Write a reflective account detailing an example of how you have, or could have, used a person centred approach in a sensitive or complex situation.
The account must contain a description of how person centred values were or could be put into practice in the situation.
I was supporting a young adult with a learning disability in his home. His girlfriend was visiting and they were watching a movie in his lounge and had been asked to be left alone together, so I respected their wishes and went to bring the laundry in from outside. The client’s lounge is joined to the conservatory via a pair of french doors and many windows and when I came back inside, I saw that he and his girlfriend were both topless and kissing in his lounge.
This was a sensitive situation because although I respected my client and his girlfriend had the right to intimacy, there was a problem with privacy because the conservatory was a thoroughfare for both staff and my client’s housemate as well as his housemate’s friends. The windows also meant that they could potentially be viewed by neighbours. This could lead to future embarrassment, complaints by neighbours or even a complaint to the police, which would all heighten the anxiety of both individuals. It was also the first time that they had displayed sexual intimacy towards each other so it came as a surprise.
I went around to the other door (that didn’t have windows), knocked and apologised for disturbing them but explained that I needed to come in and talk to them before they went any further and to put their tops back on. When they were dressed I entered the room and explained my concerns. My client was upset at first because he thought he’d done something wrong but I told him that it was not my place to stop consenting adults from being intimate (and then I checked that they were both consensual) but it was my job to ensure that they were protected from the potential implications of them having sex where others could see them. I then suggested that they go up to his bedroom and reminded them that he had condoms in his bedside drawer and that he should use one. They went upstairs to continue in private.
In this situation, I took into account my client’s right to privacy, despite me having to disturb him to ensure he had privacy from others. I respected my client and his girlfriend’s right to choose to have sexual intercourse (knowing that they both had capacity to make the decision) and tried to behave with dignity and respect in a sensitive situation.