Case Two

Jamar is a 45-year-old African American man who is self-referred to the agency in which you work. The intake paperwork indicates he is seeking psychotherapy to address several life issues, yet his concerns seem vague. The intake worker indicated Jamar reported “feeling depressed and anxious” about life and did not have “anyone in his life to talk to about this stuff.” In the first session, Jamar vocalizes he is uncertain about being in counseling but does not know where else to go. Over and over he says he feels like he is going to burst. He seems listless and does not identify a particular stressor but agrees to come back for a second session. In the second session, Jamar says he just must tell you something. He asks you not to look at him for a few minutes and during this time. Jamar discloses he has been having feelings he does not understand. He feels confused and ashamed about an encounter he had with another man at work three weeks ago. Jamar said he struggled in the past with an attraction to men and had gone to a few gay bars. But through his faith, prayer, and family counseling at his church he was able to overcome those feelings and focus on dating women. Jamar said he thought God had cured him, but last week, in a meeting, Micah winked at Jamar. Jamar recalled feeling immediately drawn to Micah but since last week has avoided contact with him. Jamar said all he can think about is Micah and has been fantasizing about a life with Micah. Jamar asks you what you can do to cure him of his attraction to other men.

Respond to the following questions:

1.How do you respond to Jamar’s immediate concerns?
2.What are your priorities with Jamar in this session?
3.Who else may you involve in the conversation?
4.What advanced skills will you utilize?
5.What additional information or resources are required for you to assist Jamar?
6.What are the desired outcomes for Jamar and you in this session?
7.Describe your assessment and treatment plan.

Sample Answer

Sample Answer

Responding to Jamar’s Immediate Concerns

Validate Jamar’s feelings: Let Jamar know that his feelings of confusion and shame are valid, and that it takes courage to share such personal experiences. Assure him that you are there to support him without judgment.
Provide reassurance: Emphasize that his attraction towards men does not need to be “cured” or seen as a problem. Normalize his experience and help him understand that sexual orientation is a natural and diverse aspect of human identity.
Create a safe space: Ensure Jamar feels safe and supported in discussing his feelings and experiences, emphasizing confidentiality and privacy.

Priorities in the Session

Establish rapport and trust: Build a therapeutic alliance with Jamar by actively listening, demonstrating empathy, and creating a non-judgmental environment where he feels comfortable sharing his thoughts and emotions.
Explore Jamar’s feelings and experiences: Encourage Jamar to further express his thoughts, emotions, and concerns related to his attraction to men, as well as any internal conflicts he may be experiencing.
Provide psychoeducation: Educate Jamar about sexual orientation, dispelling any myths or misconceptions he may have. Help him understand that his attraction towards men is not something that needs to be changed or “cured,” but rather accepted and embraced.
Support self-acceptance and self-exploration: Encourage Jamar to explore his own feelings, values, and beliefs about his sexual orientation. Help him understand that self-acceptance is crucial for overall well-being and mental health.
Identify support systems: Discuss the importance of having supportive individuals in his life who can provide understanding and acceptance. Explore if there are any potential support systems or communities that Jamar can connect with.

Involving Others in the Conversation

LGBTQ+ organizations or support groups: Refer Jamar to LGBTQ+ organizations or support groups where he can connect with individuals who have similar experiences and provide support, understanding, and guidance.
Culturally sensitive religious or spiritual leaders: If Jamar expresses a desire to include his faith in the therapeutic process, consider referring him to religious or spiritual leaders who are knowledgeable about LGBTQ+ issues and can provide guidance without judgment.

Utilizing Advanced Skills

Culturally sensitive practice: Utilize a culturally sensitive approach that takes into account Jamar’s identity as an African American man and any potential cultural factors that may influence his experience of sexuality.
Affirmative therapy: Apply affirmative therapy techniques that affirm and validate Jamar’s sexual orientation while supporting his exploration and self-acceptance.
Cognitive-behavioral interventions: Utilize cognitive-behavioral techniques to help Jamar challenge any negative thoughts or beliefs about his sexual orientation and develop healthier coping strategies for managing internal conflicts or shame.

Additional Information and Resources

LGBTQ+ literature and resources: Gather information about LGBTQ+ literature, websites, and resources that provide accurate information about sexual orientation, coming out, self-acceptance, and building healthy relationships.
LGBTQ+ competent therapists: Research therapists who specialize in LGBTQ+ issues and who can provide further guidance and support for Jamar’s specific concerns.

Desired Outcomes

Increased self-acceptance: Help Jamar develop self-acceptance regarding his sexual orientation, understanding that it is a natural aspect of who he is.
Reduction of shame and confusion: Support Jamar in reducing feelings of shame and confusion surrounding his attractions by providing education, normalizing experiences, and challenging negative beliefs.
Exploration of identity: Assist Jamar in exploring his identity, values, and beliefs regarding his sexual orientation, guiding him towards self-discovery and self-affirmation.
Development of coping strategies: Collaboratively develop coping strategies to help Jamar manage any internal conflicts, societal pressures, or challenges that may arise from his journey towards self-acceptance.

Assessment and Treatment Plan

Assessment: Conduct a comprehensive assessment of Jamar’s experiences, thoughts, emotions, cultural background, religious beliefs, social support systems, and immediate concerns related to his sexual orientation.
Psychoeducation: Provide psychoeducation about sexual orientation as a diverse aspect of human identity, addressing any myths or misconceptions that Jamar may hold.
Affirmative therapy: Utilize affirmative therapy techniques to support Jamar in accepting and embracing his sexual orientation while addressing any internal conflicts or external pressures he may face.
Cognitive-behavioral interventions: Incorporate cognitive-behavioral techniques to challenge negative thoughts or beliefs surrounding Jamar’s sexual orientation and facilitate the development of healthier coping strategies.
Referrals: Provide referrals to LGBTQ+ organizations or support groups where Jamar can find additional support from individuals who have gone through similar experiences.
Regular check-ins: Schedule regular sessions to monitor Jamar’s progress, adjust the treatment plan as needed, provide ongoing support, and celebrate any positive steps toward self-acceptance and well-being.



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