You’re working in an outpatient mental health setting. Your client, Sylvia, aged 37 and mother to a 10-year-old daughter, was referred to you by the psychiatrist who has been treating Sylvia for anxiety for approximately six weeks.
Sylvia has been compliant with her medication and presents as stable in terms of anxiety symptoms. She tells you that she is happy with her life in terms of work and friends but is “miserable” with her husband and marriage of 12 years. When discussing her goals, she says “I want out of my marriage”.
Sylvia reports no violence or hostility in the home, but that she has been “overwhelmed” in coming to this decision and now feels relief in finally having “come to grips” with what she wants. She tells you she is worried about a few things – especially the impact on her daughter – but that her decision is final.
She plans to tell her husband of this within days and move out of the family residence (along with her daughter) “within a month” into a rental apartment, for which she has saved enough money.
Do Sylvia’s goals seem realistic in the context of her overall situation? (Answer yes or no, and tell us why or why not)
What direction can you offer Sylvia in terms of clear goal setting for your work together?
What areas of Sylvia’s situation might you recommend she consider setting goals?
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