This book deals with a number of issues and strategies for counseling people with disabilities. It allows counselors and other related health professionals to learn from the writings of 16 people with disabilities across North America. The book provides information on how other professional disciplines perceive and are trained to view disability. It discusses the medical and psychosocial aspects of caregiving in the country and highlights some of the most difficult decisions individuals and families may have to make in this process. The book is organized into four parts containing sixteen chapters. Part I explores disability from a sociological perspective. The topics covered are: the history of how people with disabilities have been viewed and treated in society; attitude formation, societal attitudes, and myths about disabilities; culturally different issues and attitudes toward disability; and attitudes toward disability by specific special interest and occupational groups. Part II focuses on the psychology of disability surrounding the individual and his or her family. The topics address: theories of adjustment to disability by the individual; family adaptation across cultures toward a loved one who is disabled; sexuality and disability; and the psychosocial world of the injured worker. Part III addresses pertinent topics concerning psychosocial issues of disability. The topics include: disability and quality of life over the life span; implications of social support and caregiving of loved ones with a disability; and thriving versus succumbing to disability: psychosocial factors and positive psychology. Part IV addresses counseling strategies and insights for working with persons with disabilities. The topics discuss: which counseling theories and techniques work best with different disability populations and why; social justice, oppression, and disability; counseling families in the community; ethical responsibilities in working with persons with disabilities and our duty to educate; and basic dos and don’ts in counseling persons with disabilities.
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The authors of this chapter are tasked with reviewing the dos and don’ts of interacting with people with disabilities as human beings. A collection of suggested behaviors, a disability etiquette, has emerged from the collective experience of people with disabilities and is widely available in brochures and on the Internet. Although disability etiquette is an important read for anyone in the field, it is not a sufficient guide for the rehabilitation counselor. The authors are a value-driven profession. They share allegiance to the fundamental mission of full community inclusion for people with disabilities. They act with their clients and on their behalf to help individuals achieve standing in their communities and to advance a more inclusive world for all people with disabilities. Disability etiquette is only the superficial expression of professional values that have much deeper roots and higher aspirations.
Counseling people with disabilities has evolved in its constructs from medical models that focus on pathology within the individual, to functional models that focus on economic viability of the individual, to sociopolitical models that focus on the handicapping dynamics of the external environment. We have evolved science and practice sufficiently to understand that disability is a social construction. The meaning of disability emerges from the interaction between the person and the society; it varies across groups and changes over time. The sociopolitical lens highlights the issue of power, its use, and its abuse; the minority experience under a dominant culture; and the role of culture as a context for empowerment, research, and the development of more effective practice. This chapter considers the changeable nature of disability from this postmodern, multicultural perspective and explores its implications for serving diverse populations in diverse cultural settings.
Rehabilitation counseling (RC) recognized family impact on service outcomes decades ago (Power & Hershenson, 2003; Westin & Reiss, 1979), but failed to develop substantive research (Bryan, 2009), practice, or policy (Kneipp & Bender, 1981) on their behalf. The cursory overview of family counseling approaches presented in this chapter is informative as a gestalt of theories and as a collection of unique tools. From the Community-based Rehabilitation Counseling (CRC) perspective, the therapeutic tools of family counseling can be repurposed for inclusive community development outcomes through community processes in all of the nested and networked communities that populate our lives. Thinking about counseling in systems and inclusive community development provides the backdrop for a CRC consideration of the models and tools of family counseling. The chapter describes models that align with social justice and integrated author’s own thinking in the hypothetical discipline of the CRC.
- Go to chapter: Which Counseling Theories and Techniques Work Best With Different Disability Populations and Why
The identity of rehabilitation counseling is rooted in the constructs of counseling psychology and is expressed through current best practice. This chapter provides a brief description on which counseling theories and techniques work best with different disability populations and why. It traces the emerging threads of rehabilitation counseling through counseling theories and techniques. Next, it focuses on the relevance of theory and an accounting of successful applications of theory to practice. It then moves outward from the roots of counseling, from common factors to schools of thought, to describe how counseling fits into our community-based world. Career counseling is a signature venue for rehabilitation counseling. The chapter describes three of the most popular and useful approaches (Minnesota Theory of Work Adjustment, Holland’s Theory, and Super’s Life Span, Life- Space Theory) to providing a sense of the spectrum of service possibilities.
“Families in community-based rehabilitation counseling” is a work in progress. The rationale is strong for its development. It has resonance with the great trends of the social movement. It appears to reflect the aspirations of policy. It is admittedly an armchair social construct that has emerged from a conversation among experts. The rehabilitation counseling practice reflected in family experience does not amount to a unified family theory. Indeed, the community-based approach was never meant to be the resolution of professional family practice, just the remit for the bridge-building work ahead. This chapter discusses a final reflection on people’s own personal experience and parting thoughts on the major themes of practice and science such as family impact on rehabilitation counseling identity and practice, research issues and ideas, and considerations for research design.
The book stands as a primary text in disability studies on the family and a supporting text in applications with rehabilitation counseling. The emphasis on community opens its value to practitioners, managers, and policy advocates. The first part of the book makes the case from philosophy to praxis for an alternative to current rehabilitation counseling paradigms. Nothing of our current practice is lost, but much is gained in its translation into a social model that places community at the center of a client-centered practice. This approach creates the appropriate space to bring rehabilitation counseling and the family together. Read in synthesis, the first five chapters present the framework for a community-based approach to rehabilitation counseling beyond the family. The second part of the book recounts the family disability experience across disability contexts. Each chapter provides a unique profile that maps the current relationship between rehabilitation counseling and the family experience. These chapters can be read alone as the state of practice and a guide to current rehabilitation counseling interventions. The final part of the book considers a sampling of the professional implications and considerations of moving forward with a community-based model. It explores cultural perspectives on disability and their relationships to family from the vantage point of four established collective identities: Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Native Americans.
Family members have been recognized for their influence on rehabilitation process and outcomes. The specialized knowledge of family counseling has become part of the qualified rehabilitation counselor identity. This chapter discusses the emergence of the family ethos in rehabilitation counseling from values, to theory, to its model implications. The special identity of rehabilitation counseling is negotiated in the lived community experience of disability. Rehabilitation counseling’s science and practice is predicated on the values of human rights. The social construction of rehabilitation counseling requires a social psychology that embraces liberation. Rehabilitation counseling for families is cast as community counseling, with family as first community. The chapter explores the discipline’s identity in this new context through the applied values of the fundamental mission. It argues that rehabilitation counseling in the family has three distinct transactional expressions in identity, power, and capital.
Identity gives people a sense of constancy and centeredness across the sometimes-turbulent change that comes with living. This chapter presents the developmental concept of identity through its manifestations at different levels of community, revealing a complex and systemic context for rehabilitation counseling. Each level of identity such as personal, social, and collective, denotes a potential point of counseling exchange with the family. The chapter describes how the experience of disability challenges the family system and how that experience is inculcated at each level of identity for each participating member. It is important for a family-inclusive profession to contemplate the meaning of rehabilitation counseling in the context of family identity. The working alliance between the counselor and the family eschews the clinical for an intentional community of purpose that emerges from a joint common cause: full community inclusion for the person with a disability, and support for the participating family.
The disability rights movement is the quintessential case study for empowerment and a window into rehabilitation counseling’s challenges in conceptualizing family practice. The political discourse between social power and disability exemplified in the disability rights movement is the space within which empowerment resides. Rehabilitation counseling must enter this politicized space to fully understand what empowerment means. The consumer-directed theory of empowerment (CDTE) provides an essential point of departure for clarifying empowerment in the context of families and community-based rehabilitation counseling. Psychological empowerment has affective, cognitive, behavioral, and relational dimensions that constitute people’s sense of empowerment. Empowerment in community development ranges from issues of self-advocacy and civic engagement in the most proximal of environments to mobilizing citizenry in community change at municipal, state, and global levels. The empowered client remains at the center of all service and maximally in control of planning, implementation, coordination, and evaluation.