Friday, 11 February 2011


Well here I am again, sitting down about to do battle with my 3000 word case study. The deadline is next Wednesday so it’s time to concentrate my mind if I want any weekend to enjoy!

This is the first case study I have written for this course and I’ve been really struggling with it for a couple of weeks.  After reading the brief I was still pretty unsure of where to go with it and how to structure it so I borrowed a book from the library with, what appeared to be, a highly relevant ‘Writing a case study’ chapter’. Well that made it even worse!

The first instruction about ‘Choose your case study’  was okay.  I had already chosen to write about my very first client in my current placement.  The next instruction was to write about my orientation.  That’s where I really came unstuck!  My course is an integrative course where we look at all the major schools of thought  from humanistic and ‘person centred’  approaches to psychodynamic and cognitive behavioural therapy approaches. Sorry if that was just too much jargon but it would take a very large essay to explain them all!  I find myself  using quite an eclectic mix from the counselling ‘tool bag’ which can incorporate drawing, role play, and various collaboratively agreed homework tasks.  Trying to figure out my approach left me so confused that I did not know where to start.  Luckily I managed to have a good discussion with my supervisor, tutor and fellow students and I am feeling a lot better now.

It was so simple – my most important first task  always has been to build a good working relationship with my client .  That entails careful listening and questioning in a way to encourage exploration and curiosity and from that work flows the next steps and they will vary with the client and the situation.  As long as I can rationalise what I did and why, that is all that is expected at this stage.  What a relief!

I am realising that my approach is very much influenced by my years of independent midwifery where I worked very holistically with clients and their families.  That experience has a huge impact on my approach to my counselling work. Sometimes I am using tools that I don’t have a name for until I think about it afterwards!  The more I progress through this course, the more I want to learn and experience. 

….so time to crack on and get this case study written or I will still be at it when it’s time to go to see ‘A Comedy of Errors’ in Greenwich on Sunday afternoon. I had been really put off Shakespeare after being force fed him in school and I never realised he was so funny until the first time I saw this play performed on Streatham common many years ago.  It was a gorgeous summer’s evening as I sat on the grass with my friends sharing a picnic.  The play was performed by an extremely amateurish theatre company that kept making the most hilarious mistakes so it was a comedy of errors about a Comedy of Errors!  We couldn’t stop laughing although the bubbly we consumed probably helped!  

Well it’s now 11.40 and time to get writing or I really will be producing my very own Comedy of Errors which wont be so funny at re-sit time!

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