Self Assessment Concepts

Post modernism and narratives assessment

Many people believe that we are moving to a postmodern era from modernity. Counseling is moving away from modernist grand theories like Freud’s towards more fragmented, locally or electric approach to knowledge.

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Postmodernism encourages people to live within the dominant narratives from their cultures and families. The relevance of storytelling and narratives are the main means of giving social experience and communication others. Postmodern narrative therapists believe that when life narratives are carrying unpleasant meanings, alterations can be made by either creating new meaning from already existing stories, and these new narratives are created or constructed. The underlying factor in modernist approach to stories is to explain them through the underlying structures (Freedman & Combs, 1996). Understanding the client from this perspective minimizes risks of missing the whole point (Freedman & Combs, 1996). This assessment plan will explore various areas like;

Life history

  1. How many of your family members have married from neighboring clan?
  2. Is your great grandfather a live?
  3. Are your parents related by blood in any way?

The lifestyle of the client

  1. How do you spend your day?
  2. Have you ever befriended an opposite sex person?
  3. Are you rich, poor or moderate in terms of wealth?

Taboos in the client’s community

  1. Do you consider befriending an opposite sex as a taboo in your community?
  2. Which foods are women not allowed to eat in your community?
  3. Some communities do not visit hospitals when sick, what about yours?

How the client relates with his/her elders

  1. How do you relate with your elders?
  2. Do you consult your elders when in need of advice?
  3. Do your elders give you time when you need them?

Culture of the client’s community

  1. Are you circumcised?
  2. Which kind of clothes are you not allowed dressing in, in your community?
  3. Which kind of religion do you practice in your community?

Some of the instruments that can be used to supplement information got from interviews, story and narrative books.

Multimodal assessment

This type of assessment was developed by Arnold Lazarus and it examines each area of an individual BASIC ID which includes behavior, effect, sensation, imagery, cognition, interpersonal relationships, drugs and biology (Fischer, 1985). The fact remains that patients could be experiencing myriad problems that require complex ways to deal with. It poses the question, what is the best for this particular client. The counselor can apply different forms off diagnosis by use of like individual assessment forms (Fischer, 1985). This approach has an integrative perspective and continues scanning of every modality and the interaction with each other can improve a counselor’s effectiveness and awareness of client problems. Areas to be explored will depend on the client’s problem (Fischer, 1985). Generally, they can be personal life history, how life used to be, before the occurrence of the problem, the support from family members, the clients diet, the clients personal hygiene, among others.

Life history

  1. Have you ever suffered from any serious ailment before this?
  2. Have you ever smoked?
  3. Have you ever aborted (if it’s a woman)?

How life used to be before the occurrence of the problem

  1. Did you ever think that this could have occurred to you?
  2. How were you relating with your family members before the problem occurred?
  3. Are you ready to live with this problem positively?

Support from family members

  1. Do your parents support you when in this situation?
  2. Do your parents buy you medicine?
  3. Do your parents allow you to go for counseling services?
  4. Do your siblings show you love and acceptance as their brother?

Client’s diet

  1. What is your diet comprised of?
  2. How much water do you take in one day?
  3. Do you take vegetables and fruits?
  4. Which type of meat do you take?

The client’s personal hygiene

  1. How many times do you take a bath in a day?
  2. How often do you brush your teeth?
  3. Do you regularly wash your hands?
  4. Do you wash fruits before taking?

Postmodernism; the report resulting from problem focused perspective

Family tree of the client

The client agreed that two of his brothers have married from neighboring clans which could be a problem for his sufferings (Wood, 1997). He agreed that his great grandfather is a live and he has always not wished him and his siblings well because he never loved their father from childhood; because he says that he was born as a result of a curse.

The lifestyle of the client

Client spends most of his time a lone in his room because his parents and siblings avoid him and call him a curse. He befriended several girlfriends before realizing his status. The client ails from a very poor family where even serving a meal in the table is a problem.

Taboos in the client’s community

In the client’s community, every adult man should be mediated for a wife by his parents and more especially the father and so it’s a taboo for him to befriend an opposite sex before the consent of his parents. The client’s communities do not allow women to eat chicken or eggs from chicken because they believe that a woman who eats these products will become disobedient (Wood, 1997). Only the learned, who have been enlightened, seek medical advice when sick, others believe that they can heal through prayers alone (Wood, 1997).

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The client’s relationship with his elders

The client generally is not in good terms with his elders because they consider him to be a curse to the community and to his family and whenever he approaches them, they avoid him. He has elder siblings but and none of them has accepted him in his status.

Client’s culture

The client is not circumcised because his community does not practice the ritual which could have been probably increased his chances of contracting the infection (Rogers, 1965). The community experiences shortages of water hence the hygiene standards are very low. The community’s religion is Islamic where polygamy is much practised; this increases chances of husband to wives infections and vice versa (Rogers, 1965).

Multimodal assessment; strengths-based assessment report

Life history

The client has never suffered from any serious ailments before this; he has never smoked any kind of drug or cigarette and she is not a lady hence he has never aborted. He used to take alcohol before he realized his status but since then, he has ceased.

Life before the occurrence of the problem

The client never thought this kind of problem could have occurred to him, he even never imagined of it happening. Before the occurrence, he used to relate well with his family members including his parents, siblings and the extended family at large. The client seems to have accepted his status and is focused to live positively.

Support from family members

The client’s parents are very supportive, they buy him prescribed medicine, cook him recommended diet and ensures that the client receives regular counseling on living positively, the best diet for his condition, abstinence from sex or safe sex among others to enable him live positively. His siblings are very supportive; they assist the client with his activities like washing his clothes, cooking his food, making his bed and even bathing him when he is not in a position to do the bathing himself.

Client’s diet

The client observes his diet strictly according to the recommendations. He takes in a lot of water, fruits and vegetables, which is a necessary requirement of his condition (Palmer & McMahon, 1997). The client seems to be aware of the kind of meat he should be taking, which is white meat; fish and chicken, dairy products like yoghurt and cheese and avoid foods with a lot of cholesterol. Generally, the client is informed of the best diet that fits his condition.

The client’s personal hygiene

The client takes a bath at least daily, he changes into clean clothes regularly, he brushes his teeth after every meal, he washes his hands every time he visits the toilet, and when he wants to eat anything or cleans his nose. He also washes fruits before eating.

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Indicate how you as a client might experience and respond to the two assessment approaches you have outlined

As a client, I have benefited much from the two assessment approaches. In the postmodernism and narrative assessment, I got to know that its not right to marry from the same clan as mine and people who are blood related should not make a couple because there could be genetic complications that may get their children. I got to understand that with my status, I should spend much of my time in a jovial mood, do a lot of exercise, abstain from sex or always have protected sex if I must. Taboos that are likely to bring misfortune like eating foods that are not supposed to be eaten by women should be avoided to avoid misfortunes but some like visiting hospitals when sick should be ignored. I should be wise on which to be ignored and which to follow. At all costs, I should respect my elders even if they insult me and always try to understand them and act wisely.

In the multimodal assessment, smoking should be avoided at all costs, relate well with my family, try to make them understand that my situation is not a life sentence. I should follow the prescription of my medicine to the letter, observe my diet as recommended, and take a lot of water, fruits and vegetables. Counseling services are equally important to keep me going and to accept my situation (Fischer, 1985). Am recommended for; white meat instead of red meat. I should observe personal hygiene keenly to avoid opportunistic infections like cholera and diarrhea that might deteriorate my health (Corey, 1996). This will include regular brushing of teeth, taking a bath daily, changing into clean clothes always, washing hands after visiting the toilet, washing fruits before eating among others.


Corey, G. (1996). Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy. California: Cole Publishing Company.

Fischer, C.T. (1985). Individualizing Psychological Assessment. California: Cole Publishing Company.

Freedman, J., & Combs, G. (1996). Narrative Therapy: The Social Construction of Preferred Realities. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

Palmer, S., & McMahon, G. (1997). Client Assessment. London: Sage Publications.

Rogers, C. (1965). Client-Centered Therapy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Wood, C. (1997). To Know or Not To Know: A Critique of Postmodernism in Social Work Practice. Australian Social Work, 50(3), 21-27.

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