Bill Is a 42-Year-Old Caucasian A2 Coursework

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Bill must weigh the costs and benefits of different career paths, both within the field of therapy and outside of it. As he has no dependants, going back to school might be one option. Or, he might wish to enter private practice. Working at a lower level and hoping to move up a career ladder at a new facility, is still a possible option, despite Bill's former reservations. The therapist must try to interpret if Bill's initial despair about finding similar work was due to a hidden dislike of the job, or fear of seeking out a new career.

For example, a Stage I dialogue might go as follows:

Bill: I feel so old. I'm a failure, washed up.

Therapist: When didn't you feel too old to be a therapist?

Bill: I guess when I was just starting out.

Therapist: What has changed since then?

Bill: I don't know. This rejection.

Therapist: Do you miss your old job, or are you more hurt by the rejection?

Bill: I don't know. Both. Well, I guess in a way, the rejection. The job was kind of getting to me.

Therapist: What would be your ideal job if you faced no restrictions?

Bill: I'm not sure, I never thought about it before.


Bill: I'd really prefer to go back to private practice, if I was going to be a therapist again. Not having to deal with all of that administrative B.S.

Therapist: What are you doing to change your situation?

Bill: (laughs nervously).
Sending out resumes on

Therapist: Are you hopeful you will get responses?

Bill: It just feels hopeless.

Therapist: Do you think is the best way to find jobs?

Bill: No. I guess I'm not sure what I want to do. Sometimes I think about going back to school. I have fantasized about going to art school, but that isn't a possibility.

Therapist: If you think you are unlikely to get another job through, why are you not seeking out other possibilities? Does the idea of not working as a therapist frighten you or excite you?

Bill: In a way, it is kind of liberating. But I do like helping people.

Therapist: You say you like art, what about art therapy?

Bill: Going back to school to get a degree in art therapy…that doesn't sound so unrealistic.

Questions like these can help Bill envision new possibilities for himself. The therapist usually engages in restating and paraphrasing the client's statements, to enable the client to feel as if he or she is being heard and the therapist understands his or her worldview.


Egan, G. (2010). The skilled helper: A problem-management and opportunity-development approach to helping (9th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole (Cengage).

Nelson, Patrick JM. Easy introduction to Egan. My Strong Family

Retrieved May 18, 2011 at

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