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Adventure Based Counseling Research Paper

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Updated: Apr 15th, 2022

Introduction

This assignment is a discussion on the topic of adventure based counseling and its effectiveness in counseling adolescents with problems of self-esteem. The discussion starts with a general overview of counseling then goes on to look at the adventure based counseling and its effectiveness in counseling adolescents with problems of self-esteem.

In the discussion, it is argued that the method of adventure based counseling, which takes place in a group context is very effective in helping clients (adolescents) to increase the levels of awareness of themselves thus becoming more responsible and fully in charge of their lives through the integration of their experiences with those of the other group members.

Discussion

General Overview of Counseling

According to Carl Rogers, counseling is a series of direct contact between clients and counselors with an aim of assisting the clients to change their attitudes and behaviors which cause distress to them as well as helping them gain an understanding of themselves so as to take the appropriate positive steps in light of a new orientation.

According to Carl Rogers therefore, effective counseling should occur in an environment where the counselor and the client are able to interact without any barriers (Rogers, 1951).

Counseling is considered by psychologists as a helping profession. Just like other professions, counseling is guided by professional ethics and codes of conduct (Freeman, 2000). These are established to guard the public from unethical practices by quarks, who may pose as counselors. Counselors therefore undergo through intensive training where they acquire skills, techniques and competencies to use in their practice (Egan, 2007).

The techniques and skills which counselors acquire are unique and are aimed at helping different clients, who have different problems. Some of the techniques which they use in counseling include attending, effective listening and responding. The skills they use include reflecting, questioning, confronting, informing, teaching and interpreting among others (Burnard, 2005).

The goals of counseling include enhancement of self-understanding, communication, learning and behavior change, self-actualization and support by the counselor and or family members to the client (Geldard, & Geldard, 2005).

There are various types of counseling which are applicable to various clients and situations. The reason why there are many types of counseling is because clients are faced with various types of problems. Examples of counseling methods include client centered, behavioral, cognitive behavioral, group counseling, and adventure based counseling as well as indigenous methods of counseling.

All these types of counseling use different theoretical frameworks as guidelines in the interventions. In the following paragraphs, I have provided an overview of the adventure based counseling and its effectiveness in counseling adolescents with problems of self-esteem.

Effectiveness of Adventure Based Counseling on Adolescent’s Self Esteem

Developmental psychologists have differed on the definition of adolescence especially on the criteria of age. Some argue that it starts as early as 8 years while others argue that it may start as late as 12 years and end as late as 22 years. However, they tend to agree that for many people, adolescence starts at the age of 11 years and ends at the age of 19 years.

What is of interest here is however not the definition or the age at which it starts and ends but rather the changes which take place during adolescence and how they affect the adolescent (Damon, Menon & Bronk, 2003. pp.119-128).

One of the renowned developmental psychologists called G. Stanley Hall once described adolescence as a period of storm and stress. This means that many adolescents undergo through psychological changes which involve fluctuation of moods and emotions. Most of them usually start engaging in heterosexual relationships and also want to be independent from their parents (Damon, et al, 2003. pp.119-128).

Most of them also worry about their appearance, performance in school as well as their ability to attract friends of the opposite sex. Most of them therefore have problems related to self-esteem. One cause of such problems is the failure to secure attractive opposite sex friends as well as things like acne and general physical body characteristics (Damon, et al, 2003. pp.119-128).

The problems related to self-esteem may have very adverse effects on the adolescents because they may be ignored by their peers leading to feelings of inadequacy. This may in turn lead to a lot of stress which may interfere with their normal lives as well as their performance in school. This calls for their counseling so as to re-invent their confidence, trust and self-esteem so as to overcome the stress (Damon, et al, 2003. pp.119-128).

One of the commonly used methods of counseling adolescents with problems of self-esteem is the adventure based counseling. This method of counseling is based on the existential theory of counseling which focuses on the clients’ levels of awareness about themselves and their immediate psychosocial environments (Damon, et al, 2003. pp.119-128).

Adventure based counseling uses groups of clients who are affected by similar problems or challenges. With the problem of low self-esteem among adolescents, adventure based counseling can be used to bring them together so that they may share their experiences in terms of their history, their achievements, strengths as well as their weaknesses.

Through the method, adolescents can be helped to understand and identify their strong points as well as their weaknesses which may be causing feelings of low self-esteem to them. The group environment gives them an opportunity to complement each other’s strengths thus boosting their confidence (Damon, et al, 2003. pp.119-128).

The role of the counselor in adventure based counseling is that of a teacher as well as a facilitator. He or she relies on the discussion of the group members to shape the counseling sessions in manner that enables them to volunteer as much information about themselves as possible.

The more they volunteer information about themselves, the more they become open to each other which in turn increase their awareness of themselves. The increased levels of awareness about themselves enables them have confidence, trust and positive attitude towards each other and themselves which leads to increased levels of self-esteem (Damon, et al, 2003. pp.119-128).

The group environment also enables them to learn and acquire strong interpersonal skills, peoples’ skills as well as group skills which enable them to eliminate any negative attitudes, thinking or perceptions about themselves and focus only on their positive attributes. The complementarity effect within the group also enables them to understand that they are not the only people faced with such problems.

This further relieves them the burden of feelings of inadequacy. The end result is adolescents with increased levels of awareness who are responsible and able to take control of their negative emotions, perceptions and feelings and move forward as individuals who are fully in charge of their lives (Damon, et al, 2003. pp.119-128).

Conclusion

This dissuasion was about adventure based counseling and its effectiveness in counseling adolescents with problems of low self-esteem. In the discussion, it has emerged that adolescence is a period of storm and stress which emanate from psychosocial developmental process, especially those related to heterosexual relationships.

The adventure based counseling is appropriate for addressing self-esteem needs among adolescents because it brings them in a group setting where they are helped to realize and identify their strong points and ignore their weak points.

References

Burnard, P. (2005). Counseling Skills for Health Professionals (4th Ed.). Cheltenham, UK:Nelson Thornes

Damon, W., Menon, J., & Bronk, K. C. (2003). The development of purpose during adolescence. Applied Developmental Sciences, 7, pp.119-128.

Egan, G. (2007). The Skilled Helper: A Problem-Management and Opportunity-Development Approach to Helping (8th Ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Freeman, S. J. (2000). Ethics: An Introduction to Philosophy and Practice. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.

Geldard, D., & Geldard, K. (2005). Basic Personal Counseling: A Training Manual for Counselors (5th Ed.). Sydney: Pearson Education.

Rogers, C. (1951). Client Centered Therapy: Its Current Practice, Implications, and Theory. Boston:Houghton Mifflin.

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