October 13th, 2014
Counseling children/adolescents can look very different than counseling adults due to many aspects. Adults have their way of life set in a way that is hard to change as they get older, but kids are learning who they are and are more open to change. Children start their life depending on others as adults have learned how to live independently. Children and adolescents also cope with their hardships and do not realize that they need help as they have not learned who they can go to if they are having problems. Counseling children/adolescents need certain training and skills to reach a level of success that we are looking for in a session. The way of thinking for an adult and a child are different in so many ways. The adult brain in adults is fully developed and they are set in their ways that can be hard for a counselor to change. It is hard to transform an adult person when they have gone their whole dealing with issues in a way that may be harmful to themselves or others. Adults have gone their whole life learning who they can trust and who they cannot trust which makes it difficult for the counselor to gain that trust in an adult client. Children have an easier time trusting as it often takes just a few minutes to open up to a counselor. Changes in the brain structure and function occur during childhood and adolescence (Henderson & Thompson, 2010). Since their brain is still developing they have not learned their way of handling certain emotions as mentioned in Jean Piaget’s four stages of cognitive development. Counselors have to work in a different way when dealing with the thinking processes of adults versus children. Dependency changes to an independent frame of mind as a person gets older. Kids depend on their parents for the basic needs as stated in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which are physiological needs, safety needs, love and belonging, self-esteem, and self-actualization. These...
References: Henderson, D.A., & Thompson, C.L. (2010). Counseling Children (8th Ed.). Pacific Grove, CA:
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