Women with disabilities constitute one of the largest and most disadvantaged populations in the United States. This chapter helps rehabilitation counselors understand the myriad factors that affect the psychological and social health of women with disabilities. After giving some background on the historical roots of the rehabilitation response to women and a description of the demographic and health characteristics of this population, the chapter presents a heuristic, holistic model for understanding the reality of our lives and strategies for helping us achieve optimal health. It first discusses the pivotal construct of self-esteem, followed by social connectedness, its polar opposite abuse and the consequences of disparities stress and depression. The chapter ends with recommendations on strategies that the rehabilitation researchers and practitioners can use to include gender in their examination of individual and program outcomes, and thereby advance the field.
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Substance abuse treatment programs and clinical counseling approaches are designed to treat a variety of substance use disorders (SUDs). Treatment approaches may include a combination of medical (e.g., pharmacotherapy) and psychosocial approaches. Counselors apply a variety of evidence-based treatments, counseling theories, and approaches to substance abuse problems. With continued care, successive treatments, and continual monitorng, individuals with SUDs can increase the interval between abusive episodes until the individual achieves either full abstinence or more responsible substance use, as well as a more stable life-fulfilling recovery. Successful long-term recovery requires the adoption of a healthy lifestyle and continued mindfulness that SUDs can rear their ugly heads if one becomes distressed or negligent in maintaining life-enhancing attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. With patience, persistence, tolerance, empathy, and compassion, counselors can help individuals and their families successfully recover from this devastating and potentially life-threatening disorder.