Developmental considerations provide great implications for counselors. Development follows a path that is continuously impacted by systemic, relational, and multicultural influences. These influences impact how children make sense out of and act in response to critical life circumstances. Incorporating a developmental perspective when counseling children and adolescents and aiding them in successfully mastering tasks at various developmental milestones continues to be a core and essential component of counseling. Children’s level of development effects how they respond to creative and time-efficient counseling strategies, interventions, and modalities. This chapter identifies the relationship between social, emotional, and mental health maturation with child and adolescent development. It demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of how developmental theory frameworks inform crafting and integrating client-centered counseling interventions, strategies, and best practice methods. The chapter develops an awareness of counseling implications when working with children with diverse developmental histories.
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- Go to chapter: Developmental Theorists and Other Considerations Used When Counseling Children and Adolescents
Trauma work with children and adolescents remains challenging on all levels and becomes increasingly complex when violence permeates various domains of life. Counselors must also consider the reciprocal relationships between trauma and neurological, psychological, social, cultural, and systemic factors that alleviate or exacerbate the experience of trauma. Early identification, assessment, and intervention remain critical components of trauma recovery. The inclusion of trauma-informed interventions such as emotional awareness and regulation, as well as mindfulness skills can help children and adolescents diminish symptoms that overwhelm internal coping mechanisms. This chapter helps readers to distinguish the complexity and range of trauma experienced by children, identify the neurobiological, social, psychological, and academic impact of trauma causing events on children, and recognize various trauma-informed and creative interventions when working with children and adolescent clients, as well as important considerations for school counselors.
- Go to chapter: Addressing the Needs of Children and Adolescents With Disabilities and Those Classified as Gifted
For professional school counselors and clinical mental health counselors to serve students with disabilities and adequately advocate within the comprehensive school and community contexts, they must first understand the legislation that exists. Congress set these legislations in place to protect the rights of students with disabilities and assure them access, inclusion, and a free and appropriate public education. This chapter helps to identify the disability categories under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the common characteristics of giftedness. It recognizes legislative mandates that apply to education of children and adolescents with disabilities and giftedness in grades Pre-K through 12. The chapter describes postsecondary transition issues for adolescents with disabilities entering postsecondary institutions. It expresses the connection between identity and disability. The chapter explains the role of the professional school counselor and clinical mental health counselors when working with students with disabilities and those classified as gifted.
Children and adolescents spend a significant portion of their lives on school campuses. School professionals no longer perceive crisis experiences in schools and communities as rare occurrences. In today’s world, schools and communities readily grasp the necessity for establishing crisis response protocols because the likelihood of critical incidents occurring on school campuses and in school communities appears to be inevitable. Crises come in many forms and magnitudes (small- and large-scale). Catastrophic environmental occurrences all presented as commonplace examples of critical incidents that may evolve into crisis experiences for children and adolescents. This chapter helps readers to identify the elements for establishing crisis management, crisis responses, and crisis protocols, demonstrate an understanding of the impact that critical incidents present to schools, children and adolescents, faculty and staff, parents, and the wider community, and establish an awareness of what needs to occur before, during, and after a crisis.
Counselors serve an important role in the lives of youth. They provide safe spaces for children to express their emotions, fears, thoughts, and worries. Supporting children and adolescents of special populations and marginalized statuses requires that counselors (a) recognize how personal bias may impact the counseling process; (b) utilize culturally competent, theory-based techniques in counseling; (c) understand how socioeconomic status, poverty, race, gender, and sexual orientation impact children and adolescents; and (d) utilize practical, strength-based approaches to counseling. Counselors remain committed to the work of building strength-based, culturally competent, and inclusive practices. The counselor’s efforts to provide culturally responsive strategies and interventions will greatly influence the success of counseling diverse populations of children and adolescents. With this in mind, clinicians must remain critically reflective of their worldviews and biases and commit to the life-long process of cultural competence.