Hi, need to submit a 500 words essay on the topic Clinical Social Worker as Patient Advocate in a Community Mental Health Center by Faust.
This right defines a need for a patient advocate who can understand the mentally ill and can then help educate them about making choices. In practice the advocate has been seen as many things, from change agent to information resource person, to risk manager for the agency.
Faust underlines, “One conflict is between the advocate’s assessment of a specific problem and the patient’s perception” (p.295). Some writers have put forward the view that the advocate should not offer the professional opinion. Others have said the opposite, that the advocate should interpret the clients’ needs and then define them as he or she sees them. The author then admits how unrealistic it may be to assume that the advocate does not at all involve her own judgment in the patient’s deliberation.
Other conflicts may involve the advocate representing the clients’ negative criticism of the administration where the advocate should then be seen as a collaborator. This leads to the question of how the advocate must also appear as independent of the institution to the client in order to represent the client. Finally, the therapist may not prove successful and the client may reflect dissatisfaction with the therapy. In all these situations the clinical social worker as an advocate must demonstrate a “credible therapeutic perspective” that could persuade all the involved participants.
Faust presents several cases studies. One sketched a client who was dissatisfied with his therapist and had requested a change as he had done in the past. The patient advocate from her clinical social worker background was able to interpret feelings of powerlessness in the client. She was able to outline several alternatives to the supervisor and the client. She identified her understanding of the client’s problem to the therapist and was able to get the client to accept one of the options.
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