So, just what are we dealing with here?

So, just what are we dealing with here?.




Steven Spain

Cell – 203-923-4416

Bridgeport, CT 06610

Experience (Training)

Intentional Interviewing – Diagnostic and Differential Assessment

Group Counseling – Treatment Planning

Educational Background

• Masters in Counseling anticipated in May 2014, University of Bridgeport; Bpt. Ct.06604

• Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology, University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, Ct.

May 5, 2012.

• Associate of Arts degree in Accounting, Housatonic Community College, 2003, Bridgeport, Ct.

Professional Experience

• Tax Accountant

• Prepared Individual income tax forms for H&R Block.
• Used tax accounting software to prepare and calculate income taxes.

• Administrative Clerk Housatonic Community College – Registrar Office 2001-3.

• Assisted new students with registration
• Directed phone calls to appropriate office
• Filed student records and processed student registration forms

• Ryasap AmeriCorps INC.


• Finance Consultant Assistant
• Assisted first time home buyers through the process, 2005

• Bridgeport Health Dept. (Lead Program)

• Lead Inspector- checked for lead in paint, water, soil etc.

• Inspected homes for lead contamination, 2007

Shiloh Baptist Church- Deacon- 1999-2009- Diaconate Ministry

• Assisted the church Pastor in all aspects of church operations.
• Taught bible studies
• Prepared lessons for adult and senior adult studies.
• Facilitated deaconate monthly meetings.
• Lead(er) Sunday worship services.
• Facilitated oversight/ management of church maintenance needs and
• Performed some office administrative duties.


South End NRZ 2008, former committee member until I relocated to a new community.

• Community organizer
• American Psychological Association student member (present)

RATIONAL EMOTIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY :my theory of choice by Steve Spain

Group Counseling Journal Article

Steven Spain

University of Bridgeport

Group experience was “freeing,” “empowering,” and “introspective.”  I found myself revealing personal issues with total strangers, something that I had not done in years with my own family.  During this summer semester I spoke of my sessions in counseling with the university therapist.  My academic advisor recommended this because I had received two “D’s” in the previous fall semester.  The event caused alarm for my advisor.  Failing the classes was a reaction to news that my mom was diagnosed with cancer, which caused me to psychologically spin out of control.  It was also a catalyst for me to end up receiving a notice of separation from the university for letting my GPA fall under 3.0 (2.97).

These events are what preempted my participation in-group during the summer semester.  I indulged myself totally in hopes of revealing any hidden psychological flaws or pathology’s.  The school therapist’s assessment was satisfactory; she did not feel that I had cause for concern.  I had drifted from my routine and was up nights worrying, which negatively affected my study routine.   

So what does this mean regarding my personal theory of choice and how I feel about it and why I choose Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy to use as foundational theory?  I believe that the ABC’s of Albert Ellis’ approach allow me to explain my role in group as a leader in therapy and also allows for explanations to the members of group which will help them see their thought processes and irrational ideas if any.  For example, in our sessions we were allowed to speak about anything, and if an interruption was necessary it was to interject by using interview techniques, such as reflections, or paraphrasing, clarifying, summarizing, questioning, interpreting and confronting etc.    The interview techniques do work to help the client reveal more details of their presenting problem(s).  For me the process was as I said freeing, and empowering and introspective.

It has been my experience that reflection after the event is helped by careful observation during the event. In turn, that is helped by good planning, and “in particular the surfacing of assumptions,[1] before the event.  The purpose is to become aware of the assumptions guiding the actions, and identify if the outcomes support or disconfirm the assumptions.”

Journal Article

The instructions for this paper asked that we find an article that demonstrates the application of the counseling theory of my choice, which is REBT.  I was not able to find such an article. I did find an article, which is investigative in nature but deals with clients of group therapy who are Christian oriented, which is another choice of mine to use in group therapy.

This article is investigating Christians who seek out secular therapists and why.  The information in this article is important for me because it sheds light on what factors are in-play regarding what potential clients do before the sessions begin, and even before they choose a therapist.  Potential clients are concerned with therapist’s personal perspectives regarding faith and religion.  Highly committed religious clients do fare better with therapists who share a similar perspective with their faith.

The outstanding factor for me is to use REBT and or Christian counseling I need to have examined myself thoroughly to be able to convey my faith in a positive and convincing manner to potential clients.  The article states that clients who chose secular therapists, because the secular therapist when counseling a less committed client could make them feel “misunderstood, unappreciated, or ridiculed;  this research was done to ‘gain information about what Christians find most helpful and unhelpful about psychotherapy’.”[2]

In what ways does my personality, values, and beliefs fit REBT?  

My personality is basically mild mannered, polite, roundabout versus straight forward, and considerate of others feelings.  I am also a Christian.  My values involve healing, repentance, forgiveness, determination, persistence, and faith in God through Jesus Christ.  My beliefs involve sharing my faith, but in a proper context i.e. when asked or for example in an intake form to find out a clients religious beliefs.

I believe that REBT is good fit for me because it provides opportunity to teach.  My experience has been acquired through teaching environments; bible studies, class rooms, congregations etc.  This environment is excellent for providing direction to group members, for example, teaching the A-B-C’S of REBT, active disputation during group, teaching self coping strategies, psycho educational strategies, and rational emotive imagery.  In schools, teaching and encouraging positive behaviors using positive reinforcement techniques are also options.

What do I think are the salient features of the situation that I face?

REBT provides opportunities to find answers to “exception questions,” the information that led up to the call to the first session.  Exception questions ask about what the client did before the problem occurred, and what, or who was involved. This information is important for setting small goals along the way to reach agreed upon objectives that progressively lead to the longer term goals (six to twelve sessions) culminating in termination of the sessions.



Even in Christian counseling goals are set up to guide the congregant towards a goal to overcome their “test, or trials, or their sin.”  REBT uses goals and expects outcomes from its methods, this works for me.  Homework is essential for confronting irrational thoughts or events when they happen, in this way an individual has a resource at hand to guide them to a solution or an activity to ward off “self sabotaging thoughts, for example.”

Just as valuable to me are the ABC’S.  This system helps to clarify events that the client thinks is a cause of their distress.  They provide a review of the circumstances, then the client can examine the “emotional consequences” of their point of view of the event.  After which an opportunity to dispute their faulty perspective is provided through challenging.  Furthermore, the effects of the disputes are available, as well as the “overgeneralizations” of how we rate ourselves at critical points in our lives.

REBT has a proven track record with phobias, anxiety, depression, losing weight, anger issues, in schools: perfectionism in adolescents’, and acting out, for victims of abuse, and for feelings of guilt and shame.  However, some expertise and intuitiveness is necessary, and consequently, a Christian perspective stresses that any and all counseling work must be guided by the Holy Spirit why, because this style of therapy is confrontative, which is also attractive for me because the Holy Bible teaches that believers’ are to confront our sin but gently guide the believer (sinner) through their situation.

As I close this article I am thinking of what I received from group.  I was amazed at how I felt, as if a weight was lifted from me.  That experience allowed me to feel successful, or that “now” I can become successful, and if I can then I can help someone else to be successful also.

Afterwards I began to internally examine myself to try and see what worked and why, I think that just “getting stuff off of my chest” is what happened and that factor is what happens in prayer and confession also.  Introspection will also help me in the future.  I will have insight into what to expect from my clients as I am confronting them or helping them to reach their goals.  I remember thinking in the beginning of the semester that this method would not work for me because I am too private to reveal personal things to strangers, I was mistaken.

One reason for my mis-thinking is letting my grades drop below the requirement.  The other reason is how I participated in therapy wholeheartedly to find my “issues;”  I knew that I had to continue on that path, to see what group therapy can offer me as a client.

Finally, for all of the reason spoken of previously, Group process particularly REBT, and Christian counseling are my chosen theory and methods for leading group therapy on my own.