Twenty the degree of success in counseling

Twenty percent of the United States population has some sort of disability.  It’s important for counselors to be aware that it’s very evident in one’s attitudes, levels of acceptance, and competence that manifests the degree of success in counseling practice. Attitudes may vary anywhere from being very disdainful and dismissive to overprotective or sympathetic. Strauser, O’Sullivan, and Wong reported that the general public consistent experiences of anxiety, fear, and social interaction strain when interacting with people with disabilities”. Education can help allay fears and addressed any false stereotypes associated with disabled population. Introduction Approximately 57 million people in the United States has reported having one or more disabilities. “The  ADA defines disability as “a physical or mental implication that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual”(Sue & Sue .pg 638). Among this group over half have a disability that severely affects day to day functioning. When using the term disability here it’s referring one’s cognitive, physical, sensory, or emotional functional impairment. There are three different types of disabilities. First there is the moral model. The moral model focuses on the defect. This is where the defect is usually perceived as a punishment or test of faith it representing some form of sin or moral lapse. The second model is a medical model. The medical model focuses on the defect or loss of function that resides in the individual. This is where an action is usually taken to cure or rehabilitate the individual. Finally, the third model is the minority model.  The minority model usually viewed as an external problem involving the environment of the individual. Among the millions of people with disabilities, only about ten percent of the disabled population’s disabilities can be seen. Not all disabilities are apparent, some are “visible” and some are “invisible”. Visible disabilities can be seen through the use of a wheelchair, hearing aids, and service dogs. Invisible disabilities, however, can’t be seen. Individuals are more likely to have invisible disabilities, such as cardiovascular problems, arthritis, back or spine problems, asthma, epilepsy, neurodevelopmental disorders, and mental illness. In 1990 the Americans with Disabilities ACT (ADA) was signed into law. This law prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. It applies and protects individuals with disabilities with employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications, and government activities. This law ensures that building, facilities, and transit vehicles are accessible and used by individuals with disabilities.   Understanding the different aspects and implications is key to success for counselors when working with people with disabilities. Depending on one’s personal and professional desires various forms of disabilities can be addressed through counseling techniques to help aid the growth of disabled population. Counselors should articulate the important dimensions of family values/structure, sex role expectations, role conflict, acculturation, religiosity, educational characteristics, discrimination, and implications of disabilities to really actively assist their clients. Actively assisting helps the disabled population helps gain maximum benefits from various types of counseling practices.Family Values /Structure Humans need an environment where we are love and can help each other. People need a safe place to express themselves and therapeutically it’s important to remain separate from the issue, not apart of the solution and not apart of the problem. “A disability places a set of extra demands or challenges on the family system and most of these demands last for a long time (Sue and Sue, ).” Many of these challenges cut across disability type, the age of the person with the disability, and type of family in which the person lives.Family caregivers operate now as integral parts of the healthcare system. Services that were once provided by a healthcare provider is now provided by a caregiver or family member. Emotion issue such as stress, guilt, self-punishment, and angry stressors might arise in the caregiver or family member. It’s important a therapist help try to reduce the impact of stressors on caregivers or family member.  Sex Role Expectations The disabled population can demonstrate a variety of emotional reactions in adapting to their condition. As some may adopt well, others may have more difficulty coping. Successful integration into relationships and work activities are examined, yet, sexuality and relationship issues may be ignored. Due to the belief that the disabled lacks the ability of interests to pursue these intimacies. Counselors may minimize or often make the justified assumption that certain issues should or should not be important because of the disability and the stigmas attached.   People with disabilities react to situations just like anyone else does. In children, boys and those from low-income families are more likely to experience a disability. Women are more likely than men to experience a physical disability.  Both men and women with disabilities often express concerns over sexual functioning and reproduction.  While the disabled population may worry about their sexual attractiveness and how to relate to a partner.  This is mainly due to the received the societal message that they should not be sexual or that they are sexually unattractive. Counselors can and should help their clients understand by emphasizing that sexual relationships are based on communication and that emotional responsiveness. These relationships can help lead the individual to developing new ways of achieving sexual satisfaction in their life. Acculturation Statues and Laws protects those with disabilities from unequal treatment and been denied any treatment due to a disability.  Individuals with disabilities can come from anywhere regardless of race, sex, or age. Yet, disabilities tend to appear in the older population. “Rating of life satisfaction with disabilities tends to be lower than those without and disability”( Sue & Sue, pg 642). Yet, increased life satisfaction is closed associated with having close social relationships and paid employment.  Individuals with a severe disability have high unemployment and high poverty rates. In 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that as people age the prevalence of disabilities become higher. “With only about 12% of children having a documented disability and adult 65 years and older is 50%.”(U. S. Census Bureau, 2012). Blacks and Whites more likely to have a disability than Asians and Hispanics. In 2016,the U.S Census reported individuals with a disability were more concentrated in service occupations than those with no disability. At a rate of 21.3 percent disabled  compared to 17.6percent with no disabilities (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). They also reported that workers with a disability were more likely than those with no disability to work in production, transportation, and material moving occupations. At a rate of 14.6 percent with disabilities compared to 11.6percent no disability. “Individuals with a disability were less likely to work in management, professional, and related occupations than those without a disability).” (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). At a rate of 31.7 percent compared to 39.5percent having no disabilities. Education characteristics statistics Councorsl need to actively assist individuals with disabliies to maximuze thier education and employment outcomes. Accounting for about 9% of students enrolled in a secondary educational institution has some sort of disability.  There has been a new shift in the orientation with disabilities from remediation or ” making them as normal as possible” by identifying and strengthening interests and skills. Many schools offer vocational /educational program and school to work transition programs. Individuals with a disability are less likely to have completed college degrees or  attain higher levels of education. Those with higher education are more likely to be employed than those with less education. “Across all levels of education in 2016, individuals  with a disability were much less likely to be employed than were their counterparts with no disability.”((Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016).  ReligiositySpirituality and religious beliefs can be the source of inner strength and support. If a disability is seen as a test of faith, religious support may be seen as an import component of counseling practices. “Qualities such as creativity, resilience self-control, self-advocacy and the ability to make positive connections with others and find meaning in my first drink spiking in being trapped in the therapeutic process.” (Wehmeyer, 2014) Outcome Is enhanced by improving self-confidence, finding, and developing ways to empower the client”. (Shallcross, 2011)”Councillors need to listen to what their clients needs rather than force clients into any specific direction in relation to their disability” (Dunn Burcaw, 2013).  Religiosity goals may include reducing guilt and giving meaning to the experience through  religious practices.  Integration strategies include generating support from the religious community and developing problem solving approaches. DiscriminationCounselors should be familiar with their own feelings of discomfort or bias around those with disabilities. With approximately 57 million individuals having some level of disability physical or mental and people often lack understanding and do not know how to respond to people with disabilities. Ableism is an all too common discriminatory practice in which individuals without disabilities are favored or given preferential treatment. Ableism implies that those with disabilities are somehow inferior to those without a disability.  In accounting for this difference, greater knowledge and quality or nature of contact with persons with disabilities often mediates one’s attitudes and level of acceptance (McManus, Feyes, & Saucier, 2011) “These reactions vary as a function of the type of disability and the perceptions attributed to persons without disabilities.” “For example, those who have a disability and drug and alcohol addictions may be perceived more negatively than those who have a learning disability. Marhsak and Seligman offer a detailed discussion of existing stereotypes. “Councilors are encouraged to explore their own feelings about counseling people with physical disabilities because people have conscious and unconscious reactions to disability, an accurate perception is often difficult to maintain the therapeutic relationship.” Often, counselors have a tendency to underestimate abilities and discriminatory terms such as retarded, lame, or crazy. These are words are used without conscious awareness of the impact it has on individuals within  disabled population. The greatest prejudice may occur with invisible disabilities, such as psychiatric conditions. “As a person with schizophrenia stated, “I don’t want to tell anybody, because people who aren’t ill, they do not have the same tendency sometimes to treat you different…we’ve got to disguise ourselves a lot (Goldberg, Killeen, & O’Day, 2005 p. 463).” Understanding your own prejudices and discrimination is a must before accepting to work with the disabled population. Implications There are fourteen implications identified in Clinical practice for the disabled population. Fist, identify your beliefs, assumptions, and attitudes about individuals with disabilities. Understand the prejudice, discriminations, inconveniences, and barriers faced by individuals with physical disabilities and the problems faced by individuals with invisible disabilities. Assess the impact of multiple sources of discrimination on ethnic minorities and other diverse with disabilities.Then redirect internalized self-blame for the disabilities to societal attitudes. Employ necessary modification to enhance communication, and address directly. Determine whether the disability is related to presenting problem and identify the model your client adheres to. Determine whether the disability will influence assessment to treatment strategies. If formal tests are employed, provide accommodations, and recognize that support is important. Finally, identify environmental changes or accommodations that may be needed. Help family members reframe the problem so that the family and clients strengths can be identified and develop self- advocacy skills. Realize mental health professionals may need to serve as advocacy or consultants to initiate changes in academic and work settings. Stay aware of web resources and provide links to disability-related products.Summary  Due to the number of myths and different beliefs about those with disabilities Mental health professional s should keep abreast the federal and state laws in their counseling practice. It is a law that counseling practices do not provide unequally or deny treatment to clients with disabilities. Evaluate your environment and yourself before you began working with the disabled population.   It’s very important counselors articulate the important dimensions of family values/structure, sex role expectations, role conflict, acculturation, religiosity, educational characteristics, discrimination, and implications of disabilities.  Doing so will help the therapist to really be available to aid their clients to gain maximum benefits from various types of counseling practices.