The following case: Luisa is a 32 year-old mother of two children; one child, a daughter is a teenager and the other, a son, is ten years old. Luisa has worked as an administrative assistant for the past several years. She is recently separated from her husband who is a professional manager. Luisa sees her husband as difficult. He is very rigid in his style of communicating and he often tells her that “she is lazy and stupid”. While he never hits her, he constantly berates her cooking and how she keeps the house. He has been this way for years but Luisa thought this “was the way things were supposed to be” She and her husband separated last month because he started to drink heavily and was coming home drunk. Luisa started to fear for the safety of her children and herself.
Even though Luisa has worked for the same company for several years, she worries all of the time about her job. Now that she is alone she is not sure she will have enough money for the children. She does not really want to get divorced due to her religion and also because she thinks her husband will not provide for the children once he leaves “for good”. Despite her trying to remain positive for her children and large family of parents and brothers and sisters, she has not been able to relax. She has trouble sleeping and is starting to compulsively eat. She finds herself yelling at her children for no reason. Her behavior is starting to be noticed at work which is making her more tense and worried. Just last night she felt like she was having a “heart attack”. Her heart started to beat quickly and she was short of breath.
Luisa’s supervisor suggested she come to the out-patient community clinic where you work. He thought it would help her. When you walk into the room, Luisa says, “my boss gave me time off to come here to get help”. Luisa’s face is pale, her voice very low, and she is wringing her hands as she talks. She does not look at you but rather at the floor.
In 2-3 pages, answer the following questions:
What will you say to her next?
What will be your non-verbal communication?
What will you need to do and say to establish and maintain a therapeutic environment where Luisa will trust and feel comfortable sharing her concerns and feelings?
What will you do to maintain “boundaries”?
What resources do you think will be helpful to her both physically and emotionally?