Part 1: Chart
Part 2: Reflection
Describe a specific population of clients with whom you hope to work in the future.
At-risk teens are a population that is often underestimated and underserved. The at-risk population experiences everything from interferences to challenges to outright obstacles which malign the individual’s social, emotional, and behavioral development—from poor adult and peer relationships and gross lack of adequate role models to maladaptive coping strategies, including low frustration tolerance thresholds, hypersensitivity to failure, impulsivity, and low self-esteem, as well as inadequacies in appropriately expressing emotions and needs. Some of the at-risk teens live in two-parent homes, some live in single-parent homes. Others have one or both parents in prison, and still others live in an environment where it has been documented there is alcohol and drug abuse, physical abuse, mental abuse, and/or sexual abuse. Thus, what determines their “at-risk” personalities often lends to their being at risk for emotional distress, substance abuse, irrational behaviors, and other specific personality/learning disorders, as well as for school failure, gang-related activity, violent behaviors, suicidal ideation, and youth imprisonment.
Explain which of the two theories in your chart would be the most effective in working with this client population and explain why.
Both feminist theory and transpersonal theory are centered in therapy that supports the development of a higher consciousness. However, while feminist theory might be applicable to the female clients in the population, to be fair to both genders, transpersonal theory would be more applicable. More specifically, transpersonal theory focuses on the whole person and on moving beyond or outside of the personality. Therefore, transpersonal theory might be more realistic for today’s at-risk youth to step outside of themselves and reach higher dimensions of spiritual transcendence.
Describe the interventions you would suggest from this theory and how these interventions would assist this client population in reaching counseling goals.
With the goal of helping the individual at-risk teen to develop in healthy, sustainable ways, and doing so by working within the teen’s environment (for in-social-context work), transpersonal theory could be applied for intervention at a late or final phase. That is, after a community-based/strengths-based program consisting of cognitive behavioral therapy is completed, we might implement a program of minimal resistance exploration followed by a series meditations—such as holographic reimaging meditations where the client can visualize new—and higher consciousness—images and feelings/attitudes. The idea would be to take the client to higher realms of spiritual existential experience(s).
Capuzzi and D. Gross (Eds.). Counseling and psychotherapy: Theories and interventions. (5th ed.). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.
Carrier, J.W., & Mitchell, N.G. (2011). Transpersonal Theory. In D. Capuzzi and D. Gross (Eds.). Counseling and psychotherapy: Theories and interventions. (5th ed., pp. 335- 356). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.
Herlihy, B., & McCollum,V.J.C. (2011). In D. Capuzzi and D. Gross (Eds.). Counseling and psychotherapy: Theories and interventions. (5th ed., pp. 313- 334). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.