Counseling and Advocacy: Age and Ability
In this unit we will focus on age and ability in terms of client characteristics and concerns, our own attitudes and beliefs, and our preparedness to provide care in culturally relevant ways. Considering a client’s age is important in any counseling relationship. Here we will focus specifically on older clients given the cognitive, emotional, economic, and physical changes that occur naturally with aging, and a tendency to marginalize aging people in our society.
We will also consider ability in terms of clients of all ages and how exceptional abilities and disabilities may come into play in terms of human development and the counseling process. We will have an opportunity to complete a case analysis through which we will identify the characteristics and concerns that are salient to developing culturally relevant counseling from the standpoint of our counseling specializations.
To successfully complete this learning unit, you will be expected to:
1. Analyzes a general framework for understanding exceptional abilities and strategies for differentiated interventions.
2. Analyze the multicultural theories and current research that influence optimal wellness and growth.
3. Analyze the counseling methods that promote the optimal wellness and growth of clients from diverse backgrounds.
Learning Activities Studies
Use your textbook, Sue and Sue’s Counseling the Culturally Diverse: Theory and Practice, to complete the following:
• Read Chapter 23, “Counseling Older Adult Clients,” pages 487–499.
• Read Chapter 26, “Counseling Persons With Disabilities,” pages 527–541.
Use the Library to complete the following:
• Read Assouline, Nicpon, and Huber’s 2006 article “The Impact of Vulnerabilities and Strengths on the Academic Experiences of Twice-Exceptional Students: A Message to School Counselors,” in Professional School Counseling, volume 10, issue 1, pages 14–24.
• Read Hawley’s 2000 article “Clinical Implications of Family Resilience,” in American Journal of Family Therapy, volume 28, issue 2, pages 101–116.
• Read Volker and Ray’s 2006 article “Counseling Exceptional Individuals and Their Families: A Systems Perspective,” in Professional School Counseling, volume 10, issue 1, pages 58–65.
• Optional Readings
The literature is rich with resources to help counselors and therapists delve more deeply into the topics being covered in this course and to pursue their own special interests. Below you will find a reference list compiled by experts in each of the specialization areas at Capella University; look to these for information and use as you wish in your professional development. Please note that it is acceptable to draw from these resources for your discussions and assignments; however, you should not rely exclusively on these resources in completing assignments that require library research.
Counseling and Advocacy: Age and Ability
• In Rothblum and Solovay’s The Fat Studies Reader, read the following:
o Lyons’s chapter, “Prescription for Harm: Diet Industry Influence, Public Health Policy, and the ‘Obesity Epidemic,'” pages 75–87.
o Weinstock and Krehbiel’s chapter, “Fat Youth as Common Targets for Bullying,” pages 120–126.
• In Johnson and Whiffen’s Attachment Processes in Couple and Family Therapy, read Bradley and Palmer’s chapter, “Attachment in Later Life: Implications for Intervention With Older Adults,” pages 281–299.
• In Knudson-Martin and Mahoney’s Couples, Gender, and Power: Creating Change in Intimate Relationships, read Knudson-Martin’s chapter, “An Unequal Burden: Gendered Power in Diabetes Care,” pages 105–123.
• in Furrow, Johnson, and Bradley’s The Emotionally Focused Casebook: New Directions in Treating Couples, read Naaman, Radwan, and Johnson’s chapter, “Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy in Chronic Medical Illness: Working With the Aftermath of Breast Cancer,” pages 141–164.
• Read Briggs, Magnus, Lassiter, Patterson, and Smith’s 2011 article, “Substance Use, Misuse, and Abuse among Older Adults: Implications for Clinical Mental Health Counselors,” in Journal of Mental Health Counseling, volume 33, issue 2, pages 112–127.
• Read Brucker’s 2009 article, “Social Construction of Disability and Substance Abuse Within Public Disability Benefit Systems,” in International Journal of Drug Policy, volume 20, issue 5, pages 418–423.
• Read Luoma et al.’s 2007 article, “An Investigation of Stigma in Individuals Receiving Treatment for Substance Abuse,” in Addictive Behaviors, volume 32, issue 7, pages 1331–1346.
• Read Patrick et al.’s 2011 article, “Age-Related Changes in Reasons for Using Alcohol and Marijuana From Ages 18 to 30 in a National Sample,” in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, volume 25, issue 2, pages 330–339.
• Read Smart and Smart’s 2006 article, “Models of Disability: Implications for the Counseling Profession,” in Journal of Counseling & Development, volume 84, issue 1, pages 29–40.
• Read Substance Abuse Relapse Prevention for Older Adults: A Group Treatment Approach at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.
Question below: 1 page needed with 3 references.
Counseling Gifted Individuals and Their Families
Referring to the readings, explain the terms twice-exceptional student and gifted student. Identify and discuss at least two myths about gifted students. What are the implications of the myth with respect to differentiated interventions (using a variety of strategies to support student learning and achievement) and what are some strategies a counselor could suggest to teachers? In what ways may parents and counselors act as advocates for twice-exceptional or gifted students?
Imagine you are the counselor for the family in the case described in the Sudden Underachievement media piece.
• Identify the bio-psycho-social dimensions of identity of each of the family members that you would need to take into account in your work with the family based on your understanding of multicultural counseling and therapy.
• Consider the case from the standpoint of your specialization area and briefly identify concerns that would apply to your specialization (for example, if you are an addictions counselor, would you want to assess for substance use? If so, with which members of the family?) Note – My Specialization is addiction Counseling.
• Explain what it means to take a systems perspective in terms of goals, and how counselors may incorporate the ideas of client/family expertise and resilience in their work.
• How could you incorporate client/family expertise and resilience in your work with this family to promote their optimal health and wellness?
• How could you incorporate advocacy in your work with this family at the school/community level?
Counseling and Advocacy: Age and Ability
Sudden Underachievement Case
When a gifted 12-year-old underachieves academically for several weeks, his parents feel panic and seek family counseling. In the first session, the counselor quickly directs attention away from the “problem child” by exploring each family member’s perspectives on general family functioning. Informal assessment reveals that the normally high-functioning four-member family has recently faced several challenges: the mother’s significant health concerns and difficulty reentering her career; a grandparent’s need for elder care; the formerly high-salaried father’s unexpected unemployment; and high mortgage payments on their new home. The 9-year-old sibling shows symptoms of trichotillomania–that is, pulling out his own hair, with noticeable hair loss (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). The mother admits to doing some of her underachieving son’s homework in order to protect his future.
During the next four sessions, the counselor identifies family strengths and explores, among many, the hypothesis that the mother’s actions are about control at a time when many aspects of life seem out of control. The family faithfully completes weekly assignments, which are largely geared to helping the family members engage with each other, express and validate feelings, and establish appropriate boundaries (e.g., regarding the son’s schoolwork). As boundaries improve and family tension decreases, so does the hair loss and underachievement.