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Matt comes to the attention of the counselor through the employee assistance program at the factory where he works. He was referred because of

Matt comes to the attention of the counselor through the employee assistance program at the factory where he works. He was referred because of absenteeism and what his supervisor considered “mood swings.” Matt says that he is having a lot of stress at the plant. He has worked there for 12 years and believes he is good at his job. He says that his boss, who was transferred there from another location two years ago, is giving him a great deal of trouble. The two have had so many conflicts that Matt thinks his job is in jeopardy. Matt says that every morning the boss gets on his back about something. Matt wants to fight back, but he knows that he has to avoid trouble. Recently, he has been spending each morning seething. By the time the lunch break comes, he wants to explode. What he does instead is go to a neighborhood bar with a group of coworkers who have been going to the same place for years. 

Lately, Matt has found that he is drinking more beer than usual at lunchtime. Twice the supervisor said he smelled beer on Matt’s breath in the afternoon. The second time, Matt was declared unfit for duty and sent to the medical office. Most of the time, Matt feels as stressed in the afternoon as he does in the morning. As he puts it, “I can’t wait to get home, put my feet up, smoke a couple of joints, and drink enough beer so I can go to sleep and start the whole thing again the next morning.” Matt is interested in making some changes, because both his job and his marriage are close to being over. He feels limited in what he can do, however, because of his belief that the supervisor is the problem. Given Matt’s situation, select one of the following behavioral interventions you believe to be useful?

a. Identifying high-risk situations and discovering better coping strategies for dealing with them

b. Relaxation training

c. Contingency contracting

d. Assertiveness training

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