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By Tracey J. Jarvis

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Trouble shooting If your client is intoxicated, it is difficult to conduct a reliable assessment. In this case, focus only on developing rapport. Listen to what he wants to say but postpone formal assessment until the second session. Remind him of the importance of being unintoxicated for that next session. PATTERN AND CONTEXT OF DRINKING OR DRUG USE Past Use Exploring the history of your client’s substance use will help you to determine the chronicity of his problem. It will also reveal the conditions under which he has been able to abstain or moderate his drinking or drug use, as well as the triggers to heavy substance use.

Community Mental Health Journal, 34(3), 299–311. —An excellent discussion of professional boundaries with a drug and alcohol case example. 2 Assessment BASIC GUIDELINES Assessment is a purposeful process with several functions. Some of these are outlined below. Assessment enables you to gather information that will help you to plan and modify treatment goals and strategies. The assessment process provides the chance for you and your client to build a rapport. As your client observes your empathy and courtesy, he will be less likely to take a defensive stance about his drinking or drug use.

Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 15(2), 73–79. —Deals with ethical issues specific to the drug and alcohol field, including therapists in recovery. R. (1995). Ethics training for the alcohol/drug abuse professional. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 12(4), 19–30. —Defines ethical dilemmas and describes common examples in the drug and alcohol field. Edelwich, J. & Brodsky, A. (1984). Sexual dynamics of the client-counselor relationship. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 1(3), 99–117. —Written from a psychodynamic perspective, this paper gives ethical guidelines on how to prevent the sexual exploitation of clients by counsellors and therapists.

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