skill, I might add, is one that I value highly and is the one I believe has brought me much success in my academic studies thus far.

I believe I am well-rounded person, and someone who is excited about life and living. I think my enthusiasm and my open-mindedness will serve me well and long in working as a clinical practitioner, and as a researcher of social issues and problems. There are many different kinds of studies that I have been academically prepared to do; and I am looking forward to choosing and implementing my chosen areas of research in adolescent development and family dynamics. These are important issues in every society, but the diversity and dynamics of American society make social research an ongoing and never-ending essential need and tool to move American society forward. The knowledge I gain in the pursuit of my own research will advance that area of need in society, but it will also increase the breadth of my understanding in those issues from a clinical perspective, and that, too, will serve my clients and colleagues well.

I think one of the issues I have not yet touched upon in this essay is how I would achieve balance… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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