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Effective Communication Essay: Challenges With Aboriginals


Task: In your essay, you will assume the role of a counsellor who has received a client referral. Referrals can be accessed on Moodle. You have not yet met this client. Your essay should critically reflect on how communication with the client will take place.
Your essay should address the following:
• How would you develop rapport with the client?
• What communication strategies would you employ to facilitate effective communication, and how would you implement these strategies?
• What do you believe to be some barriers, such as socio-cultural factors, to effective communication with this client? How will you overcome these barriers?
• What ethical considerations are present in this case?
CRICOS Provider No. 00103D Student Guide to Part II.docx Page 2 of 4 • Consider at least 3 other health professionals you may communicate with regarding your client’s healthcare? What ethical considerations are present when communicating with other health professionals? What are some challenges that could arise from this interprofessional communication?
• Research: Essays are expected to be evidence based – claims and ideas should be supported by research. Students are expected to include a minimum of 5 references. References included in the oral presentation and annotated bibliography can be used in the essay.


The concept of effective communication explored in the present effective communication essay is one of the basic skills needed by a mental health counsellor along with various other skills. Especially while dealing with indigenous people there needs to be adopted culturally specific communication practices that enable effectively communicating with them. In the current case study scenario of Benjamin (Benny) Hurley, aged 19 years explored in the effective communication essay, he is been seen to be facing mood and substance abuse. He is seen to have trouble sleeping and feeling down, which has affected his employment as well. He consumes high amounts of alcohol and is lonely. Hence upon his referral to the counsellor, specific communication techniques will need to be explored. Such techniques will present developing rapport with the client along with implementing communication strategies for the facilitation of effective communication. Specific barriers to implementing effective communication for the client will also be evaluated. Lastly, this discussion on effective communication essay will consider other health professionals with whom to communicate regarding the client's healthcare.

In the current client referral illustrated in the effective communication essay, the client is seen to be from an Aboriginal background as his mother is Aboriginal and stays with him. His father does not stay with them; hence it is expected that he will experience cultural influence from his mother significantly. Being from the Aboriginal background, he is expected to have different culturally sensitive acceptance patterns to the counseling program. Hence the first stage to progress with the current client scenario is to build a rapport with him by the implementation of active listening skills. With active listening regarding his part of the story and the challenges he faces, trust from the client can be attained (Durey et al, 2016). This information provided within the effective communication essay can depict that as a counsellor, one understands him and such trust needs to be established first before trying to make any sort of intervention into what the client is saying. The progress regarding counseling intervention needs to be slow and gradual in nature by taking acceptance from the side of the client. This will enable establishing small success criteria with him. He needs to be treated with respect to being cultural sensitiveness. Care needs to be taken to ensure that the client is not hurt in any manner with any negative words regarding his culture, cultural practices, or family, as he is already seen to be facing immense stress from conflicts with his father. Through self-disclosure of the client, trust can be established and client participation in the counselling process can be gained. This will allow establishing a competent counselling session for the client.

The client in this referral case of effective communication essay is seen from a different cultural background, there will need to be adopted communication strategies. The communication strategies that will need to be adopted include active listening, focussing on the client to establish therapeutic relationships, and empathizing with the client. Active listening discussed in the effective communication essay will not only enable developing rapport with the client but will also allow getting the full attention of the client (Bainbridge et al, 2015). When the client will realize that he is important to the counsellor then he will have a more vested interest in attending the counselling sessions and disclosing his troubles he is facing. In order to implement active listening, the counsellor will need to patiently listen to whatever the client has to say in a patient manner without interventions.

In order to implement a therapeutic relationship with the client, the stated condition by the client needs to be related to the mental distress he is experiencing and then devising counselling sessions accordingly. Establishing a therapeutic relationship is not only an effective communication strategy but helps in speeding physical as well as mental recovery. Counselling by poor communicating professionals can add to mental distress and enhance the feeling of isolation of the client (West et al, 2016). The therapeutic relationship for the client can be established by way of devising specific counselling techniques that meet his mental health challenge. For example, he might be asked to overlook the ignorance faced by his father in order to reduce his mental distress.

Lastly, a successful effective communication strategy for the client is to indulge in empathy for the client. He had a disturbed childhood where his parents separated when he was only 12 years of age also; he tried and fought with his father such that he spent more time with his siblings (Al-Busaidi et al, 2018). Moreover, he is seen to be employed from a very young age probably to support his family and his mother. Thus, in this current condition examined in the current effective communication essay, it is possible for him to feel stress and rely on substance or alcohol abuse. His current situation needs to be emphasized with, such that he is able to cope and adapt counselling interventions in an effective manner. 

While implementing communication strategies in an effective manner, there might be certain barriers that are faced while dealing with the client. The client is seen from an aboriginal background and can be significantly socially disadvantaged as he is being brought up by his mother only. Also due to his current stressful situation faced, he has not been able to attend his job or perform duties in an appropriate manner. Therefore, due to his current socio-cultural factors, there might be communication barriers with the client. For instance, the client might not be in a position to accept the point of view extended by the counsellor rather he might depict aggressive behavior to the mental health strategies suggested by the counsellor (Stanford et al, 2019). He might be an advert to the strategies extended as he is not in a socio-cultural status where he can find the suggested points to be acceptable. For example, he might regard that dealing aggressively with his father is the only way to get his attention, which might solve the problem of his siblings. Fathers giving attention to their children is an acceptable standard in the cultural framework which he belongs to and any other counselling strategies might not be suitable for him. Further, he might also feel that intaking large volumes of alcohol can enable him to deal with his mood condition and enable him to deal with his current stress levels.

In order to overcome these socio-cultural barriers from the point of view of the client, firstly there will need to be several counselling techniques that need to be engaged with the client scenario. There needs to be effective and clear communication adopted for the client for the effective functioning of the therapeutic relationship established with the client. There needs to be some client's culture adopted such that the client does not notice any sort of cultural discrepancies when dealing with him. Also, the counsellor needs to be open and accommodative to new ideas and culturally specific practices. 

Ethical considerations that are presented in the case of effective communication essay include the client addiction to the consumption of alcohol and substance abuse from a young age. The presence of mood disorder and inability to work appropriately at his workplace, sleep disorder, and use of the substance are matters of ethical consideration that needs to be evaluated while devising counselling strategies for the client. Another ethical consideration outlined in this section of effective communication essay is that the client is from a different cultural background; hence the difference in cultural practices might arouse ethical challenges while attending to the client.

The three health professionals who can be consulted regarding the healthcare for the client include the GP, mental health practitioner, and mental health nurse. These healthcare professionals might provide valuable insights into ways to manage the health care situation of the client. Ethical consideration presented when communicating with other healthcare professionals is the disclosure of client details which hampers the privacy and confidentiality of the client. Some challenges arising from interprofessional communication is a contradiction of ways in which to deal with the client case. Some healthcare professionals might extend contradicting ways in which to undertake intervention for the client case. Also, there might arise challenges from cultural practices, where healthcare professionals might not be eager to adopt culturally specific strategies for the client.

In the conclusion section of effective communication essay, it can be assumed that there will be several communication challenges that will be faced while interacting with the aboriginal client. In order to overcome these barriers, there will need to be several communication strategies such as active listening, therapeutic communication, and empathy towards the client need to be adopted. While counselling the client there might be several challenges faced also interprofessional teams might be consulted for providing their insights into the current case situation. However, in such a situation as presented in the above context of effective communication essay, there might arise complicacies related to contradictions and ethical challenges hence it needs to be avoided. 

Al-Busaidi, I. S., Huria, T., Pitama, S., & Lacey, C. (2018). M?ori Indigenous Health Framework in action: addressing ethnic disparities in healthcare. The New Zealand Medical Journal (Online), 131(1470), 89-93.

Bainbridge, R., McCalman, J., Clifford, A., & Tsey, K. (2015). Cultural competency in the delivery of health services for Indigenous people.

Durey, A., McEvoy, S., Swift-Otero, V., Taylor, K., Katzenellenbogen, J., & Bessarab, D. (2016). Improving healthcare for Aboriginal Australians through effective engagement between community and health services. Effective communication essay BMC health services research, 16(1), 224. Doi: 10.1186/s12913-016-1497-0.

Stanford, J., Charlton, K., McMahon, A. T., & Winch, S. (2019). Better cardiac care: health professional’s perspectives of the barriers and enablers of health communication and education with patients of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent. BMC health services research, 19(1), 106. Doi: 10.1186/s12913-019-3917-4.

West, R., Gamble, J., Kelly, J., Milne, T., Duffy, E., & Sidebotham, M. (2016). Culturally capable and culturally safe: caseload care for Indigenous women by Indigenous midwifery students. Women and Birth, 29(6), 524-530. Doi: 10.1016/j.wombi.2016.05.003.


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