Free Essay

The Role of a Community Counselor

In: Social Issues

Submitted By dontev
Words 1719
Pages 7
The Role of a Community Counselor
Donte Love

Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to address the role and function of the community counselor. Additionally, the framework of the community counseling model is taken into account, including some of the strategies used in community counseling.

The Role of a Community Counselor
Community counseling can be defined as “…a comprehensive helping framework that is grounded in multicultural competence and oriented toward social justice (Lewis, Lewis, Daniels, & D'Andrea, 2011). While this definition may serve as a starting point, any meaningful understanding of the role and function of a Community counselor requires more than a brief description or a cursory glance at a definition. The community counseling model is based on four fundamental assumptions and several concepts. The first assumption is: “1. Human development and behavior take place in environmental contexts that have the potential to be nurturing or limiting” (Lewis et al., 2011). This assumption refers to the connection between people and their environment and its potential to act as a source of support or as a limiting factor on their development. The community counseling model effectively deals with the environmental factors that have an influence on the development of problems that people encounter. “2. Even in the face of devastating stress, people who are treated respectfully can demonstrate surprising levels of strength and access resources that a pessimistic helper might not see” (Lewis et al., 2011). Traditional approaches to counseling have featured a narrowly focused scope with an emphasis on the negative aspects of client’s lives. This has resulted in less than effective outcomes with respect to client’s sense of self. The Community counseling perspective emphasizes the client’s strengths and resources with an approach that stresses respect and empowerment. “3. Attention to the multicultural nature of human development is a central component of community counseling” (Lewis et al., 2011). The Community counseling model necessitates the importance of understanding multiculturalism on an individual and group level. “4. Individual development and community development are inextricably linked” (Lewis et al., 2011). As individuals interact with their surroundings they are confronted with inequalities and social systems that negatively impact their well-being. Community counseling confronts the institutions that have a detrimental impact on the lives of individuals and the community as a whole. These assumptions and the definition of Community counseling impart a multifaceted approach to helping and lay the foundation for understanding some of its primary components. However, the concepts of multicultural competence, social justice and the strategies that are used to bring about the healthy development of individuals and the community require a look at the role and function of community counselors.
Community counselors have the responsibility of serving both individuals directly and serving the community. It follows then that the community counselor’s role includes human development and community development. Ultimately, healthy human development is about choice, respect empowerment and a sense of belonging, all of which are emphasized in the community counseling model. An effective community counselor uses focused and broad-based strategies to bring about healthy human development. Focused strategies can include office-based counseling and outreach activities. “In an ideal situation, person-to-person outreach is joined by educational efforts that help individuals and communities understand their new challenges and learn the skills they need for dealing with them. These educational efforts can strengthen people’s ability to deal with stressors and in some cases, prevent long-lasting effects on mental health” (Lewis, Lewis, Daniels, & D'Andrea, 2011).
Broad-based strategies include developmental and preventive interventions aimed at the community at large, to teach members of the community new skills and help community members gain awareness of challenges they are likely to encounter. These strategies can include values-clarification seminars, assertiveness training, decision making and life planning workshops and cultural activities. These strategies have an emphasis in prevention and make the community counseling model a more workable paradigm than person-to-person counseling alone.
Facilitating community development requires advocacy that focuses on issues that affect the client and the client’s environment. This may require the community counselor to act as a consultant to help others help the client. Consultation describes any action you take with a system of you are not a part. A consultant is a person in a position to have influence over an individual, a group, or an organization, but who has no direct power to make changes or implement programs. The community counselor acts as a consultant in various instances where community advocacy is necessary. When this happens there are some assumptions made regarding the consultation process such as; 1. The consultation has the purpose of solving a problem or is an educational process, 2. The consultation process involves the consultant (counselor), the consultee (client), and a target-client, 3. The consultation is voluntary-meaning that the consultee has asked for help or agrees to the help, 4. The consultation process is temporary, 5. The consultant seeks to help the consultee and the target-client, 6. The consultant works with the entire person of the consultee. There are three types of intervention that the community counselor uses to intervene on behalf of clients. The first is called a primary intervention and involves a proactive intervention aimed at enhancing mental health. Examples of this type include: for individuals - enhancing coping skills, for families/couples - parent education, couples communication, for groups - enhancing communication patterns and or decision making processes, for communities - developing mechanisms to increase community input into governance. The second type of intervention is secondary and is aimed at an at-risk population and involves the identification and treatment of problems before they have serious consequences in the life of an individual, group, organization or community. Examples of this include: for the individual - early identification and remediation of learning difficulties, programs designed to provide remediation to juvenile offenders, for groups - mentoring and tutoring programs for chronically truant students, for organizations - enrichment programs designed to enhance the employment experience of high burnout job classification, for communities - programs designed to improve housing and /or community safety. The third type of intervention that the community counselor can be involved in is called a tertiary intervention and has the purpose of treatment and rehabilitation and is designed to reduce the impact of a debilitating mental health problem. Examples of this type include: for the individual - counseling, rehab programs, etc., for groups - counseling, mediation, etc., for organizations - conflict resolution, organizational development, for communities - interventions designed to address communities where the is a high incidence of mental health issues such as child abuse, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, etc.
A good deal of counseling is about helping people find effective ways of dealing with stress. Community counseling is no exception. People experience stress when one or more of their basic needs go unmet. For people of color, racism, discrimination, and marginalization have been a source of stress for some time and continue as institutionalized sources of stress. People of color also routinely face environmental barriers that limit their choices. Community counselors must become culturally competent service providers to help people form diverse backgrounds. As a result, the community counseling model emphasizes the development of specific competencies outlined by the Association from Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD). Learning ways to help people from diverse backgrounds prevent problems in their lives can include; stress management programs, health promotion projects, life skills training, parenting classes, and programs oriented toward oppression reduction and social justice.
“Social justice is the ideal in which all members of a society have the same basic rights, security, opportunities, obligations and social benefits. Social justice counseling is a philosophy and approach aimed at producing conditions that allow for equal access and opportunity; reducing or eliminating disparities in education, health care, employment, and other areas that lower the quality of life for affected population; encouraging mental health professionals to consider micro, meso, and macro levels in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of client and client systems; and broadening the role of the helping professional to include not only counselor/therapist but advocate, consultant, psycho-educator, change agent, community worker, etc. (Sue & Sue, 2003).”
A social justice paradigm has relevance within the community counseling model. A social justice orientation would include not only the five basic counselor qualities that are essential to all effective counseling as stated by Rogers (1957); respect for the client, genuineness, empathic understanding, communication of empathy, respect and genuineness to the client, and structuring, but would also work from a strengths based perspective. This perspective would be based on building trusting relationships, empowering people to take the lead in decisions about their care, working collaboratively, and tapping into personal resources of motivation. Counselors should use the assessment process to focus on demands and resources, stressors and strengths. Used within the context of the community counseling framework the client and counselor must jointly identify client sources of support in this area. The attention given to the environment distinguishes the community counseling model from traditional counseling approaches.
When an event occurs that has the result of changing relationships, routines, assumptions and roles, it is called a transition. Transitions can include expected and non-expected events. These transitions can require new adaptive skills and on behalf of the people going through them. By reaching out to those people counselors can allay some of the issues that people might be faced with. Counselors work directly with clients in schools, neighborhoods and workplaces and help them learn new coping mechanisms to deal with the problems they are facing. Community counselors identify people who are going through transitions in life that make them susceptible to mental health problems through outreach programs. Community counselors play a role in addressing environmental barriers that affect the groups of people in the community.

References Lewis J A Lewis M D Daniels J A D'Andrea M J 2011 Community CounselingLewis, J. A., Lewis, M. D., Daniels, J. A., & D'Andrea, M. J. (2011). Community Counseling (4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Rogers C R 1957 note on "The nature of man.".Rogers, C. R. (1957). A note on "The nature of man.". Journal of Counseling Psychology, 4, 199-203.
SSSSslkjgfvlhjbbhjkjkk
Sue D W Sue D 2003 Counseling the culturally diverse: Theory and practiceSue, D. W., & Sue, D. (2003). Counseling the culturally diverse: Theory and practice (2nd ed.). : Wiley.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

The Case of the Unhappy Parent

...Case of the Unhappy Parent Professional counselors play a critical role and are needed in our schools today. Their positions should not be eliminated because their role is much more than sitting in an office. Counselors integrate the school’s missions and goals, the needs of the school community, and their own strengths in developing their program (Erford, 2015). Erford notes that school counselors develop their capacity to work as leaders and advocates in schools to remove barriers to student success. There has been a transformation in the school counseling initiative to transform policies and practices in the field. Erford suggests that the vison for school counseling that was developed highlights counselors moving into the role of change agents and advocates who focus on supporting and creating pathways that allow students to have school success. School counselors are thrust in to help students from all ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds reach their full potential, graduate from high school, and become productive, responsible adults (Rosales, 2015). School counselors do not merely sit in their offices. The new vision of the role of counselors focuses on a number of things. One role is academics and student achievement. Other roles include leading, acting as a change agent, brokering services for parents, and creating pathways for all students to achieve high aspirations (Erford, 2015). Erford suggests that counselors design data-driven school......

Words: 356 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Violence in Schools

...normal life. (www.CNN.com). Today there are has been more than 100 school shootings since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary. (www.schoolsecurity). Traumatic stress and psychological distress play a major role in counseling children. School counseling has become even more valuable in the U.S. due to traumatic events such as school shootings. School shootings have had a major impact on students, families and communities. There is a more security and law enforcement present at schools across the US and metal detectors in schools also. School children are being taught how to prepare if there is a shooter or shooters in schools. Due to the increased acts of violence in schools and the need for intensive intervention in student issues, school personnel, school boards, and communities are recognizing the need to provide effective prevention and intervention programs to address social, emotional, and academic needs of students. (Davis, T., 2015, Exploring School Counseling). In the next ten years even more attention will be needed to counseling of young children. There are students who have undiagnosed mental health issues, counselors have to be diligent and observant when working with students. In today’s society students are stressed, some are highly medicated. Counselors have to be aware of each student needs, behaviors, and work with all staff to meet the needs of these...

Words: 3319 - Pages: 14

Premium Essay

The Roles of College Guidance Counselors in Calabarzon: Implications to Guidance Program and School Administration

...THE ROLES OF COLLEGE GUIDANCE COUNSELORS IN CALABARZON: IMPLICATIONS TO GUIDANCE PROGRAM AND SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION M. H. A. SEMIRA Batangas State University Gov. Pablo Borbon Campus I, Rizal Avenue, Batangas City ABSTRACT The study was undertaken to identify and assess the roles of college guidance counselors in CALABARZON and its implications to the schools guidance program and school administration. According to Erford (2003), the transformative roles of school counselors were leaders, advocates, collaborators, counselors and coordinators and data utilizers. Likewise, Kuhn (2004) explained that better understanding of the roles of guidance counselors diminished some of the misconceptions and confusions of the counselors’ roles. The above-mentioned roles were reflective of the American culture that is why the present study utilized the guidance counselors’ roles presented by De Jesus (2006) which was based on Philippine context. Findings revealed that the guidance counselors highly recognized their roles as counselor, coordinator, consultant, conductor of activities, and change agent. Thus, they were contributory to the effective implementation of the guidance programs in every college or university in the region under study. INTRODUCTION The roles of school counselors have changed dramatically over time. As the 20th century began, school counselors did not exist. Instead teachers were using few minutes of their day to provide students with......

Words: 5245 - Pages: 21

Premium Essay

Professional Counseling and Social Justice

...practices that need to be adopted by Professionals in the helping field to increase awareness of social justice and implement actions for change in a socially unjust society. I will explain the four main attributes: knowledge, awareness, research and advocacy and explain how education and focus in each area will contribute to the social justice inequities in the communities we practice. If professional counselors want to promote social justice, to be effective, there has to be a movement to take action on the burdensome stigmatisms and unfortunate inequities that human beings bring to professionals about the communities they live in. Social justice and the counseling profession have roots that goes back to the 1900’s. It has always been understood from a social work point of view that problems such as depression, anxiety, and abuse often derive from economic and environmental issues. In order to help a client over come their issues it is necessary to address the policies and services available to them in the community they live in. Over the years, the professional counselors focus switched gears from counseling as a concern from a social justice perspective to a preference of individualized therapy due to managed care implementations....

Words: 2096 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Mental Health and Disabilities

...age, gender, or disability” Sharron Angle; American Politician. All individuals with the capabilities and will to work should be offered equal opportunities to do so. Unfortunately, those with disabilities – physical or mental – face not just the condition they are dealing with, they also face a deficit in the world around them; a lack of equal opportunity for many when seeking employment. Career counseling for those who have a disability is an essential task that should include the community as well as the client. Zunker (2012) states, “The overarching counseling goal for persons with disabilities is to maximize each individual’s potential for life and work in the 21st century” (p. 268). This is a task that the counselor should undertake with their clients who have added challenges, as well as advocating to the community to assist with acceptance; “Ideally, a cooperative effort between teachers and counselors promotes an effective school program that is supported and recognized by the community” (p. 269), this further supports all continued efforts and opportunities for our clients. Mental Health and Disabilities: “There is a plan and a purpose, a value to every life, no matter what its location, age, gender, or disability” Sharron Angle; American Politician. All individuals with the capabilities and will to work should be offered equal opportunities to do so. Unfortunately, those with disabilities – physical or mental – face not just the condition they are......

Words: 1258 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Supervision

...Supervision, Consultation, and Advocacy Lauren Young Survey of Research in Human Development for Professional Counselors Fall Quarter 2013 Abstract Inside the draft includes an evaluation of two supervision models for mental health. The benefits of a supervisor and a supervisee are narrated during the training process and once the training process is completed. The ethical importance of clinical supervision is defined and supported in the draft. Consultation and advocacy are both defined for the field of counseling as well as compared and contrasted for the mental health specialization. One can relate the role of advocacy and consultation as she becomes a professional counselor within mental health. Institutional and social barriers that might impede or hinder the access and equity of success for ones clients is also discussed. In addition, strategies are deliberated that one can utilize in their work to address multicultural issues and advocate for diverse populations. Lastly, one develops a hypothetical example of consultation for a couple. Clinical Supervision According to Milne and Oliver (2000), “clinical supervision is central to initial professional training and to continuing professional development, taking up a significant proportion of mental health professionals’ time” (p. 291). An integrated approach to supervision has been developed by combining the developmental model of Littrell, Lee-Borden, and Lorenz (1979) and Bernard's (1979, 1997)......

Words: 1101 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Counselor Ethics and Practices

...PCN-505 Counselor Ethical Boundaries and Practices Denise I Ratliff Professor RaTonya Bennett March 30, 2016 * * * * Introduction Ethics, boundaries and potential dual relationships are important for counselors to comprehend. Understanding the code of ethics and understanding the many facets of counselor /patient scenarios that can arise during a professional relationship. Dual relationships is a gray area in which there is a very paramount question that the counseling professional need to address and that is; whether a dual relationship is necessary. Simply put, impractical dual relationships can be charged with unnecessary jeopardy. Certain situations may arise in which a dual relationship could be hard to avoid and may have its challenges. It is important that any counseling that is given regardless of the relationship should be safe and secure. Boundary Issues and Dual Relationships Part A – Decision-Making Model and Counseling Examples Engaging in dual relationships is risky business in being a counseling professional. Ethical issues related to professional boundaries and dual relationships can be complex because, dual relationships and the issues that follow are multi-faceted. “If a dual relationship is exploitative, whether it is before, during, or after a professional relationship, it should be avoided” (ACA, 2015). It is important that the counselor acknowledge the fine distinctions between crossing boundaries that lay in the...

Words: 1927 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Effective Human Services

...The human services encompass many roles and responsibilities that work to the benefit of society. Human services workers engage in addressing the needs and problems that people experience. To that end, the presentation of human services comprises that of assisting and leading client’s to a better quality of life. We will discuss two fields within the profession that provide important areas of service including that of self-sufficiency and rehabilitation. Noted functions which make up human services include assisting those persons who lack mental capacity, helping them return to a previous status quo and assisting those who are unable to care for themselves temporarily. Human services professionals should acquire certain characteristics that enable them to competently perform their job. These characteristics include the ability to be a good listener, compassion and to have a strong commitment to enhancing the client’s life and well-being. One important aspect of the human services worker’s job is to teach client’s how to access services and programs that will address their most basic needs. Therefore, the human services professional should have an in depth understanding in how services are delivered and the individual agencies and organizations that deliver them. One of the professions that fall under the purview of human services that I find interesting is that of a client advocate. Client advocates impart services that improve needy individual’s quality of life by......

Words: 736 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Counseling

... attending, blaming, willing). The goal-orientation for the short-term pastoral counseling should be to get the counselee to focus on their own goals that they have for themselves, and not so much what others or the counselor has for them. The class presentation, Overview of a Solution-Based, Short-Term Strategy, presents that you should limit the counseling to four sessions of either 50, 60, or 90 minutes. These limits fit well within the examples that Kollar gives throughout chapters 8 through 11. Phase 1 – Getting the Present Story The main purpose of this phase is to intently listen to the counselee and gain a solid understanding of where they are coming from. The goal is for the counselor is to actively listen to the counselee. “Active listening mirrors or paraphrases back to the speaker what he has just said, thus confirming for the speaker that he has been heard.” (Kollar, 2011, p. 92) The chief aim to this counseling session is to develop an overall solid picture of the present state of where the counselee is coming from. The counselor’s role in this phase is as a listener and confidant, allowing the counselee to hear their own voice and unload any initial emotional baggage they need to. A guiding assumption in this phase is that the counselor and counselee were divinely brought together for a greater purpose. Phase 2 – Developing the Preferred Future The main purpose of this counseling session to assist the counselee in creating realistic goals for......

Words: 899 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Effects of the Distributed-Counseling Model in 7th Grade Hispanic Middle School Students’ Self-Efficacy Skills and Motivation

...Effects of the Distributed-Counseling Model in 7th Grade Hispanic Middle School Students’ Self-Efficacy Skills and Motivation \ Abstract The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of the distributed counseling model on twenty-four 7th grade Hispanic middle school students’ self-efficacy skills and motivation. This study focuses on measuring the various skills that Hispanic middle school children need to be successful at both the high school and collegiate level through the use of a self-efficacy and motivation instrument. In determining the effects of the distributed counseling model one can identify the effectiveness of this model in aiding with student success amongst Hispanic adolescents. It is noted that self-efficacy, amount of intrinsic as opposed to extrinsic motivation an individual possesses, and overall self-management skills are strong predictors of student success. Introduction  Alonso-Zaldivar and Tompson (2010) found that Hispanics are at a point where, “Eighty-seven percent said a college education is extremely or very important, compared with 78% of the overall U.S. population.” However, “Census figures show that only 13% of Hispanics have a college degree or higher, compared with 30% among Americans overall.” This figure alone is astonishing in the sense that Hispanics understand the importance of an education, yet somehow seem to get caught up in the process of actually motivating and self-regulating themselves to achieve these educational...

Words: 3492 - Pages: 14

Premium Essay

My File

...the growing needs of society in many different areas of study. Counselors can work in different fields, depending on the population of expertise. Counseling in a school setting can be good for one who has interest in working with children in diverse areas of development by helping through social/personal, career development and the achievement of academic goals (American School Counselor Association, 2012). School counselors may work in post secondary schools, high schools, junior high, middle, and elementary schools. School counselors can collaborate with school professionals to make sure that the needs of these students are met. School counselors can also work in a college setting, which includes guidance and academic counselors. Counselors are there to offer guidance and academic assistance to college-aged students (O*NET, 2006). Rehabilitation counseling is an area of expertise for counselors who are interested in working with the disabled. Their area of concentration is to “counsel population with disabilities resulting from accidents, disease or illness, birth defects, or other causes” (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012). Rehabilitation counselors develop programs tailored to help meet the needs of this population and in process help them have self-sufficiency. Mental health counseling is a field of counseling that deals with populations like; families, couples, and individuals. Mental health counselors address issues like emotional and mental disorders......

Words: 661 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Counseling

...Introduction to Counseling Written Assignment # 1 I. What is professional counseling? Discuss the most recent trends in counseling. Professional counseling is a service provided voluntary and confidential with the focus on the developmental, situational problems of individuals of all ages and culture. Professional counselors help individuals to make decisions and resolve conflicts. Counselors provide service on different settings like the workplace, schools, colleges and other places as well. They also provide this service to families, groups or individuals. The most recent trends in counseling are through the internet and counseling in the community. These trends cover different parts of the community like business, career centers, religious organizations, and local neighborhood comprehensive health care centers. For instance, many organization provide counseling assistance through an employee assistance programs (EAP), employment enhancement programs (EEPs), career development counseling within the companies and outplacement counseling (EAPs). Employee assistance program were created with the purpose of helping employees who have alcohol problems. However, the service of these programs has been expanded to provide counseling to employees in regards interpersonal and personal family problems that may affect their job performance. Career counseling centers were created during the 1990s to help individuals to explore career opportunities and receive......

Words: 993 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Bshs355 Week3 Human Services Professional Worksheet

... | Complete the table for the chosen agencies by providing a 60- to 85-word response in each column. An example has been completed as a guide. |The agency |Description of the agency |Who they serve |The professionals involved with the |The professional’s role | | | | |agency | | |A domestic violence program|A domestic violence program provides |As mentioned, this program may |In many residential programs, |The role of the professional working in a| | |protection and resources to |provide protection for individuals,|counselors provide advice and |shelter is to help program participants | | |individuals treated violently by |but it may also provide protection |counseling. They assist residents |cope with losing their home and community| | |their spouses or partners. These |for children in the individual’s |living away from their abusers....

Words: 1202 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Careers in Human Services

...into this career? Why or why not? First I would like to start off with a Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors whom primary tasks are counseling and advising individuals who suffer from alcohol, drug addiction, eating disorders, gambling, and other behavioral problems. They may counsel individuals, families, groups, or even engage in prevention programs, to help individuals recover from addiction or modify their behavioral patterns with the intentions of gaining full recovery. As a Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors they provide direct service to the clients. In their role they provided services geared towards behavior changes, primarily to change clients’ behavior, ranging from coaching and counseling to casework, psychotherapy, and behavior therapy (Woodside & McClam, 2012, p.186). Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor are always ready to lend a helping hand to people who may be struggling with addiction of behavioral disorder, and they will work with their clients to better understand the conditions of that human being. The educational requirements to become a Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor can range from a high school diploma and certification to a Master's Degree in Counseling or Social Work (U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014). However, Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors that chooses to work in private practices must be licensed, which varies from state to state. In addition to...

Words: 1548 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

School Environment Analysis

...School Environment Analysis Vanessa Kawa Grand Canyon University * * * * * * Phillis Wheatley Elementary school is located in Miami, Florida and is a part of the Miami-Dade County Public School system. The school is located in the center of Overtown, one of the most poverty stricken communities in Miami Dade County. The majority of people that live in the community live in government subsidized housing. According to Urban Mapping (2011), Overtown is made up of 75% African Americans, 20% Hispanic, and 3% Caucasian. The average income per family is approximately $13,355 and the crime rate is 27% higher than the actual city of Miami (Urban Mapping, 2011). The buildings are dilapidated, graffiti and trash is ramped, and many vagrants live along the streets. Phillis Wheatley Elementary school is one of one hundred and eight schools that are a part of the Education Transformation Office (ETO). ETO is a support team that is committed in growth and improvement of schools that are deficient in the state assessment test. They use data to drive instruction, send curriculum support specialists on a weekly basis to provide guidance, and provide academic resources for our school, such as technological resources, books, equipment, and so on. The students at Phillis Wheatley Elementary school have many social/emotional issues related to their life outside of school. The students come to school angry, hungry, unkempt, poor hygiene, and academically...

Words: 1397 - Pages: 6