Helping Relations of Willard Carroll Smith


The selected celebrity for this analysis is the award-winning African American celebrity by the name of Willard Carroll Smith. This individual has been trending on Twitter, mass media, and other social media outlets following his move to slap Chris Rock during a ceremony organized by the Oscars Academy. The celebrity is aged 55 years and attended Our Lady of Lourdes School in Philadelphia. He completed his high school at Overbrook High School. He began his career as a musician at the young age of 12. He currently works as a producer, actor, and musician. He has three children, namely Jaden, Willow, and Trey Smith. In terms of personal history, His parents parted ways when Smith was only 13 years of age. Additionally, Smith has been in troubled marriages, including his present one. Together with her wife, Jada Pinkett, Smith has promoted unconventional practices that are dangerous for any serious relationship, including extramarital affairs. He has also been living with a mental health problem. Despite being a successful actor, his past remains relevant to the incident of March 27 this year.

Multicultural Considerations

The RESPECTFUL model remains practical and capable of recognizing a client from a multidimensional perspective. For Will Smith, his religious background (R) has helped him pursue his spiritual aims while focusing on his career goals. This background has influenced his psychological and emotional health. In terms of economic background (E), Smith grew up as a child of a veteran belonging to the African American community. Smith’s sexual identity (S) as a man presents him as a person who has a sense of worth and focuses on the best approaches to achieve his masculinity goals. The psychological maturity (P) attribute reveals that he is at times unable to respond to a situation effectively due to his past life challenges and mental health. The ethnic aspect (E) identifies him as someone who at times faces discrimination since he belongs to a marginalized American population. The chronological development (C) aspect reveals mental and psychosocial issues that have affected Smith’s ability to respond to various issues in his life. The Trauma (T) aspect reveals that his wife’s health condition has led to considerable stress in the life of this celebrity. The family history and dynamics (F) attribute indicates that Smith has encountered some prejudices despite being involved and willing to achieve considerable personable success. The Unique physical aspects (U) indicate that the fact that he is black could be a source of stereotypes in his life. Finally, the location and language attribute (L) exposes the issues African Americans encounter in American society. The RESPECTFUL model would, therefore, be the best multicultural counseling option that will allow me to understand smith’s worldview, recognize his cultural bias and values, and focus on his past ideas and experiences.

Presenting Problem

Following his latest incident involving Chris Rock, Will Smith has become troubled and depressed. He indicates that he has decided to resign from the Oscar Academy. He has presently decided to visit a psychotherapist because he needs help to overcome his current psychological problem. Although the problem has existed for the last week, he has a history of mental problems. Currently, his symptoms are not pronounced or noticeable. However, the last week has been associated with withdrawal, loss of appetite, lack of sleep, and reduction in his esteem.

Resources and Strengths

The selected client has a successful career and strong financial capabilities, something that can empower him to seek the best medical support. His family members are involved and capable of providing timely care. He has a cycle of friends who are inspirational and capable of helping him overcome the challenges of stress and depression, such as Tommy Lee Jones, Alfonso Ribiero, and Tom Cruise. He has several Christian colleagues who are capable of providing spiritual support. The community has several hospitals and local centers developed to meet the needs of people with mental illnesses and problems.

Role as a Counselor

Smith is a stable client who can benefit from an effective counseling strategy. The first approach to building rapport and enhancing a strong alliance is to remain engaged with him in a natural way. This aim is achieved by listening attentively and remembering what he says. The second approach would be to remain empathic throughout the period. This strategy is essential since the level of trust will increase, thereby ensuring that a comfortable working relationship emerges (Neyland-Brown et al., 2019). As the counselor, my role would encompass helping Smith understand his current problem arising from the move to slap Chris Rock. I will offer insights for improving communication and coping abilities. I would also offer guides for positive behavioral change and strengthening his self-esteem (Neyland-Brown et al., 2019). Some of the key counselor characteristics to display throughout the period would include understanding, empathy, efficient communication, and a flexible attitude. Some of the cultural aspects capable of influencing the counseling process include Smith’s cultural norms and gender roles.

Based on my strengths, I would be willing to consult other professionals to offer timely support. Specifically, I will liaise with other professionals on the best approaches to engage my client more effectively (Williams & O’Connor, 2019). My current self-care plan entails the use of a reflective entry journal and supervision. I will allow the client to remain focused, create time for relaxation, and collaborate with family members and friends (Neyland-Brown et al., 2019). I would manage my ongoing self-care by remaining focused and keeping a journal entry for the relevant activities.

Therapeutic Dialogue

Non-Verbal Prompt

After asking the client about the incident, I would point out to him that it was wrong and allow him to share some information about the possible cause. When encouraging the individual to accept that we are facing a psychological issue, I could nod my head vigorously as a way of showing that I am agreeable or saying “Yes”. This nonverbal prompt is essential to reinforce what Smith would be saying during the session.

Empathic Response

Based on Smith’s past mental illness and the subsequent incident, I strongly believe that this statement would amount to an empathic response: You feel that it is wrong for anyone to joke with your wife’s medical condition.

Probing Prompt

After examining the issues surrounding the slapping incident, I would be willing to use this probing prompt to Smith: Have you ever done anything like this before in your life?

Open-Ended Question

This open-ended question would be appropriate to ask my client: What do you believe is the biggest problem you might be facing currently?


The client has indicated that his action to slap Chris Rock was wrong. He was driven by emotions and pain after remembering what his family had gone through after his wife was diagnosed with alopecia. He was forgiving and willing to get rid of the subsequent depression and be in a position to continue pursuing his goals.

Treatment Planning

Telling Story

During the counseling session, I would help Smith tell his story. I will listen to him attentively, remain engaged, and provide much-needed comfort. By allowing him to feel heard, he will have increased chances of being less stressed and understood. His story would revolve around the slapping incident and how the disease his wife was suffering from was not something for Chris Rock to deal with. The real story was how over the years the family had witnessed several challenges that could result in depression (Evans & Nelson, 2021). The right story would be the narration of the incident as presented to the counselor and the issues surrounding me and how they define the client.

Stage of Change

After reviewing the stages of change and considering Smith’s current situation, it is agreeable that he is in the preparation phase. This means that he is keen to experiment and start including some changes to deal with stress. Some trouble spots are possible while working with this individual. For instance, he might be uncooperative and remain in denial that he is having a mental problem. As a counselor, I would identify some of these issues and engage the client to be part of the process (Evans & Nelson, 2021). I will offer timely support and encourage Smith to focus on the wider picture. I will inform him about the other subsequent stages capable of delivering complete healing. The inclusion of more sessions and encouragement of family members to be part of the process could help the client address the identified issues.

Designing and Setting Goals

To help the client design and set goals, I would apply the SMART model and encourage him to be part of the process. I will help him identify the present situation and consider how positive outcomes could be realized. I will then encourage members of his family and friends to be supportive and help deliver the outlined results. The first SMART goal is for Smith to learn how to successfully cope with emerging negative feelings without the use of drugs within 2 months (Evans & Nelson, 2021). The second one is for Smith to learn new approaches for reacting to stressful situations within 2 months.

Feedback Loop

I will establish a feedback loop by prescribing the most appropriate behavioral change that will make it possible for Smith to address emotions and maintain positive attitudes when responding to stressful situations. This approach will help prevent similar incidents in the future (Evans & Nelson, 2021). To ensure that the client designs the way forward, I will offer guidelines for remaining engaged, solving emerging issues, and maintaining the highest level of self-esteem.

Community Resources

Community resources are usually essential and capable of helping individuals suffering from suicide. The first appropriate one is the NAMI peer-to-peer education. The second one is the presence of focus groups targeting persons experiencing stressful conditions. The third resource is the presence of medical facilities capable of providing psychosocial support (Evans & Nelson, 2021). As a counselor, I will refer Smith to these national-level resources:, American Psychiatric Association, and the American Psychological Association.

Ethical Considerations

Throughout the counseling session, I will apply the relevant ethical considerations and principles. To achieve positive results, I will apply the concept of informed consent to ensure that Smith is willing to be part of the process. The practice will be characterized by the highest level of confidentiality to support the counseling process (Firmin et al., 2019). The concept of transference would be applied to ensure that the client shares his views and emotions with members of the family.


Evans, A. L., & Nelson, J. K. (2021). The value of adapting counseling to client’s spirituality and religion: evidence-based relationship factors. Religions, 12(11), 951-959. Web.

Firmin, M. W., DeWitt, K., Zurlinden, T. E., Smith, L. A., & Shell, A. I. (2019). Differences in competency and qualification requirements between APA and ACA code of ethics. Journal of Integrated Social Sciences, 9(1), 39-56. Web.

Neyland-Brown, L., Francis, J. D., & Burns, G. (2019). Role responsibilities, time commitments, and counseling activities of Ohio licensed school counselors. Journal of Counselor Practice, 10(1), 1-18. Web.

Williams, I. L., & O’Connor, P. (2019). Power in the counseling relationship: The role of ignorance. Journal of Human Services: Training, Research, and Practice, 4(2), 1-37. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. (2023) 'Helping Relations of Willard Carroll Smith'. 11 September.


PsychologyWriting. 2023. "Helping Relations of Willard Carroll Smith." September 11, 2023.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Helping Relations of Willard Carroll Smith." September 11, 2023.


PsychologyWriting. "Helping Relations of Willard Carroll Smith." September 11, 2023.