The reason women continue to suffer even in this much-enlightened age remains a mystery to many psychologists and scholars. It is also saddening to note that most of the problems faced by postmodern women are analogous to those of ancient women, raising the question of whether the world is actually abandoning its repressive acts towards women. My stay at the agency was a real-eye opener with regard to the suffering and the needs of women. It is important to state that the agency has and continues to perform a tremendous role in protecting and empowering women. However, despite its commitment, it has not been able to address fully their problems. Frankfort shelter has failed to put into consideration the individual and social needs of their patients.
According to my field experience, I found psychological counselling wanting in the agency. This became evident to me through the interviews I initiated as well as observing the demeanor of most women. Through informal interviews, I realized that although some women had been there for as long as six months, psychologically, comparing them to when they first came to the site, nothing had changed in their lives. I remember encountering a battered woman who would occasionally weep at seeing any man; she was a victim of domestic violence. Still, I met another woman who preferred death than life despite having been there for three months. These; however, were not the only instances I came across. Some women hardly took a meal even when implored. In general, I noted a great need for specialized psychological counselling.
One of the most likely causes of the need, that is, effective psychological counselling is their approach. In general, their counselling is not problem-specific, and, as such, it becomes impossible for them to meet the individual needs of the women. Evans and Biesecker (2006), states that a result-oriented psychotherapy needs to focus on a particular dilemma. In this way, it becomes easy to identify the psychological needs of different individuals and subsequently address them effectively. The practice of generalized counselling cannot offer substantial help in the sense that it assumes that all individuals share the problems. In consideration of the fact that people differ in terms of their emotional needs, it is important for the agency to adopt an individual-based psychotherapy.
According to Carey and Mansell (2015), psychological counselling encompasses helping people with physical, emotional, social, emotional, and mental problems. In the counselling process, therapists should strive to identify the most severe issues troubling their patients. Such knowledge, as evidenced by research, may not come in a single day. In other words, getting to comprehend the individual needs of different people demands time and patience on the part of the therapists. From my experience, there is a great correlation between the time and health. The more time a therapist dedicates to his or her patient the higher the probability that, the patient will recuperate, or deviate from treatment. The agency has failed to recognize the elements for effective healing process. Most therapists coming to the institution hardly have enough time to interact with the women. In consequence, it takes long before the patients recovers.
Outsourcing is an important practice to any establishment. Morgan (2009) argues that outsourcing may at times be the perfect solution or answer to the needs of an institution. Psychological contract, a term he uses to refer to outsourcing, has many benefits depending on the situation and environment. From basic psychological knowledge, there is always an assumption among many people that new groups come with novel ideas. As a result, the chances of them paying attention to new faces are higher. By relying on similar faces each day, the agency in essence hampers its noble commitment. Although it at times outsources therapists, it has and continues to outsource the same people. The problem of having the same faces is that it creates a situation known as familiarity wherein patients become numb to counsels. The trust ought to change its outsourcing pattern for the good of its patients.
During counselling, I realized that the issue of race received less attention. There was an assumption that race was irrelevant in addressing the needs of the women. I noted this by observing how their therapists handled the women. Carter (2007) expressly says that psychological needs vary across races. In his research, he reveals that there is a striking contrast between the psychological needs of women of color and white women. Women of color face several prejudices, which collectively harm their psychology. For instance, unlike white women, they often face racism. Depending on the women’s’ personal capability to contain to manage their racial beliefs, they are likely to develop several psychosomatic problems. In brief, his research reveals that race ought to be an important consideration in the psychoanalysis process. Perhaps the best way to tackle this shortcoming would be to examine and treat each race differently.
Most of the women in the Frankfort shelter were unemployed. The fact that they were unemployed was no surprise in consideration of the point that Frankfort has an unemployment rate of 6.60 percent, 0.30 percent more than that of the US. From the basic psychology, there is a high probability that these women would highly value economic assistance over any help. Accordingly, any counselling that does not lead them to financial independence will be of no great help to them. While the agency offers a variety of training lessons to its women, it does not consider their varying needs. For instance, some women in the Frankfort shelter were financially stable while others, though few, needed guidance on how to manage their family businesses.
Crimes such as murder, rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence are common phenomena in Frankfort. Neighborhoodscout.com (2016) reveals that Frankfort is one of the most unsafe cities in the United States, having an annual crime rate of 1432. These statistics offer a basis to understanding why there are several shelters in the city. In the psychotherapy process, it is important for therapists to develop ways that encourage their clients to return to their homes without fear. However, as I noted, most of the counselling offered by the agency tends to focus on how these women can forget about their past. While that is a good idea, it partially solves their problems in the sense that the city is slowly turning away from violence. Perhaps a better way to do the counselling would be to make them forget the past as well as teaching these women ways to protect themselves.
Religion has long been a subject of concern to psychologists. Research shows that religion remains one the greatest determinants of character. In fact, most studies insinuate that it is possible to predict the character of an individual by knowing their religion. Most of the women in the Frankfort shelter were Christians, in particular, Baptists. Just to mention, Baptists lead very austere lives, which may involve reluctance to share their personal issues. Their disinclination to publish their issues stems from the belief that all their problems have divine solutions. As a result, it may be a herculean task to tell their problems. In view of the stated, the agency commits a grave mistake by assuming that women are generally more open in comparison to men. There are high chances that what the agency knows about these women is insufficient.
Majority of the women were high school graduates. According to the national government statistical data, Frankfort is increasingly having more high school graduates, an aspect likely to change its position in the US economy. However, due to poverty, most high school graduates do not proceed with their learning. Such cases are more common among girls in comparison to boys. Accordingly, they find themselves more disposed to early marriages among other issues. Education is a matter that the organization does not seem to give attention in its counselling. Research shows that there is a great correlation between education and the ability to cope with tough situations. Obviously, the more educated one is the higher the chances that that person will easily forget the past.
In conclusion, I noted that the agency was not up to standard in relation to psychological counselling. Most of its psychiatric help was too general instead of being specific. In this way, it finds itself in a situation wherein patients take too long to recuperate. In view of the research provided, the organization will be better of it redefines its therapy procedures. A holistic treatment demands deep analysis of social and personal needs of every member of the therapy group.
Carey, T., & Mansell, W. (2015). Principles-based counselling and psychotherapy: A method of levels approach. Hove [etc.: Routledge.
Carter, R. (2007). Racism and Psychological and Emotional Injury: Recognizing and Assessing Race-Based Traumatic Stress. The Counseling Psychologist, 13-105.
Evans, C., & Biesecker, B. (2006). Genetic counselling a psychological conversation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Morgan, S. (2009). The human side of outsourcing: Psychological theory and management practice. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
Neighborhoodscout.com. (2016). Frankfort KY crime rates and statistics - NeighborhoodScout. Retrieved 11 January 2016, from http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ky/frankfort/crime/