This book incorporates an inclusive representation of women and girls across ages and cultures by examining the intersection of their identities and integrating experiences of women and girls around the world. The overarching themes of the book include an examination of the contextual elements that affect the female experience and a focus on prevention and intervention strategies to support the empowerment of women and girls throughout their life spans. The first section of the book provides a foundation for the book and offers a context for understanding gender socialization and the female experience. This section includes chapters introducing empowerment feminist therapy, gender socialization, intersectionality, and relational-cultural theory. The second section offers detailed information on developmental issues and counseling interventions for women and girls throughout their life spans. Chapters focusing on gender identity development, childhood, adolescence and young adulthood, and middle and older adulthood are included in this section. The third section provides an in-depth look at specific issues affecting women and girls and includes relevant background information and practical application for counselors. In this concluding section, readers will learn about violence against women and girls, educational and work environments, females and their bodies, and engaging men as allies. Each chapter includes helpful resources to further educate yourself and others, as well as practical suggestions for advocacy efforts that can help create social change. Prevention and empowerment are key themes and foci of the book, and counseling implications and interventions are offered for each area of concentration.
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Childhood bereavement support is provided by a variety of professionals including chaplains, social workers, mental health counselors, psychologists, child life specialists, nurses, school counselors, thanatologists, and educators. This chapter discusses the issue of professional accountability and ethical considerations when working with bereaved children and their families in order to offer a framework for standards for this important type of support. It is not enough to solely provide orientation training to volunteers, it is also important to offer continued training for both new and existing volunteers. Organizations that provide support to bereaved children should establish written, agreed upon standards of practice to which program staff and volunteers are held accountable. The parent or legal guardian of children attending individual support, peer support groups, or grief camps should be provided a clear description of services being provided. Services provided should fit within the mission, vision, and values of the organization.
Everyone has needs and struggles. Awareness is a key step in assuring that the counselor’s needs and struggles do not negatively impact the children and adolescents with whom they work. A counselor should begin by knowing and acknowledging his or her own personal issues, strengths, and vulnerabilities and how these issues might be presenting in their work as a professional counselor. Self-awareness, support, supervision, boundaries, and self-care are the foundations of a sustainable counseling practice. It is not a sign of strength or quality of character to be able to individually suffer through or manage the stressors inherent in counseling work. In fact, independent or isolated management of stress is a liability. The counselors, who experience both effectiveness and well-being, acknowledge stress and the compassion fatigue that is inherent to this work. They show willingness to look at themselves and get the help they need.
This chapter presents the elements of counseling that can influence self-awareness and growth among children and adolescents. It builds on the basics and offers guidance to enhance counseling effectiveness. Children and adolescents thrive within the context of responsive relationships and these relationships are central to emotional growth. A good counselor balances the child or adolescent’s need for support and the necessity of independence in self-reflection. The fields of motivational interviewing (MI), self-determination theory, and counseling with children and adolescents are filled with specific techniques to encourage growth and change. Accordingly, the chapter highlights key elements of counselor action. Of equal importance, there will be instances in which being present, in absence of action, will create space for the child or adolescent to experience and consequently increase awareness of his or her own self—a critical foundation for growth and change.
Most everyone agrees that resolving sexual issues has the potential to be time-consuming and complicated. Many sexual difficulties can be resolved with sexuality counseling. Sexuality counseling is a relatively new specialty, and is distinguished from sexuality therapy, or what is better known as sex therapy, by the type of education and training that the practitioner holds. The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) is an organization that provides education and certification to those individuals who wish to publicly demonstrate their competence to help people with sexual issues. Sexuality counseling is short-term and client-centered, focused on the immediate concern or problem. In counseling, the reason why a sexual problem occurred may be discussed to educate the client or to provide perspective. This chapter discusses cognitive-behavioral approaches, solution-focused counseling, and finally, when to refer for intensive therapy.
It is not uncommon for children, adolescents, and families to seek counselors’ services when they are in crisis. Despite a growing literature base in school crisis prevention, intervention, and preparedness, there is a relatively scant literature base addressing mental health crisis intervention for professional counselors. This chapter addresses elements pertinent to crisis intervention, including mandated reporting, and associated trauma or grief. Children understand and process grief and trauma differently based on developmental and cognitive ability levels. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for children to experience traumatic events before reaching adulthood. As an example, international studies document that child sexual abuse, physical abuse, or domestic violence affects approximately 25% of children. War, natural disasters, motor vehicle accidents, violence, terrorist acts, and refugee experiences can all contribute to trauma reactions. Regrettably, if left untreated, complications associated with unresolved trauma or grief can last well into adulthood.
This chapter helps creating the most effective programs/courses for the best student outcomes. Online education is nascent, especially in the helping professions, and little evidence of effectiveness was found in the literature about the impact of online learning in counselor education. Confidentiality in online learning is an ethical concern, and it may prevent counselor educators from adopting teaching technologies as rapidly as some other fields. However, technology is advancing and new technology and software will arise to cover the issues of privacy and confidentiality. The counseling skills suggested for online teaching strategies include questioning and probing, reflecting client’s feeling, and closing a session. They also make recommendations for helping students to establish and maintain therapeutic relationships online. These recommendations include training counseling students to convey affect with words and symbols, using emoticons, asking the client for clarification, and becoming familiar with common and popular and online abbreviations.
There are several misconceptions and assumptions that can reduce the effectiveness of counseling with children and adolescents. New therapists and counselors in training may need to ultimately unlearn assumptions that they carried with them—knowingly or not—before entering professional training programs. This chapter reviews some common misconceptions and assumptions made by counselors at all levels. The field of motivational interviewing has emerged to address the resistance to change and the challenges associated with preparing clients for change. It seems that rational, irrational, positive, and negative thinking are important to untangle when working with children and adolescents. The goal is to help clients to challenge erroneous thinking, distortions, or faulty interpretations that lead them to negative outcomes as well as help them to anchor their academic, interpersonal, and other efforts in an effective understanding of their current abilities, skills, and context.