Social Justice Advocacy and Consultation
Survey of Research in Human Development for Professional Counselors
69 South Bradford Street
North Andover, MA 01845
Telephone: (978) 944-4212
Instructor: Dr. Rita Smith
This paper explains the concepts and relationship between social justice advocacy and consultation, two necessary skills that an effective counselor develops and practices to achieve their professional goals, to recognize, understand, and assist the demands of the client or consumer. According to research conducted by Moe, Perera-Diltz, Sepulveda's, (2010), there is a positive correlation between the two concepts. However, the research did reveal that “Participants differed in their perceived similarity between consultation and advocacy based on the interaction of their practice setting and ethnic or racial identification (Moe, et al. 2010).” It is evident that social justice advocacy requires efficient skills that needs to be continuously practiced within the counseling profession. The professional advocate and consultant do illustrate opposing roles where an advocates’ approach is to cease the oppression within a client’s life and the consultants’ primary concern relates towards the discovery and therapy of the psychological consequences (Benjamin, & Baker, 2004; Speight, & Vera, 2004.). The paper will also examine and address the benefits experienced from the counselor’s participation and utilization of advocacy, in relation to the care of children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. The presence of institutional and social barriers such as certain influences, and resistance will also be examined. The concept of social justice advocacy can be explained by first defining advocacy. Advocacy can be classified as a mental health counselor’s action to assist in their clients’ therapy and achieve the overall goals of the therapy by considering the clients environment. Social justice advocacy includes these actions with the desired goal of eliminating the oppression in society, including that of the marginalized population. “Scholars propose that integrating a social justice advocacy role into the core identity of professional counselors will help redress past and current societal oppression of marginalized populations (Moe, et al., 2010, p. 106). These actions also reflect the desire to organize an appropriate or just society, whose population has a right for humane and just treatment, and the protection of these rights are practiced and enforced. Consultation can be described as the collaborative process between a mental health counselor, other professionals, and a client. The goal of this process, or therapy, is for the counselor to assist in the recognition and resolution of any issues that are present. “Consultation for professional counselors typically involves acting on behalf of an identified client through interaction with another professional consultee or other stakeholder in the client’s welfare (Moe, et al., 2010, p.108).” Clinical consultants usually practice methods related to “Diagnosing, using behavioral analysis, negotiating for resource access, and evaluating outcomes (Moe, et al., 2010, p.113).” A mental health counselor should demonstrate the professional characteristics of both an advocate and a consultant. It is important to believe that we live in a society that is, for the most part, good in nature but we still experience negative situations on occasion. The mental health counselor should advocate for a better society where the majority of the population is treated respectfully and humane. The ultimate challenge is for the mental health counselor is to pass on these beliefs and assist those who have been subjected to any unjust treatment. The professional counselor should also act as an experienced consultant. This includes an ability to recognize and develop solutions for any issues...
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