The mental and well being of adolescences is issue that has become very important in today’s society. When mental health issues are left untreated in the lives of adolescents, this can lead to a number of negative and life changing consequences that will over time debilitate bother the youth and their family. Adolescence is a period in time of physical, emotional, and spiritual growth.
Adolescences is divided into three phases: the early stage which is 10 years old to 13 years old and during this stage their will be sudden physical changes in the body because of the onset of puberty. The next phrase is the middle stage which is ages 14 to 16 and during this time in the onset of peer pressure and acceptance. The final stage is the late stage and age group is from 17 to 21.
During this time the youth is transiting from being a teenager to becoming an adult. The years are marked by years colleges, the increase on making decisions, and becoming independent. Miller &Rollnick, 2002) According to research, during these years the adolescent have several concerns, for instance, privacy, finding friends, being popular, surviving peer pressure, body image, academic pressure from school, dealing siblings, concerns about their futures, and issues in the family. (Miller &Rollnick 2002) With all this these concerns of adolescents, it all trigger positive and negative mood swings, stress, depression, risk taking behavior, and acting out. Counseling adolescence during these stages in life be both challenging and rewarding.
Adolescent Counseling: Preventive Health One of biggest counseling concerns for adolescences is preventive health counseling. The leading cause for adolescent death is accidents, homicide and suicide. (Stephens, 2006) In addition morbidity is also related to tobacco, drug, and alcohol use, engaging in risky sexual behavior, lack of physical activity and not eating right. According to the American Academy of Physicians, one third of all adolescence engage in some sort of risky behavior.
The question has been asked why provided preventive health counseling to adolescence. The following are a widespread of serious and costly adolescence health issues that are preventable: unplanned pregnancies, sexual transmitted diseases, violence, committing suicide, and the use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. A study indicates that that about 25% to 30% of adolescences have been considered to be at risk of serious health outcomes based on risky behavior by the teen. Downs & Klein, 1995) It is every common for adolescences to participate in more than one risky behavior because there is a rapid physical, cognitive and emotional development that this age and also many health and mental health arise during this time.
According to research, some of the challenges in Adolescent health care are the lack of health insurance and the youth does not have a primary care physician. One study states that adolescences see physicians less that all the other age groups and about 73% of adolescents see a physician at least once a year. Center of Disease Control and Prevention, 2005) Adolescences view the physician as good source to get credible information but many times they are reluctant about informing the doctor about their health issues to due to the confidentially issues. (Akinbami, Gandhi, Cheng, 2003) It is important that doctors and counselor both develop a specific and written confidentially policy in their offices that will help assure the adolescent and parent that issues that are discussed in sessions will not be disclose without their consent.
Providing preventive counseling to adolescences can be very difficult, this type of counseling is essential for all youth. (Millstein, Petersen, Nightingale, 1993) It is virtual when providing health counseling, the clinician should be provide a comfortable and confidential place and ask question relevant that will help the clinician identify adolescences who may be at risk for or engaging in risky behavior that will compromise their health. Providing health counseling at the this age is common in adolescences. Merenstein, Green, Fryer, Dovey, 2001) In some studies, it is suggest that professional guidelines are implemented to help improve the delivery of preventive healthcare information to adolescences. (Ozer, Adams, Lusting, Gee, Garber, Garnder, 2005)
In preventive health counseling, it has been suggested the counselor or physician should do the following in the screening process: (1) Address the patient with direct and open minded questions. (2) Be an attentive listener and do not interpret the youth while they are talking. 3) Watch all non verbal communication, such as body position, eye movement, and posture. (4) Do not judge the adolescent by their appearance. (5) When the youth maybe using slang, please ask the youth to give and explanation. (Stephens, 2006) Many clinicians think that it is important to add preventive care to their practices. ( U. S. Public Service, 1998) Implementing Preventive Health Counseling is important. Physical Activity and nutrition are preventive health measure that adolescences would receive counseling for.
For instance, many clinicians encourage their patients to engage in physical activity at least 30 minutes a day and this will help reduce diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia (National Center of Health Statics, 2004) In the sessions, nutrition is also discussed. The youth is asked about their eating habits and how they can improve them. The adolescent would be advised by the clinician to change their diet and consume 5 servings of fruit and vegetables every day and limit their sugar intake. (U. S. Department of Agriculture, 2005) Sexual education is also another preventive measure that used.
According to research, there are specific counseling recommendations when it comes to educating adolescences regarding sex. There will be discussion on sexual activity, the number partners, contraceptive use and any history of STDs. (Hedberg, Bracken, Stashwick, 1999) Some counselor use the five A’s strategy when working with adolescences that have tobacco addiction issues and the 5 A’s strategy is ask, advise, assess, assist, and arrange. (Stephens, 2006) Environmental factors in adolescent counseling is not often discussed but it is very important.
Preventive counseling for environment factors such include the following not riding the someone who is under the influence of any type of drug or alcohol, do not text and drive, use helmets when riding bicycles, and wearing your seat belt when riding in a car. (Stephen, 2006) Chan & Witherspoon (1998) states in their article that preventive health counseling has shown to successful with adolescences with risky behavior. For example, “Adolescents linked to school based clinic and on campus counselors and health education classes had profound effect on the teen pregnancy rate.
College student that completed a risk appraisal questionnaire and that was follow up with feedback was less likely to use tobacco products. (Chan & Witherspoon, 1998). There another studies that show that adolescences that received preventive health counseling decreased their risky behavior. (Gans, Alexander, Chu, Elster 1995) Adolescent Counseling: Depression & Family Counseling Depression is a treatable condition for adolescents. Depression in the adolescent stage is a significant cause of morbidty for adolescences. (Stephens, 2006) Out 20 adolescents many of the youth show signs of clinical depression. Psychological treatments, drug therapy, and other measures can help alleviate symptoms and help the teen over come depression. ” (Morland & Bonin, 2013)
Some physicians will consider screening a youth for depression if the exhibit the following signs: anger, guilt, missing school, and failing grades. (Son, Kirchner 2000) Researcher stated that treatment of depression is very successful for teen when the parents are involved in the counseling. Family education about depression is a very important components when treating a teens for depression. Ma & Stafford 2005) Moreland and Bonin (2013) provided information on how to understand depression and its affects on the moods, thoughts, and behavior can help the teen and their deal with depression in different ways: family members learn about he symptoms of depression and how this will affect the family dynamic and the family will also be educated on how to provide a safe environment for depressed teens. When counseling a treat depression for a adolescent, psychological treatments and talk therapy will help teach the patient and their family to understand what the nature of depression.
This will include how to deal with low moods, engage in productive and positive behavior, how manage and maintain relationships with family and friend, how to make wise decisions, problem solving skills, and how to deal with stressful situations that may associate with depression. (Morland and Bonin, 2013) The counseling session will last about 30 to 60 minutes per week with a training therapist. Throughout the session the youth will talk about his or his feelings, emotions, thoughts, and behavior.
The counselor and the youth will discuss alternative ways on dealing and coping with depressive symptoms. Morland and Bonin, 2013) When dealing with a adolescent that is in a depressive state, the therapist/counselor needs to have the appropriate training. When a family and choosing a therapist/counselor, it is important that they should consider the person’s education, training and experience with adolescents. (Ma & Stafford, 2005)
For example, the following questions that family could ask the therapist: :”What type of training or experience do you have treating depression in adolescents? ” “Will the family members be included in some aspect of the treatment? If so, how? (Morland and Bonin, 2013) Another component to the counseling, the youth can be prescribed medication to help deal with depression. Adolescent Counseling: Suicide Suicide in one of leading causes to the mortality in adolescents. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2000) There are some risk factors that contribute to suicide in adolescents: they are abusing drugs and alcohol, history of depression, and having problems at home and in school. (Bukstein, Brent, Perper, Mortiz, Baugher, Schweers, 1993) According to research, when a youth is having trouble dealing with at difficult situation, they may consider suicide.
Another component that leads to teen suicide, is that they have easy access to firearms, drugs, alcohol and cars. According statics, about 30% of teen suicides will involve a firearm and all firearm-related that occur with teens, about 80% are suicides. (Rao, Birmaher, Dahl, Williamson, Kaufman, 1995) There are always warning signs regarding suicide. The signs do not appear just out of the blue. For instance, when a youth withdraws from his family and friends, neglect their personal appearance, they believe speak about being hopelessness, eating habits change, their behavior becomes violent, these just a few warning signs.
“More obvious signs that an adolescent many be suicidal include low self-esteem, and self deprecating remarks. Some teens come right out and talk and write about their suicidal thoughts. ” (Hawton, K. , &Heeringen, K. (2000). These actions need to be taken seriously and not ignored and help should immediate because these are cries for help. When seeking treatment for suicidal adolescents, it is very important to seek professional help such guidance counselors in schools, crisis centers, or even a pastor. It has been noted that often youth in a depressive state committee suicide.
A professional can help by doing the following when dealing a youth that is suicidal: “An objective, caring listener who can share other more hopeful sides of the picture, help in determining what needs to be changed, finding solutions that aren’t as permanent as suicide, help to identify the resources needed for these changes, medication for depression when appropriate and Hospitalization – a safe place to regain energy and work on problems. ” (Hawton, K. , &Heeringen, K. (2000). Ethical and legal Issues Related to Counseling Adolescents
When counseling adolescents, it is very important to many sure that all ethical and legal guidelines are followed. According to the American Counseling Association, confidentiality, counselor competence, reporting abuse and neglect, and informed consent all require special consideration when counseling adolescents. The ethical and legal conflicts when dealing confidentiality.
In some states, the law requires that a counselor maintain the confidentiality of the youth as young as 12 in a school setting; However, in a counseling setting the parents have legal right to all information disclosed in a session regarding child until the age of 18. Ethical codes advise counselors to maintain confidentiality as specified by federal and state laws, but parental rights are upheld by law in most states. ” (Herlihy& Corey 2006) According to Standard A. 2. a “all client have the right to inform consent and the freedom to decided to enter and remain in therapy after understanding their rights and responsibilities as well as the responsibilities of the counselor. ” (ACA, 2005) When resolving a conflict in counseling, the parents must understand that confidentiality as it applies to their child therapy.
Problems arise when a child discloses information in a session that they do not want shared with their parents. But if for some reason the counselor thinks that they child is not danger, it is necessary for the counselor to disclose that information to the parent. But the counselor can use discretion when share this information to the parent. (Lawerence and Kurpius, 2000) When trying to resolve this conflict, the counselor should encourage the adolescent to share information with their parent with the assistance of the counselor.
However, if the adolescent is refusing to disclose information to the parent, the counselor needs to try to explain to the youth why it is important to share this information with the parent. (Herlihy& Corey 2006) The related code according to ACA Standard B. 2. a “requires a breach of confidentiality when a the counselor believes such disclousure will protect the client from serious and foreseeable harm. In the case of reporting child abuse, federal and state laws require such reporting by mental health counselors and health professionals. (ACA, 2005) According to law is not a specific competence when come to counseling adolescents.
Mental health counselors should have prior education, training, and experience as described in the ACA (2005). The related ethical code in the ACA (2005) Standard c. 2. a states “that counselors should understand the practice within the boundaries of their knowledge and experience and should not hold themselves out to providing services of which they are not appropriately trained. According to Lawerence and Kurpuis (2000), they stated that inform consent is an agreement between the client and the counselor for the start of therapy and this falls under the jurisdiction of contract law, and in most cases when providing a service to a minor the contact is between the parent the counselor.. The related ethincal code according to ACA Standard A. 2. D states ‘counseling a minor, the counselor must obtain inform consent from the parents or the legal guardian prior to starting therapy with a minor. ”
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