Advocacy in Counseling

Topics: Mental health, Mental disorder, Sociology Pages: 5 (1622 words) Published: August 4, 2013
Consultation and Advocacy
Bradlee Donahue
Survey of Research in Human Development for Professional Counselors Kathy Blaydes
August 4, 2013

Advocacy and consultation have over the years proven to be two equally important ways for counselors to assist their clients. According to research conducted by Moe, Perera-Diltz, & Sepulveda (2010), there is a positive correlation between the two concepts. For example, both concepts utilize distinct and unique methodologies as a means of assisting clients within the realm of counseling. To truly understand how each method can be an asset for a counselor, we must first analyze the two independently. “A Consultation for professional counselors typically involves acting on behalf of an identified client through interaction with another professional consultee or stakeholder in the client’s welfare.”(Moe, Perera-Diltz, & Sepulveda, 2010) This meeting often consists of three parties in particular, a consultant, a consultee and a client. Consultations often work within the confines of a web of interconnected services. While the ultimate goal of the consultation process is the client’s well being, a way of achieving this is to provide people with an opportunity to understand a point of view not previously considered and potentially even arrive at some point of collective appreciation of the alternatives. Advocacy on the other hand is a concept that counselors can utilize to promote social change in a way that is directly beneficial to the client. “Scholars propose that by integrating a social justice advocacy role into the core identity of professional counselors will in turn help redress past and current societal oppression of marginalized populations.” (Moe, Perera-Diltz, & Sepulveda, 2010). I think one of the greatest examples of advocacy within the field of counseling, were the massive health reforms brought on by Clifford Beers in the late 1800’s. Beers who was actually once a mental health patient himself, advocated nationally for improved care within mental health institutions. His work single handedly challenged the stigma of “mental” health and brought about monumental changes that ultimately changed the way society viewed mental health patients.

Role of Consultation and Advocacy on my Professional Career

As I look forward to the future, I am forced to think about what roles consultation and advocacy will play on my own professional career. As a mental health counselor, I think I could utilize consultations in a variety of ways. For example, if I had a client who was seeking advice about what medicines would benefit them the most; I could potentially consult with a psychiatrist on the client’s behalf. So as we look at the process within the confines of a web, the client would be the center of the web and would branch out from there with the focus remaining solely on the center. The psychiatrist would be the consultant and I would serve as the consultee. There also many ways in the role of a mental health counselor I could serve as an advocate for my clients. For example, let’s say I was working with a client that was diagnosed with mild mental retardation with limited communication and socialization skills. As an advocate for that client I could push for additional clinical assistance within the community. Therefore not only am I advocating for social change, it would also be in a way that is directly beneficial to the client in that it would provide them with more opportunities to function within the community with a sense of independence.

Correlation between Consultation and Advocacy

While it may be hard to find significant similarities between advocacy and consultation methodologies, they do have the potential to serve as cohesive assets that counselors can utilize with assisting their clients. In many instances when counselors are working with individuals who have suffered from some form of social injustice, they will seek the...

References: Cohen, F., & Dvoskin, J. (n.d.). 16 Mental and Physical Disability Law Reporter 1992 Inmates with Mental Disorders: A Guide to Law and Practice Feature. Redirecting.... Retrieved August 3, 2013, from
Greenleaf, A. T., & Williams, J. M. (2009). Supporting Social Justice Advocacy: A Paradigm Shift towards an Ecological Perspective . Journal for Social Action in Counseling and Psychology, 2(1), 1-14. Retrieved July 28, 2013, from
Moe, J. L., - Diltz, D. P., & Sepulveda, V. (2010). Are Consultation and Social Justice Advocacy Similar? : Exploring the Perceptions of Professional Counselors and Counseling Students. Journal for Social Action in Counseling and Psychology, 2(2), 106-123. Retrieved July 28, 2013, from
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