This chapter explores a range of topics related to obesity, including its prevalence, medical aspects, and associated complications. Other relevant areas include the psychosocial factors pertaining to societal attitudes and individual mental health issues, vocational implications concerning work/wage discrimination, Social Security regulations, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protections. The chapter also discusses the implications for rehabilitation counselors regarding vocational and mental health counseling. The implications of working with persons who are obese or overweight may be broken down into mental health counseling and/or vocational counseling. Obesity and related medical complications have soared to the forefront of medical conditions that lead to premature death, discrimination in employment, compromised quality of life, and negative psychosocial implications. Counselors who are aware of the medical, psychosocial, and vocational implications of obesity can assist clients in a variety of ways, keeping Olkin’s (1999) recommendations in mind regarding disability-affirmative therapy.
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In this chapter, the book’s editors, Marini and Stebnicki presents a compelling and provocative reflection on the counseling profession. They summarize salient aspects of dealing with culture and disability that reflect how services are provided in an evidence-based practice environment. Each editor offers opinions and considerations for counseling professionals in the 21st century. Together, they hypothesize an inconvenient and potentially frightening future for Americans, particularly those of lower socioeconomic status, many of whom are minorities with disabilities. The chapter explores the ramifications of social class and classism, whereby social injustice perpetuates and exacerbates classism. In particular, Marini and Stebnicki call on counselors and related helping professionals to take a more active role in advocating beyond their traditional narrowly focused job duties of working almost exclusively with the client to adapt and survive in an able-bodied world.
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.
There is power in revisiting the underlying foundational principles of our past and looking at how they can inform our present and future functioning. This chapter looks back at the historic foundational principles of rehabilitation psychology (RP) and shows the links to current research on the psychology of well-being and explores implications for providing meaningful interventions that could improve the lives of persons with disability and chronic illness. It reviews how positive psychology (PP) approaches have been used for people with disabilities (PWD), presents an overview of the development and structure of well-being therapy (WBT), including a literature review, and then demonstrates how it could be applied to people with spinal cord injury (SCI). The chapter concludes with a discussion of the broader implications for utilizing these approaches more widely in RP as well as a cautionary note.
The skills of working with the psychosocial aspects of grief, death, dying, and loss are essential, particularly in working with persons who have acquired chronic illness and disability. This chapter helps elucidate important psychosocial issues in death and dying as it relates to how individuals experience and express grief within the context of the person’s physical, psychological, cognitive, emotional, social, cultural, and spiritual well-being. Recognition in the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM- 5) of the Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder diagnostic category provides legitimacy for the individual’s sense of loss and mourning based on multiple events related to death and dying. It is essential that counselors address such psychosocial concerns clients because of the added therapeutic value and ethical obligation to guide the individual and his or her family in important decisions regarding death and dying.