Human Service Workers: Helping Those in Need

A 37-years old male addresses a human service provider for veterans, as required external help. His name is Adam Miller, and he is a veteran who served in Iraq two years ago. Currently, he is struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which affects his life adversely. Still, Adam realizes that he is not able to cope with the current situation without professional assistance and is willing to receive it to get his life back.

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Adam Miller is European American. His ancestors came to the USA from Germany in the middle of the 19th century. Today man lives with his wife and two daughters. His neighborhood is rather big, which causes problems from time to time. There are several busy roads nearby. The family belongs to the middle class. It has never faced serious financial issues but right now the situation is rather tensed, as Adam and his wife had a second child several months ago, and their expenditures increased.

Their home is rather ordinary. It is a two-storied apartment in the center of the city. The members of the family do not have any disabilities. Adam used to be a soldier but now he is temporally unemployed. His wife is taking care of the baby. Their elder daughter goes to the second grade. The Miller family has a minivan. Currently, the family mainly uses its savings for living.

Presenting Problem

Adam Miller enrolled in service at the agency because he faced several problems that affected his life and the life of his family adversely. Being a veteran who suffers because of PTSD, the man started dealing with those issues that previously were not perceived as something wrong. Adam said that he noticed the first signs of PTSD only after the birth of his second daughter. From the very beginning, he might have experienced some worries but did not consider them to be critical.

Still, with the course of time, he became overprotective. Adam is afraid that something can happen with this family that is why he limits their freedom, which does not appeal to his wife and daughter. As a result, the environment in the family spoils and argues occur rather often, which makes Adam frustrated. He thinks that he may lose the connection with the people he cares about.

The client lives in the center of the city in the extended neighborhood where people do not often communicate with each other. As a result, he experiences anxiety, being not sure about his neighbors. Moreover, there are two busy roads near Adam’s home. The man suffered several panic attacks when he heard a car crash and a fire-engine siren close to his home. Except for that, he is afraid that something will happen to his relatives while crossing those roads.

Adam cannot find a job currently and cannot return to the military services. As a result, he feels depressed and considers that he can be a burden on his family. The client lacks interaction. He tries to compensate for his ‘usefulness’ and spends all the time with his family at home. He rarely goes out to meet with friends and tend to feel lonely. Moreover, a little baby at home does not allow him to have enough rest.

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Goal

Adam claimed that he is willing to have his life back. The man did not limit the goals of the intervention but emphasized three main targets he is willing to reach as soon as possible. First of all, he wants to find a job to feel that he is the sound head of the family who is capable of supporting his relatives. Adam’s second goal deals with the desire to improve relations within the family. He wants to have loving and trust-based relations with his wife and is willing to see his daughters admiring him. Finally, the client mentioned that it would be really great if he could get rid of PTSD symptoms that affect his everyday life.

Considering Adam’s wishes and desires, a set of intervention goals can be outlined:

  • Assist the client in finding an appropriate job (help to adapt skills and knowledge obtained during the service to civilian jobs);
  • Help the client to improve relationships with the family (offer participation in family therapy; assist in finding a professional);
  • Help the client to receive appropriate treatment for his PTSD (arrange the consultation with healthcare professionals and control this process).

Except for that, the agency can assist Adam, guiding him through the extensive network of veteran services. If reaching all the mentioned goals efficiently, the client will be likely to feel better and find his place in the family and in society.

Needs

The agency is also able to meet several other needs that deal with Adam’s main desire to get his life back but are not included in the three extensive goals that are currently on the front burner.

A human service provider for veterans can suggest Adam and his family a possibility of changing their residence. Of course, it may be a challenging task because of the little child and lack of income, but such alteration can be extremely beneficial. Professionals, who work in the agency, can help the Millers to find people who can buy or rent their current apartment and select several houses in calm districts so that no extreme expenditures will affect them. One can also assist with receiving a loan in the bank if it is needed for the purchase.

A professional can also work on Adam’s communication. One may investigate the community to find out if some interesting events will be held soon so that the client can attend them. They can be of different nature, including those that appeal to Adam and to other members of his family. For example, he can participate in a chess competition that is held by the amateurs in the park every weekend. Except for that, he can take his daughter to the circus. In the same framework, a human service provider can get in touch with Adam’s family and friends to explain to them what issues the man is dealing with and how they can assist him and streamline the process of recovery.

Emotional needs can also be fulfilled with the help of a human service provider. First of all, one can encourage the client during the conversation with simple phrases such as “I am sure that you can cope with it” or “You will succeed, no doubt”. Assisting in making good decisions and guiding the client, a professional is likely to help one to overcome the problems much faster than one would do it without help (Moffat, 2011). A human service provider can suggest Adam take part in volunteering. In this way, he will realize that he is not a burden but a person who is able to assist and support others. The man’s self-esteem with recover and he will be able to move forward on his own.

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Crisis

Adam Miller faces a crisis currently. Recently, the man started experiencing PTSD syndromes, which made him extremely vulnerable. From time to time, he cannot control his own emotions and behavior and yields to panic. Adam lost self-confidence and is not able to support his family anymore. He cannot find a new job and believes that the environment, in which he lives, may be harmful to this family.

The man does not interact with other people and is at home almost all the time. Still, he does not help much with caring about the baby or with household chores. Such a situation does not appeal to the client’s wife, which leads to quarrels. Adam feels depressed and helpless. The client is not able to cope with this situation by himself and referred to the agency for help, as his wife insisted. The family is having hard times now, so Adam’s condition just worsens.

Recommendations

As a human service provider for veterans, I am highly concerned about Adam’s current condition. The man suffers from PTSD, which made his life change greatly. Still, even though the client was not willing to receive help from the agency, one’s desire to save the family made him search for assistance. The fact that Adam agreed to cooperate proves that he has good chances to recover, and as his wife initiated this process, the family is ready to support him. In this way, the client has an opportunity to achieve enormous progress and improve his condition rather soon.

Emphasizing the theory of family systems, the solution of the client’s case can be streamlined. Family affects one’s functioning during the whole life that is why professionals need to consider its involvement. The relatives affect the environment in the family through their personal influences and are affected by the gathered influence of all members. This is a two-sided process that is why a human service provider should consider the situation from different perspectives to reach the most benefit. Communication and roles of the family members are those aspects that should be discussed initially in Adam’s case. Both family and parent coaching can be provided to improve interaction within the family and allow the client to feel like the head (Robbins, Chatterjee, & Canda, 2005).

According to the psychodynamic theory, Adam’s emotional and psychological state can be improved when he receives ego supportive treatment, which is critical for him right now. Following this theory, professionals can define processes needed to understand how the man can be motivated to move forward, in what way he can adapt to the situation and how he can improve relations with the nearest and dearest. A human service provider may educate Adam and his family so that they realize what is happening and how they should act further to deal with PTSD and other negative experiences. One can pay attention to the way everything affects Adam’s emotions and assertiveness so that his family and friends will not worsen this condition accidentally (Hutchison, 2003).

Moreover, the social exchange theory can be useful when one is willing to make the client a decent part of the community. Interaction with the representatives of the general public is likely to be useful for Adam, as it will help him to stop sitting at home. The client will realize that he can access various resources available for the members of the community.

A new house can be beneficial because it will be located in a calm district that does not have busy roads that often make the client feel nervous. A smaller neighborhood can be advantageous, as the family will have an opportunity to get to know all people who live nearby and build trust-based relations. In this way, Adam will not worry so much about his wife and daughters, as a lot of other individuals will also care about them. The family will have a chance to start a brand new life, forgetting about all the things that happened before, including stresses and quarrels. The client will have an opportunity to find a job not far from one’s home (Robbins, Chatterjee, & Canda, 2005).

For now, Adam limits his interaction with others and tends to do the same for his family, which is not an advantage. Communication is vital for every person because it allows one to feel like a part of the community. Being engaged in activities and events that involve a lot of other people, the client is likely to enhance his communicational skills and restore his assertiveness. Adam will have a chance to find new friends and get occupied in the activities that can make him feel happy even though he did not think about them before.

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Family members and friends can be encouraged to get involved in the interventions required for Adam. Their influence on his life is enormous as they know each other for a long time and used to interact very often, which made them close. Professionals can cooperate with these people and explain what Adam needs. In this way, they can create a plan of activities that can improve the client’s emotional state. They do not need to be too sophisticated and can involve such things as a picnic, cinema visit, etc. Of course, relatives and friends are able to organize such events themselves, but a human service provider can help with the context selection (for instance, eliminate war films and action-thrillers, etc.).

Not to feel like a burden to the family, Adam should find a job. This process is time-consuming that is why he can start with volunteering. Helping other people, the client can realize his significance and assist those who are in need. Moreover, this is a good way to adapt to life after the war and get ready to interact in the working environment when being hired.

A human service provider should guide and support Adam until he successfully reaches his main goals. Then, one can provide a plan for future actions to make sure that the positive changes will not be forgotten. In this way, professionals can consider financial planning and things that children will need (enrollment in kindergarten and school). It can be also beneficial to pay attention to the possibility of attending some meetings for veterans so that Adam could share his experience. Moreover, he will have a chance to get to know how people like him dealt with PTSD and utilize successful approaches.

References

Hutchison, E. D. (2003). Dimensions of human behavior: Person and environment. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Moffat, C. (2011). Helping those in need: Human service workers. Web.

Robbins, S., Chatterjee, P., & Canda, E. (2005). Contemporary human behavior theory: A critical perspective for social work. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

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