vitality integrity while working within boundaries system


In need of a 250 word response/discussion to each of the following forum posts. Agreement/disagreement/and/or continuing the discussion.

Original forum discussion/topic post is as follows:

forum post response #1

I hope everyone’s week is off to a good start. I must say that this is the first time I have heard that mental health is looking towards the community. I am aware of the myriad of programs available; however, finally acknowledging the important role the community serves in mental health. Of note, community workers extends beyond mental health professionals, to include nurses, artists, activists, and clergy. Our lesson addressed four different services within the community counseling model: Direct Client Services, Indirect Client Services, Direct Community Services, and Indirect Community Services. The goal is to provide preventative measures instead of being reactive. A couple of the services, reminded me of our local children’s hospital which has an advocate available to support families to obtain school services. They can provide guidance or even be a mediator for IEP meetings. Since my husband and I had quite the journey of navigating how to obtain state services or advocating on behalf of our daughter for medical or school services, I have developed a passion for helping other families. If programs or services are this difficult for special needs then I can only imagine what it is like for the mental health arena.

This week we are asked how we can retain our sense of vitality and integrity while working in boundaries of the system? As I mentioned earlier, if the system is anything like what my family underwent then I would have a very difficult time staying within the boundaries and not being frustrated. I know one major issue is that I would not be able to help everyone or to the level they need. I would have to learn how to make the system work for me and my clients. This leads to the next question—What do I see as my relationship as a counselor to the agency where you work? I am currently not in the counseling profession; however, if I were, I see my relationship as one that continues to develop and is nurtured. I think it is so easy to feel frustrated and bogged down by procedures that do not make sense or are outdated, enormous amounts of paperwork, and health insurance bureaucracy. I would want to be part of the change in order to improve our services to our clients. I know I would not be able to change everything, but determine what is in the realm of possible. I would say that my mindset in working with the system aligns with the authors’ example about their class. When you have passion for an initiative and know the benefits then you have to be willing to put in the work and time.

Forum post response #2

First of all, retaining that sense of vitality and true investment in your work is, in a way, an ethical mandate to maintain your quality of care. If you have succumbed to a sense of apathy, it cannot help but show through in your work.

The best advice I can offer when working within the boundaries of a system is to understand and accept the system for what it is, and then do the best you can for your clients within the boundaries of that system. If you always expect the whole entity to be a magnanimous force wholly invested in the well-being of your clients, you will become sorely disappointed. Systems and institutions are often confronted with competing interests; that is just the way of the world. We become most profoundly disappointed when our expectations are not met; it is our own fault, though, if we cling to unrealistic expectations.

As a counselor, I must understand that I am an employee in an agency. That does not mean my first loyalty is to the agency; it should always be to my clients. But I accepted employment with the understanding that I do not have free reign, that I have rules and guidelines to follow even if I might not entirely agree with them. To become a rogue agent within my organization might sound like spirited defense of the downtrodden, but in truth, it is far more likely to cause discord and dismissal with little, if any, benefit to my clients. However, should I observe anything illegal, immoral, or unethical, that I should not keep silent about.

The university system sounds singularly difficult to deal with, as I suppose most educational systems must be. The school has an image to cultivate and may be responsible for tens of thousands of students, and that can cause inordinate pressure to sacrifice the good of the one to the demands of the many. Even if a student who committed a crime seems to have real mental difficulties and might just be able to be rehabilitated, the public may cry out for justice far more than mercy and the administration may find themselves in a corner. Said administration also probably wants more information about students than counselors want to provide; with so many people they are trying to predict, it can be easy to forget the insidious ripple effects of breaking confidentiality. Once again, a counselor in an agency must have realistic expectations about the multifarious demands they face.

Forum post response #3

This week’s forum and lessons focuses on Comprehensive Community Programs. Within these programs, they discuss agencies such as for profit and non-profit organizations which provide psychological and social services to the community. Also, how there are various ways that services can be provided to clients through community counseling models. The community counseling models discussed include direct and indirect client services, as well as direct and indirect community services.

Our forum discussion asks how we think we can retain a sense of vitality and integrity while working within the boundaries of one of these community model systems, and how this may become an ethical issue. For me, I feel this is really going to lie within the community model system you are working with. The sense of vitality and integrity should almost come natural within the system you have chosen to work in. As a counselor, it is my responsibility to be able to approach my job with profession, and be sure that I carry that profession with me throughout my work/career underneath any given community model system. When looking from any community model system, I feel ethical issue and challenges would appear if I did not believe in the community model being utilized. Also, I feel another ethical challenge for me would arise if I had held high expectations without knowing the field, or the community model I was currently using or working under.

As for my relationship as a counselor, currently I work for a non-profit organization, and we provide direct services to at-risk youth and young adults. Working within this system at times is very difficult, and can cause ethical issues. As most places, we stick true to the confidentiality of our population, but it becomes difficult and an ethical challenge when as a Case Manager there is a lot of issues disclosed by your clients, and due to the confidentiality you are not able to share this with your team. Especially knowing that the youth or young adult are feeling or acting a certain way.

One of the obstacles I feel I could face is breach of confidentiality. This obstacle is a relatively big issue, especially when working in direct services. I feel this is due to the fact that there are so many different partners that can be or are involved, that discussing a client then becomes tricky. One lesson I have learned that I would apply is being sure that am knowledgeable of the community model system, the culture that surrounds it, and be educated in the work I would be doing to best meet my client’s needs.