Thursday, July 23, 2009

Emotions and the Case of 'K'

Human nature really amazed me like yesterday...I had a counselee (K) whose very strong emotion (anger) affected me slightly. I was looking intently at the way she gritted her teeth, threw invectives to every person she knew was 'conniving' to push her 'down'. That was her appraisal of her situation (in psychological parlance, 'paranoia'). But I refused to label her because that was feminist counseling is all about: contextualizing the situation of women and perhaps addressing this through more liberating actions. Her anger is consuming her: she was angry with her family because she was thrown out of the house and in incarcerated because she stabbed their househelp with scissors. She admitted that incident but with no remorse. So, she fend for herself through tutoring and sometimes through theft. Later, through my persistent intervention, the mother gave in and helped K with the payment of rent, washing of clothes and giving of food. But for a week ssince yesterday, the mother refused to wash K's clothes and give food because she refused to be coerced by her into submission (according to the mother, K was very ungrateful and violent towards her).

The worst incident also happened two days before yesterday. K 'manhandled' a young lawyer. According to the latter, when he was aboout to broach to another compadre the case of K, the latter grabbed him by the upper arm and squeezed it to the point it hurt. So, he was sugesting to me that K should be 'committed' to a mental institution because she cannot be good at human relations and posed danger to anybody. He was willing to do the letter of endorsement and talk with the mother of K.

This afternoon I will confer with K's mother and I also would like to inform her that K was holding a big chunk of wood that she hit every now and then to the point that all of my co-workers were very worried what was happening in the counseling room. I was able to lessen K's anger by noting why she had to harm the people who could help her. K ended up pleading to me to talk with the lawyer that the incident was 'merely a gesture of endearment'...

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