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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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.