ASFfall2016

THINKING DRIVES BEHAVIOR In the clinical setting, Anderson's preferred therapeutic approach is to “really go in-depth with the client to gure out where their symptoms might be coming from, and help them develop eective coping mechanisms.” Toward that end, one tool she uses is cognitive behavior therapy, helping clients learn to employ positive thinking and positive self-talk, and to think before acting. “inking is what drives behavior.” ere are often mental health issues underlying addiction to drugs or alcohol, Anderson notes. Symptoms of those disorders sometimes become evident once the drugs are removed, Anderson says. Typically, “when someone is under the inuence of a drug, they're not worried about whatever else might be happening in their life. But when they get clean, they have to begin to deal with life on life's terms, which can lead to stress, depression and/or anxiety.en, they may feel overwhelmed and seek assistance.” As a mental health provider, Anderson appreciates ASF's role in “providing necessary services for people who need them. It's signicant that their location is in a high-crime, high-drug area” where the agency's services can have a major, positive impact.

As an African-American, Anderson cites the importance of making culturally-sensitive addiction treatment available to minority clients. Cultural factors can play a role in the development of addiction, related behaviors and the counselor's ability to provide the most eective treatment to the individual. Cultural dierences can sometimes impede the development of trust between client and therapist. “In some cultures, there is the idea that 'What happens in our family stays in our family.' In counseling, clients need to be able to open up and talk about how those family secrets have aected them.” Merely relying on diagnostic criteria is not enough to ensure a correct diagnosis, Anderson points out.e process of making a correct mental health diagnosis can be complicated by external factors, such as a client's environment. For example, a child whose behavior in school might be interpreted by a teacher as Attention Decit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) might be due to conditions in the home. “A child who is living with grandparents and 10 other grandchildren might not be getting what they need at home, and is ghting for attention. So, it's important to understand the role of the family in certain areas.”

“CLIENTS NEED TO BE ABLE TO OPEN UP AND TALK ABOUT HOW THOSE FAMILY SECRETS HAVE AFFECTED THEM.”

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