Social Issues Essay

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Counselling in Context – Case Study for Assessment - Spring Term 2012 Damian is a British born black man in his late twenties whose family came to England from Africa in the 1970s. He has two brothers, both younger than him, and grew up on a deprived estate in Manchester. His father left when he was six and his mother, who was left to bring up their children alone, turned to drugs and alcohol as a means of coping with her sense of isolation and hopelessness. Damian and his brothers were often left alone in the flat and had to fend for themselves from a very early age. In fact, Damian, being the eldest, took on the role of surrogate parent, caring for his siblings and trying to support his mother who was often drunk or high on heroin. Unlike his brothers, who were involved in petty crime while still at school, Damian managed to focus on studying sufficiently to gain five GCSEs at grades A to C. His dream as a boy was to join the Fire Service, and he succeeded in doing so as soon as he could after leaving school. For a short time he loved the job, but he soon encountered racist attitudes amongst his colleagues, some of whom were overtly racist. However, much of the racism was more covert and difficult to pin down. Damian felt that his prospects of promotion were being affected by his manager’s racial prejudice. Damian had known he was gay from being about twelve, but had never been open about this with his family. The culture of the fire station where Damian worked was distinctly ‘macho’ and Damian did not feel able to ‘come out’ with his colleagues. After a few months Damian started to become aware of feeling low and lacking in energy. He also experienced intense anxiety at times, which often focused around a fear of being found out to be gay by his colleagues and subsequently ridiculed and rejected. He also had a strong sense of being an outsider at

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