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Characteristics of People Seeking Counseling

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
You might be having a rough day when your computer doesn't start quickly enough, but other people have really serious concerns, such that they need counseling to live a better life. Find out what some reasons for seeking counseling are.

Seeking Counseling

We all have our rough days. For some, it may be a recent job loss that causes misery. For others, they might be approaching their last days on Earth and that causes all sorts of anxiety. In these two scenarios, and many more, people may turn to counseling, a situation where a professional helps a client or patient understand and potentially solve his problem by way of advice, instruction, or opinion. This lesson seeks to identify the many different characteristics of people seeking counseling.

Work, Family, and Community

Let's meet a few people along our way. Jackie is a mother of two who recently lost her job. Unemployment is one reason for a person to seek out professional counselling. But Jackie also has another issue to contend with; that of family violence. Her husband is abusive towards her and her kids physically, mentally, and emotionally. Such abuse, not just in Jackie's case, is another important possible reason for a person to seek out professional guidance.

Jackie's oldest son Craig is now out of the house, but he is subject to constant harassment in his community because he is a homosexual. In fact, he was brutally beaten on more than one occasion because of this. Victims of violence, even outside the home, are also in need of counseling in order to recover from post-traumatic stress related issues.

Socioeconomic Status, Age, and Development

Community violence tends to run high in areas that have a low socioeconomic status, such as where Josh lives. Josh is a senior living on a fixed income in a poor neighborhood. He doesn't have the same means of transportation or access to counseling services as in some better off neighborhoods. Because his access to counseling services is limited and he is on a tight budget when it comes to traveling somewhere far away for treatment, he is less likely to receive the counseling he needs. Since Josh is a senior, he may need counseling in preparation for end of life activities. That's an example of counseling related to age and developmental transitions in life, two factors for why people seek counseling.

Similarly, younger individuals, such as adolescents, may have their own needs for counseling services as they may struggle with how their body is growing and changing and how others respond to these changes, such as their peers. Meaning, if their peers poke fun at their changing body during puberty, such an adolescent may require counseling if it greatly affects him or her.

Gender, Race/Ethnicity, and Culture

Counseling services may also need to be extended to people like Brad. Brad was born female, but is undergoing hormonal therapy and sex reassignment surgery in order to more fully fit how he sees himself and not how he was born. A great part of this transition may be mental health counseling.

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