TPC Journal-Vol 11-Issue-3 - FULL ISSUE

The Professional Counselor | Volume 11, Issue 3 375 Table 1 RCT Applications to Case Example Application Supporting Literature Relevance to Case Example Connection is essential to existence. Duffey & Somody, 2011; Lenz, 2016; Walker & Rosen, 2004 Practitioners can identify the possible connections Chris and Hector have with each other and with their family. In addition, practitioners can also cite the connection they have with the clients Chris and Hector. Practitioners can particularly note the disconnect they have experienced as society has emerged with transitions and multiple overlapping forms of oppression. Growth-fostering relationships result in the Five Good Things: clarity of self and others, creativity, zest, empowerment, and connection. Miller, 1976; Miller & Stiver, 1997; Duffey, 2007; Duffey et al., 2009; Duffey & Somody, 2011; Hammer et al., 2014 Practitioners can work with Chris and Hector to search for strengths and reinvigorate their energy in each other during this transition and stage of their lives. Although Chris and Hector initially struggled with the transition, practitioners can ascertain new types of hobbies and activities they can create together. Such creative activities might elicit more nuanced meaning. Practitioners can also highlight the methods and actions in which Chris and Hector have been resilient in the face of adversity in association with societal and interpersonal discrimination. The central relational paradox centers around the idea that people long deeply for relationships, but fear of what will happen after engaging in the vulnerability needed for connection provokes people to keep aspects of themselves out of connection. Jordan, 2010; Jordan & Carlson, 2013; Miller & Stiver, 1997; Walker & Rosen, 2004 Practitioners can focus on how the transition affected Chris and Hector’s connection to each other. It is possible that the transition altered their interpretation of connection, given that they are now living with Chris’s daughter, Ella. Hector could have also felt a sense of loss with his retirement, which led to new ways of thinking and loss of connection. In fact, his job could have created meaning for him. Additionally, Hector had also faced instances of discrimination, which decreases the possibility of a climate of safety. Central to RCT is the idea that systems of power and privilege, which are pillars in our current society, result in damage to psychological health. Hammer et al., 2014, 2016; Haskins & Appling, 2017; Trepal et al., 2012 Practitioners can discuss with Chris and Hector the implications of discrimination toward their health. Practitioners can highlight factors and social determinants involved in explicit and implicit effects of discrimination on wellness and domains of health (e.g., physical, financial, social). Practitioners can also highlight instances of subordination, where Chris and Hector may have been subjugated to another person’s harmful comments. Exploring relational connection and equity must include an analysis of social context and mechanisms responsible for giving root to oppression. Hammer et al., 2014, 2016; Mereish & Poteat, 2015 Practitioners can accentuate the manner in which Chris and Hector bring their own responses to stigma from affectional, sexual, and racial discrimination on individual and intimate partner levels. Similarly, practitioners can highlight how their own social identities play a role in power differentials with Chris and Hector together as a couple and as individuals. Practitioners can also understand their own responses to oppression and how they might transfer the experience to professional counseling relationships (e.g., internalized oppression). In some cases, practitioners might eschew from broaching cultural factors and discriminatory experiences due to internalized oppression. Practitioners can also use themselves as a model or tool when considering power differentials or uneven tensions of privilege and oppression. Note. Table 1 demonstrates applications of RCT principles supplemented by conceptual and empirical literature. The principles are directly linked to potential avenues in the case example.