DSST Fundamentals of counseling

As aids spreads to the heterosexual population

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As AIDS spreads to the heterosexual population, counselors are being called on to help people deal with their “fear of AIDS.” The disease is so nondiscriminatory and lethal that there is a widespread fear across cultures of contracting HIV and developing AIDS. Soon a majority of counselors will be or have been working with someone whose life was touched by AIDS so developing an understanding of the issues surrounding the devastation is critical. Counseling older adults typically involves helping them through transition periods in their life. Whether they are transitioning to retirement or out of their home and into an extended care facility, change is difficult. As more Americans are getting to be over 65, specific strategies for counseling aging adults will be critical. Helping adults to age successfully rather than just transition successfully will likely take on more importance as the elderly population rises. Substance abuse is defined as the abuse of any substance (alcohol, drugs, paint, etc..) that alters the conscious state of an individual and creates problems behaving in society and coping with life. Substance abuse is becoming more and more prevalent and the need for counselors specific to substance abuse keeps growing. Counseling this population requires an understanding of the psychological manifestations of the drug abuse as well as the physical symptoms such as cravings and withdrawal. Substance abuse counseling is difficult because often clients are in therapy involuntarily. Because someone other than the client often imposes the relationship, developing a therapeutic relationship can be very challenging. Typically drug abuse coincides with illegal activity so the willingness to share information openly and honestly is also compromised. Groups like Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous use reality therapy in their approach to substance abuse. Reality therapy forces a person to take responsibility for their actions and that is exactly what these groups stress. The reality of drug abuse is that the person is trying to escape reality so recognizing that something is wrong and then assuming responsibility to make the changes necessary are critical components to overcoming substance abuse. Work occupies more than half of the average adult’s life.
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Because work is such an important factor to one’s health, happiness, and satisfaction the emphasis of career counseling has changed from simply finding a career one might good at to finding a career that helps a person achieve their personal and professional goals. Career counseling is similar to other forms of counseling except it focuses on helping clients make decisions about occupations and education. Career counseling places a high emphasis on value exploration and there is a great deal of factual evidence and test results acquired. A main issue in career counseling is that the focus can not be solely on a client’s education or occupation because the wider social and familial context will have a significant impact of the likelihood of success.
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