Causes Of Family Problems And The Result It Gives To Its Members

The family is the primary source of support, assistance and love of everybody. It is in the home where we feel refuge and protection during a storm or whenever we have problems. However, in some cases that there is an absence of family, problems occur because there is no guidance from the parents. Most people who grew up without a family tend to divert into wrong doings like alcoholism, drug dependence and other negative vices.

Those who made an experiment on alcohol and drugs on their teen years have a higher risk of having dependency problems and substance abuse in the long run. Problems like pressure at work and financial concern tend to work harder in order to get an increase. In their pursuit of bigger salary and promotion, they end up staying late in the office for several hours in order to impress the boss. Some time in order to cope up with stress and lack of sleep, people turn on using cocaine or other prohibited drugs while some drink too much alcohol to forget their problems.

Misuse as well as overuse of drugs, can lead to broken families, domestic abuse, and crimes because of the lack of guidance of a good parent. If all the children that have a divorced parents or separated parents tend to submit themselves to drugs and alcohol, perhaps almost ¾ of the entire population is already addicted. Luckily, there are nongovernmental and private institutions that help these individuals who are experiencing such problems in the family or at work. For example, in Utah there is the presence of Utah mental health, Utah marriage counselor, Utah family therapist and Utah therapy.

Programs like drug rehabilitation treatment, family counseling and programs that are specially design for children or teens undergoing problems in the family, substance abuse and mental concern are encouraged by the government nowadays to give assistance to many people. There are programs created by the government to fight the use of cocaine, marijuana, alcohol and other prohibited drugs. Most of these programs are successful in finding solutions to these problems.

Too much alcohol and drugs can cause family problems as well as marital problems. These two basic things can make people apart. The only way to resolve the issue is to undergo counseling, treatment and rehabilitation at an early stage. Family conflicts and problems can be resolved with marriage counseling. Drug addiction and alcoholism can be treated through rehabilitation and any other problem can be resolved through guidance and counseling.

Many people also face financial problems, almost everybody experience having a financial concern. Money troubles appear whenever we do not know how to manage our resources. The best way to avoid problems in money is to spend your money wisely. You need to live within your means. It is also necessary to avoid credit card debt. The interests in credit card often cause trouble. It is extremely vital that we know how to manage our funds.

Many people suffer because they fail to resolve any issue on its first stage. It is a must that whenever there are problems for example within the family, we must solve the conflict. In cases that a member of the family gets hooked up with alcohol or illegal drugs, we must help them get over with the dependence, and if the problem gets worse, we can get professional help from the experts.

Credit Counseling - Freeing Up Your Hard-Earned Cash

Much like many people in the United States your paycheck is a very important part of your family's financial well-being. A large portion of the United States and the world for that matter lives in a check to check scenario and in these troubled-times with global economies being ravaged by high rates of unemployment and housing market collapses this is seen as a good thing to even receive a paycheck at all. Today we are going to look at credit counseling as a means of freeing up your hard-earned cash especially for those living, as they say, from paycheck to paycheck.

Life in a Vacuum

The object of credit relief counseling and debt relief is to make living that much easier through the consolidation and wise management of money. Currency is the driving force in most economies of the world and in the United States gold and currency is seen as the highest form of economic success. Without money or currency an economy will implode and the resources will be quickly used-up in a matter of weeks or possibly months. Your family's financial economy can be a mirror of sorts of the United States economy with a scaled-down ratio relating to a dollar per dollar replica.

Modeling Family Economy

Credit counseling can free up your hard-earned cash and the way this normally happens is through counseling sessions and good debt management practices. It does not matter if you or new to the world of budgets and saving dollars or even clipping coupons as all are means to a happy ending. According to many credit counseling services throughout the Internet and in the United States a budget is the first step in reforming and reshaping a family's economic power base. As noted above currency is the driving force in the American economy and so is it in the family's economy as well.

Desire to Be Free

To start off an adventure and a journey into credit counseling all that is mandated is that you have the desire to free up some hard-earned cash and the willpower to stick to a program of budgetary concerns. After a few months of learning how to handle your financial resources you will see an improvement, across the board, in both income received and monies sent out to pay for goods and services that the family needs. All in all it will be a great time for the entire family and do not concern yourself with the few bumps in the road that almost every client that comes to a credit counseling service must endure. It will and does get better.

But I Can Always Talk to My Friends - How Counselling Differs From Friendly Advice

As a counsellor in private practice, I have the opportunity to work with many clients who have decided for themselves that it would be helpful to talk to someone. Clients who come to private counselling for help typically have not sought referral to an NHS counsellor through their GP because they are not suffering from severe depression or anxiety, and they are functioning well enough. By choosing a private counsellor, and paying for the work themselves, they are taking ownership of their issues and their ability to find solutions.   However, many people would not dream of going to see a counsellor, let alone paying for the experience. A rough and unscientific poll of my own acquaintances about whether they would pay for private counselling elicited a high proportion of answers along the following lines:

"But I know I could always talk to my friends.... " (or mum, or husband, or sister, etc)   Some people are lucky enough that they can talk to friends and family about whatever is bothering them,  but for many other people, there are times when this may not be possible. At such times, they may choose to talk to a professional counsellor instead. Counsellors have the skills and theory to make the conversation as helpful as possible to the client. Plus, the very nature of the counselling relationship is different from the relationship we have with friends or family. And sometimes, it is precisely this different sort of relationship that is needed for the conversation to happen. So, what makes Counselling different from talking with friends or family? Here are a few of the differences:   "...but enough about me - how about you?"

We may feel as if there's an unwritten contract to 'take turns' at talking about our problems. Have you ever felt that it is boring or tiresome for your friends or family members to hear you talk about your problems? If so, you have probably cut short what you were talking about, feeling it's time for you to be the listener instead. With a counsellor, the whole purpose for the counselling relationship is for you to talk about your issues. This is clearly understood from the start, so you never need to let the counsellor 'take her turn'.   "Stop offering me advice!"   Sometimes we want to express how we feel, even though we are not ready to change. Have you ever been talking to a friend about something that is bothering you, only to find yourself becoming irritated when they offer you a series of suggested solutions. It's natural for our friends to want to help us, but the chances are that you will have already thought of the solutions that are being suggested. Your problem is a problem because there is something hidden that prevents you from adopting the straightforward solutions. Counsellors are trained to value your expression of feelings as an important part of your experience. They will understand that your difficulty is a complex part of your reality, and help you to explore it fully so that you can arrive at your own preferred course of action.

"I don't want to say who..."

Relationships are often the focus of people's difficulties. Particularly with family, partners or friends, it can be difficult to be completely open about our other relationships, as they may know the people involved and feel compromised by hearing what we have to say. With a counsellor you can speak freely, knowing the counsellor is outside the circle of family or friends.   "Is this a good time to talk?"   Have you ever looked forward to meeting a friend so that you could talk through what is bothering you, only to arrive at the meeting and find her upset about her own concerns? If your friend has problems of her own at the moment, you may feel that you can't really burden her with your worries right now. With a counsellor you have a scheduled time that is specifically for you to talk about whatever you want.   "I'm so angry I could cry..."   Particularly in western society, we often feel uncomfortable with displays of emotion such as rage or tears. Good friends may wish to soothe or comfort these feelings away, but in doing so they may effectively be ending the conversation. For many of us, it is the awareness that a particular topic might evoke tearfulness or rage that makes us avoid talking about it in normal social contexts. Counsellors will not be uncomfortable with displays of emotion or try to make the feelings 'go away', but will listen to what you have to say together with whatever emotions accompany your story.   "We used to be close, but..."   If we have shared very intimate or painful feelings with a friend whom we later lose contact with, we may be left with questions about continuing confidentiality - will the person continue to keep your secret? You may also be left wondering about how your talking about your concerns may have affected the friendship. Counsellors will always seek to manage endings very carefully, so that there are no questions left hanging for the client, and professional confidentiality continues indefinitely after the counselling relationship ends.   These are just a few of the differences between talking to friends and talking to a professional counsellor. Other differences of course depend on the specific qualifications and experience of the counsellor you choose: their approach will differ accordingly, and clients typically take this into consideration before getting in contact.   The opportunity to talk about our problems with friends is a most precious part of our social interaction, that counselling does not seek to replace. Rather, counselling is a therapeutic conversation that people seek at certain times in their life, when they feel the need to talk within a different kind of relationship, in order to find a different perspective.

Counseling Can Help the Whole Family Deal With Adolescent Behavioral Issues

The various pressures that adolescent children experience, including the changes occurring within themselves, are among the major social concerns of today's parents, and rightly so. As a result of the inability to cope with all the changes that happen during this life stage, many teens and pre-teens develop extreme behavioral problems as well as eating disorders or even addictions to drugs or drinking. While counseling for troubled teens and tweens is often recommended, the entire family can benefit from the expertise of a professional counselor.

Many parents of teenagers or pre-teens lose confidence in themselves and in their ability to parent due to the difficulties and behavior problems their children face. More and more are reaching out to psychologists for guidance. Family counselors work with these parents to help them understand what is happening to their adolescents physically, mentally, emotionally and socially.

Bodies of adolescents are changing as they experience rapid physical growth. Many kids feel uncomfortable and often times clumsy. Puberty can cause embarrassment and withdrawal. Teens and pre-teens alike can be stubborn, exasperating and argumentative for seemingly no apparent reason from an adult perspective. However, when bearing the brunt of this often frustrating behavior, parents need to keep in mind that adolescents have a strong need to express themselves and to protect their ever-changing and expanding social scene. They are choosing different friends and experiencing new peer pressures. Often, their emotional life is a roller coaster ride, happy and carefree one moment and tearful the next. Is it any wonder that parents may find it difficult to cope? Family counselors can be a tremendous help during these times.

As part of the counseling process, psychologists may choose to spend one on one time with each member of the family, hearing his or her perspectives and learning how each feels in individual situations. There will be other times when the counselor will sit down with the family as a whole with the intention of keeping the lines of communication open. This way, the therapist can help each individual to understand what everyone is feeling, and get to the root of some of the destructive behaviors that are occurring. They also help each person understand how to communicate with each other in order to prevent misunderstandings, alienation and other problems.

Family counseling also can help parents learn new ways to assist their adolescents in developing discipline, problem solving, and effective anger management and time management skills. Psychologists can also assist parents in dealing with teen and pre-teen ups and downs. Therapy can help parents better understand the emotional changes adolescents experience while trying to establish a settled identity, and that continued pressure from adults for them to "grow up" will only fuel inconsistency, discouragement and perhaps even anger.

As the old saying goes, no one is an island. However, adolescents need time, space and near-infinite patience to blossom into the amazing adults they can become. Family counseling can help parents, teens and preteens, and even other siblings better understand each other and learn new ways to effectively deal with and overcome behavioral problems and other challenges.

Online Counseling Processes For Troubled Marriage

This case study summarizes an example of individual and couple's marriage Online Counseling processes.

The process of Online Counseling starts with you, I informed J., my client; not with your husband. I was not trying to add to her sorrow, stress and anger by saying this and assured her that I was in no way implying that what she did for her "family's sake" was incorrect. I simply advised that before she could set things right for her family, J. needed to situate things right with herself first. Through our first session it became obvious that J's anger and confusion over the memory of the event was still there.

The story is about loving mother and wife that recently discovered that her husband (of 33 years) had been unfaithful. In her own words: "For the family's sake, I accepted his apology and promise that it would never happen again." She therefore encouraged her daughters to give him a second chance. This had all occurred about two months ago and things seemed to be back to normal in her household. Except that J. just couldn't forget that he had cheated on her.

J. started her Online Counseling sessions since she was worried, over anxious and stressed about whether she could truly trust him again and was concerned about being hurt again. Another issue was her fear regarding setting a poor example of tolerance for her daughters to follow in.

My experience with situations like hers showed that a period of about 2-3 sessions of Online Counseling was normally enough for most clients to move into a new and better sustainable place for their relationship, as they start to reflect on their own behavior and take responsibility for their part of the marriage that brought the spouse(s) to react as they did. It was easy for me to address HER concerns for her daughters during our first Online Counseling session. I decided to share with her MY concern: she focused on repairing her family relationship prior taking the time to begin her own personal healing. I let her know my feelings: she appeared to have been re-acting to her situation instead of dealing with it.

Psychologically speaking, I explained, it is easy to choose retaliation in time of stress, shame and anger. I did not hide my impression that she reacted to the situation by (unfortunately) making the mistake of pulling her children into the marital issues and therefore complicating things even more.

The Online Counseling process with J. confirmed the old wisdom that psychological processes do not erase memories; they heal them. This is being done by zooming in on the "WHY" and examining the fundamental deteriorating factors. Only thereafter the Online Counseling process can deal with the "WHAT NEXT" question, which was addressed via five sessions of couple Online Counseling.

School Counseling Program Organization and Implementation


Counseling programs are a vital component to any school. They provide students with resources, support, and nurturance throughout the entire duration of their elementary and secondary school years. Elementary school years are a time when children are growing socially, outside of the home. In the first few years of school they learn social skills that help them to interact with other students and adults. Counseling activities should focus on the healthy socialization of all students. Counselors at this level should offer group counseling, individual counseling, classroom guidance, media presentations showing positive interactions, and "no put-downs" type of curriculum that promotes kind social exchanges. The secondary school years bring rapid changes, physically and environmentally, to students. Adolescents are growing and changing, turning away from authority, and developing their own sense of self. Effective counseling activities must focus on human relations development such as: career training or education programs, college preparatory programs, group and individual guidance, sensitivity training, and classroom guidance (Gibson, 2003, pp. 5-51).

Counseling activities branch well beyond assistance with various career choices or personal counseling into the realm of human potential where physical, emotional, educational, and other aspects of the individual are considered. These separate parts are often difficult to distinguish, as individuals possess talents, needs, and desires that are enmeshed with one another. There are dardized tests, student assessment, consultations, career information and guidance, educational guidance and placement, prevention services, intervention activities, administrative duties, developmental tasks, information dissemination, and public relations. School counselors can engage in many different activities in a one-hour time period. The period of work is well defined to the traditional school calendar.

Elementary school counselors have recently become a staple in most states. They are the most recent addition to school staffs. However, Secondary counselors have been employed in schools for the longest time, as their role in helping students in transition between school, college, and work, has been easily identifiable. Secondary counselors provide educational information like scheduling and college placement, individual counseling, administrative services, prevention activities, group counseling and guidance, developmental activities, information sessions, standardized testing and interpretation, and consultation activities. In addition, secondary and elementary counselors are often involved in non-counseling activities (lunchroom duty, etc.). Remediation is a focus for counselors like addiction counseling, sexual concerns, and relationship adjustments. Preparing students becomes less important as making decisions since there are immediate or impending choices to be made. Consultation and an understanding of the student's environment shape behavioral modifications. Both elementary and secondary counselors are proactive in their approach to their counseling population.


All students should have access to guidance and counseling services, appropriate to their developmental stages. The program will be based on the tenet that learning is a lifelong process and therefore, counseling services should be a part of an overall continuum that contributes to the continued growth, learning, and development of each student. The guidance program must encompass the entire school community and shall be developed and implemented by the counseling staff and school administrators. All students have the freedom and responsibility for making choices within the constraints of the educational system, and will have access to the counseling staff to assist them with making those choices (DoDDS-E, 1994, p. 7).


At the elementary level, this program will promote learning by helping children to master the skills and develop the attitudes necessary to be successful. There will be an emphasis on decision making skills, developing awareness, and foundational career exploration. The program will stress the self concept development and skill enhancement necessary for each student. The middle school program will focus on the ever changing needs of young adolescents. It will emphasize continuation of skills learned in the primary grades but will alter the program to fit the needs of these students. It will address high school planning, account for student educational and occupational plans, and address any social factors that may limit potential. The high school program will assist students in becoming responsible adults who can develop realistic and promising life plans based on clear comprehension of themselves and their needs, abilities, interests, and skills. Attention will focus on helping students to develop competencies in decision making, career planning, working with others, and taking responsibility for one's own behavior.

In order to reach the goals set for each level of the program, the counseling program must be seen as an integral part of each school's total educational program. The program will be organized and implemented by the school counselors with the support of faculty, staff, parents, and the community (Gibson, pp. 2-5). It will be proactive in addressing the needs, goals, and concerns of all students by including the following components:

Analysis and counseling of individual students

Student placement services for special programs (gifted and talented, special education, etc.)

Follow-up services post special program placement

Information and resource services (guidance activities related to vocational choices, group instruction on topics of interest, educational planning, etc.)

Research and Evaluation of scholastic policies and procedures

Test administration services

Group counseling services

Parent and Faculty support services

Administrative services to assist with necessary school functions.

This program will seek to serve youth populations and assist with developmental adjustment. It is the mission of this document to establish a comprehensive competency based guidance program that can be implemented school-wide. In making provisions for this program, all students will have the opportunities and guidance necessary to develop skills for:

Accessing and processing information

Dealing with change

Thinking, reasoning and problem solving

Developing creativity

Demonstrating positive human relationships

Practicing learning as a lifelong process

The program will benefit students, parents, teachers, administrators and counseling staff by promoting educational development, increasing knowledge of self and others, increasing interaction, providing support, increasing opportunities, providing structure, and clearly defining responsibilities that must be carried out to accomplish school-wide goals (Gibson, p. 1).

The counseling program will be structured systematically and should include the following goals:

Students have applied knowledge of self and others

Students have developed competencies in life and career planning

Students have achieved educational success

In addition to the above, annual goals should be established to monitor the effectiveness of the program. The following should be considered:

Educational- Have students developed study skills, and awareness of opportunities, engaged in lifelong learning, shown appropriate test scores?

Career- Do students have knowledge of career opportunities, vocational requirements, and need for positive work habits?

Personal- Have students developed healthy self-concepts, appropriate social behaviors, and effective communication skills? Lastly, the counseling staff should evaluate all of the following areas of services to ensure that they are meeting the diverse tasks that may be required:

Academic concerns


Absences or truancy


Drop out prevention

Relationship concerns

All types of abuse

Grief, loss, and death

Substance abuse

Family issues

Sexuality issues

Coping issues

Crisis intervention (Gibson, pp. 9-11).


The comprehensive competency based guidance program includes sequential activities organized and implemented by certified school counseling in collaboration with teachers, administrators, students, and parents. The program will provide a fill array of guidance and counseling services and activities through these components:

1. guidance curriculum

2. individual students planning

3. responsive services

4. system support

Students will be assisted in acquiring competencies in career planning and exploration, knowledge of self and others, educational development, and career development (Gibson, p. 6). Personnel

There will be one counselor allotted for every 250 students enrolled in a given school. These counselors will be hired from a pool of eligible applicants who have completed a graduate program in school counseling with no less than 30 semester credit hours of graduate level study. The courses should have covered the following topics:

Human growth and development

Counseling theories

Counseling techniques

Professional orientation

Career guidance


Educational research

Multicultural issues in counseling

Tests and measurements

In addition to the above areas of study, eligible counselors will have also completed an internship in an educational setting consisting of no less than 300 hours. They also must be state certified in guidance and counseling. Budget

The school counseling program budget should be included in the annual school budget planning process. It should be established per annum to ensure that the program is developed, implemented, and managed effectively. Funds should be provided to cover the following:

Equipment and materials

Staff salaries

Continuing education and professional development

Community resources

Career guidance materials

Computerized resources

Testing materials


The above list of resources should be considered a requirement for the proper functioning of the competency based guidance program (p. 9). Evaluation of Effectiveness

In order to evaluate the counseling program, it is vital to develop standards and indicators based on the program organizational framework, to ensure the effectiveness of the program. It is also necessary to develop and used appropriate forms to supervise and evaluate school counselors based on their qualifications and job descriptions. Administration should encourage professional growth of counseling staff and assess student mastery of guidance competencies. The school administration must evaluate the impact of the program on the school climate and how well it reaches established goals. This can be done through personal evaluation, independent observation, and by surveying program users as to their use of and satisfaction with the program (p. 31). The following criteria can assist in further evaluation of effectiveness:

Is there evidence that all students are given the chance to gain awareness, knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes that lead to a socially responsible and sufficient life? Is there proof that students have acquired frequent information to help them make informed choices?

Is there evidence that all students have access to guidance in overcoming problems that are impeding their personal, social, education, or career development?

Is there proof that a team of educators provides counseling services to students within the school environment?

Is there evidence of the implementation of the program that reflects the wise use of resources according to the needs of the students?

Is there evidence that staff members are in roles that meet their professional qualifications and competence?

Is there evidence that the program is an integral part of the overall educational program?

Is there evidence that the counseling program is reviewed and renewed annually? (Gibson, pp. 31-39).

Integration of the Counseling Program into School Functions

Integration of the counseling program into the overall educational program will require a community effort. There is a survey form at the end of this document that can be used in the implementation of the counseling program. It should be given to teachers, parents, administrators or anyone else who would like to provide feedback on their expectations of the counseling program. It is important to remember that counselors do not work in a vacuum. They are constantly interacting with students come from varying cultural and environmental backgrounds, which impact their development, interpersonal skills, and behavior. Because the counselor is concerned with holistic wellness for each student, they must be sensitive to the differing needs of the students they serve.

Each counselor develops a personal style based on educational training, personal preference, values, attitudes, experiences, and cultural influence. Since no two counseling settings are the same, counselors must have highly developed adaptive abilities to succeed. Professional training programs and organizations, licensure boards, limitations, and accreditation standards all shape the counselor's role. Personal factors that influence counseling include personal likes and dislikes, rewards and encouragement for accomplishing tasks, and the perception the counselor has to the appropriate role and function for a specific setting (Gibson, 2003, pp. 204-226). In as much as each counselor will contribute unique characteristics in each school, there must be some uniformity in the implementation of the program. Each program should be implemented by:

Considering each individual as a unique being whose uniqueness is to be valued.

Recognizing that variations exist within each individual. Counseling should be geared toward identifying special skills, talents, and interests while avoiding over-generalizations about abilities. Strengths should be highlighted while shortcomings are recognized, overcome, or bypassed.

In order for counseling to be meaningful, a person must be directly involved. Input, feedback, clarification, and interpretation are all included in this participation.

Accurate human counseling is limited by instruments and personnel. There are shortcomings unique to each technique or instrument so it must be assumed that assessment only provides clues or samples, not absolutes.

Counselors must accept the positive and potential of each person.

The counseling program follows established professional guidelines, which define ethics, standards, and protection for client and counselor.

Accountability refers to the provision of objective evidence to prove that counselors are successfully responding to needs that have been identified. Accountability evidence can be obtained from written documents, records, reports, tables, and computations. Counselors are responsible for the management, development, and leadership of any program they are involved in. In addition, counselors are responsible for continued progress and improvement. Therefore, continuous and accurate assessment of needs of the target population becomes key to successful planning for goals and objectives. This assessment is critical in establishing and maintaining program relevance and fostering accountability. Accountability can have positive and reaching impact on the furtherance of the counseling profession through:

Meeting the specified needs of the target population

Finding needed areas of specialization

Demonstrating the effectiveness of human service organizations

Showing cost effectiveness of counseling programs

Providing programs that respond to client needs with proven results in an efficient manner

It must be geared not toward individuals, but toward whole populations.

The design of the program must emphasize the unique nature of the population and environment.

An assessment of influencing forces over the lives of the target population must be performed to maximum effectiveness.

Organizational support for the counseling program must by strong, indicating a willingness to follow through with goals.

It must be based on some systematic approach for identifying the needs of the student populations.

Counselors engaged in prevention programs must be able to communicate and work with parents so that a health relationship with children can be fostered from infancy.

In addition to the above list, the program will include:

Assistance in developing coping skills

Development of self-esteem and values

Building of support systems

Parental involvement for children engaged in prevention activities.

Peer mentoring

Environmental assessment

Instruction in life skills

Commitment to the time required for the program to be successful

Evaluative processes designed to ensure effectiveness of the program (pp. 297-309).

Finally, the school schedule should be structured in such a way as to provide ample opportunities for students to seek counseling services. This may involve the adoption of a block schedule where there is a seminar period offered, or it may simply require teachers and administration to be sensitive to the needs of their students so that they can find a convenient time during the course of the day to permit their students access to the counseling staff.

This inventory should also be given at the beginning of each year to assess specific needs and goals for the implementation of the program.

Person filling out the form: (please circle one) student parent teacher administrator Please circle your response to each item below. Use the numbers to indicate the importance of each question: 1= not important 2= important 3= very important 4= extremely important 5= vital

1) How important is it that students have access to career guidance 1 2 3 4 5 information and materials?

2) How important is it that students have access to a counselor so they 1 2 3 4 5 can discuss personal problems?

3) How important is it that students have access to information about 1 2 3 4 5 colleges, vocational programs, military service, and other post- graduation options?

4) How important is it that the counselor be involved in over- 1 2 3 4 5 seeing academic standardized test programs?

5) How important is it that the counselor utilize tests to identify 1 2 3 4 5 career options and talents for each student?

6) How important is it for the counselor to emphasize the 1 2 3 4 5 relationship between education and careers?

7) How important is it that the counselor provide job placement 1 2 3 4 5 assistance and referrals to students?

8) How important is it that the counselor be involved in course 1 2 3 4 5 selection and planning?

9) How important is it that the counselor assist students who 1 2 3 4 5 are dropping out or failing?

10) How important is individual Counseling for students? 1 2 3 4 5

11) How important is it that the counselor provide group 1 2 3 4 5 counseling opportunities?

12) Please list any other services that you think the counselor should provide in the remaining space.


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Department of Defense Dependent Schools Europe (DoDDS-E). (1994).Comprehensive competency based guidance program manual K-12. DoDDS.

Fraenkel, J. R., & Wallen, N. E. (2003). How to design and evaluate research in education (5th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Gibson, R. L. (2003). Introduction to counseling and guidance (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River: NJ. Merrill Prentice Hall

Kalat, J.W. (1993). Introduction to psychology (3rd ed.). Pacific Grove: Brooks & Cole.

Kirk, S. A., Gallagher, J. A., & Anastasiow, N. J. (2003). Educating exceptional children (10th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Milne, A. (2003). Counseling. London: Hodder Headline Ltd.

Slavin, R. E. (2003). Educational psychology: Theory and practice. (7th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Thompson, C. L., Rudolph, L. B., & Henderson, D. (2004). Counseling Children (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thompson Brooks/Cole.

Relationship Counselling - The Myths

1. Only people with severe mental problems go for counselling

Actually many, if not most of the people who seek counselling are perfectly normal, sane people who simply find themselves struggling at a particular point in their lives or with a particular problem. Often they are too close to the situation to be able to find a resolution or the situation has become too stressful to be able to work it through on their own. Where relationships are concerned, when problems arise because of changes or perceptions, often communication difficulties arise and couples find it impossible to move forward on their own. With the help of a counsellor or therapist, however, they can identify the real issues and find solutions which work for them.

2. Your relationship has to be at the end of the road before counselling needs to be considered

Although many people put off going to relationship counselling until the situation has got very serious and divorce seems imminent, in all cases it is better to seek help sooner rather than later. Attending counselling sessions as soon as you can see that there is a problem helps to resolve matters before they have the chance to escalate.

3. The counsellor will take sides

The aim of relationship counselling is to work with couples or families to achieve a state of harmony where everyone's voice is heard and everyone's needs are met. Counsellors cannot help their clients to achieve this by apportioning blame or taking sides, but only by creating a non-judgmental atmosphere in which everyone concerned feels supported.

4. The counsellor will turn my partner against me

This is one of the greatest fears that many people have about the counselling process. Perhaps because of their own sense of guilt about things that they have said or done in a relationship, or perhaps because of their own sense of insecurity, they feel that they will be judged, found wanting and that the counsellor will convince their partner to leave. The aim, however, is for the counsellor to facilitate understanding and communication so that the relationship works better for all concerned.

5. The counsellor is a complete stranger and so cannot possibly understand our relationship

It is precisely because the counsellor is a completely unbiased outsider that he or she is so well-placed to help. Anyone who is too close to the situation, such as a friend or family member, would not only be likely to take sides, but would also be unlikely to have had the necessary training and experience which is required to help with relationship difficulties. In many instances, turning to someone other than a qualified professional would be like the blind leading the blind.

6. My partner is the one who is causing all the problems, so I don't need counselling

Relationships revolve around interactions between individuals, and often problems occur as the individuals themselves change, when circumstances or perceptions of one another change or when people get stuck with perceptions which are no longer valid. Exploring these things together is usually the best way to discover and learn new ways of relating to one another and of being together.

7. Attending relationship counselling sessions would be embarrassing

Counsellors are bound by rules of confidentiality and so will not discuss you or your problems with others. The only people who will know that you are attending relationship counselling sessions are the ones that you choose to tell.

No human relationship could ever be described as easy and all go through periods of doubt and confusion from time to time. Where there is a real commitment towards making it work, however, relationship counselling can help couples and families to find new levels of understanding and awareness and new ways of communicating, so enabling them to live in greater harmony.

Alternative Dispute Resolution and Family Dispute Resolution

Nothing is static, every thing is dynamic. Due to evolution of time every thing changes viz., process, tradition, way of living etc. The concept of dispute was very old and still in vogue. Alternate Dispute Resolution system is not a new phenomenon for the people of this country; it has been prevalent in India since time immemorial. Ancient system of dispute resolution made a significant contribution, in reaching resolution of disputes relating to family, social groups and also minor disputes relating to trade and property. Village Level Institutions played the leading role, where disputes were resolved by elders in their particular caste or kula and panchayat system, which was an informal way of mediation. In earlier days disputes hardly reached courts. Decisions given by the elderly council were respected by all. But subsequently boon accompanied bane, the very system lost its aura. The delay in justice dispensation, particularly in commercial and family disputes, causes great hardship and financial loss to the parties. In order to reduce delays in resolution of disputes, the Governments and the Judiciary are encouraging settlements or counseling techniques or conciliation which are part of ADR. In this present day, Life is a circus in the fast-moving 21st century. Juggling job responsibilities, work and home responsibilities, wage and age - it's all a juggling act. Successful career aspirants don't become obsessed with dropping the ball, because they know they will bounce back. Stay balanced on the high wire, and don't be afraid to go a little off-balance.

Prevalence of gender biased laws and oppressive social practices over centuries have denied justice and basic human rights to Indian women. The need to establish the Family Courts was first emphasized by the late Smt. Durgabi Deshmukh. After a tour of China in 1953, where she had occasion to study the working of family courts, Smt. Deshmukh discussed the subject with Justice Chagla and Justice Gajendragadkar and then made a proposal to set up Family Courts in India to Prime Minister Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru. Even after reformative legislation was enacted, implementation of reformed laws left much to be desired. Though the women of India demanded establishment of Family Courts in 1975, the Government of India took ten years to pass the necessary legislation. The Law Commission in its 59th report (1974) has also stressed that in dealing with disputes concerning the family, the Court ought to adopt an approach radically different from that adopted in ordinary civil proceedings and that it should made reasonable efforts at settlement before the commencement of the trail. The Code of Civil Procedure was amended in 1976 to provide for a special procedure to be adopted in suits or proceedings relating to matters concerning the family. However, not much use has been made by the Courts in adopting this conciliatory procedure and the courts continue to deal with family disputes in the same manner as other civil matters and the same adversary approach prevails. The need was therefore, felt, in the public interest, to establish family courts for speedy settlement of disputes.

Section 9 of the Family Courts Act, 1984 obliges a family court to persuade the parties to arrive at a settlement by conciliation.

Family dispute Resolution got more adjustability, why because APFC (HC) Rules enable the Family Courts to held sittings outside normal working hours and holidays if the Judge considers it necessary.

The Chief Justice of Bombay High Court has introduced an innovative mechanism. Those Judges who are interested in spending two hours after office hours in mediation, with training on the aspects of mediation, will take up matters of family disputes.

Section 23 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 recognised the need for ADR. Family Courts Act, 1984 also insisted on conciliatory approach to settle family problems. The process of conciliation received statutory recognition in CPC O.XXXII A, S.13 of HM Act. Though the women of India demanded establishment of Family Courts in 1975, the Government of India took ten years to pass the necessary legislation. It is a matter of regret that, even though the Family Courts Act was passed in 1984, in 1996 in

AP, they were established.

Genesis of Family Disputes:-

1. Ego often called self-respect

2. Balance their career and family, often leads to stress and strain i.e Family V Career.

Recently, there was a conversation between two young women at a popular coffee shop, one woman advising other friend woman, soon to be married and not to get pregnant, concentrate on career by taking pills. When the contraceptive pill was first introduced, it was a triumph for working women, a symbol of liberation. Women then were keen to get on it; today we know the side effects include "blood clots, diabetes, depression or anxious emotional states" and many women are keen to get off it.

The Hyderabad city has already earned a few sobriquets like being IT Development and the country's suicide capital. And now, the city is heading towards earning the notoriety of being the country's divorce capital after Bangalore. The rising number of divorce cases in Hyderabad has needed the state government to decide on setting up additional family court in CCC, Hyderabad..

Most applicants were found to be in their late 20s and early 30s, and the figures are only rising in the burgeoning corporate world here. While the number of applicants from the IT industry has always been high. Experts said women from the lower and middle classes a steady and stable income, reducing their financial dependency on their husbands. Financial stability had helped these women develop a strong element of individual choice, giving them an opportunity to formalise their marital dissatisfaction through divorce, experts said. Sources from the family courts informed that nearly 80% of the divorce cases were filed under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955.

While 70% of the total number of cases were filed by IT professionals, BPO employees and other private companies, the remaining 30% were filed by members of the other strata of the society, they added. Family problems are caused by a number of different reasons; ex. not being open with one another, not spending enough time together, drug and drinking problems, abuse and neglect... The reasons ranged from family disputes, bad debts, ailments and other miscellaneous reasons.

In case of marital disputes, professional counselling assumes a vital role. The root cause for differences between husband and wife become difficult to find, especially in case of divorce petitions where stereotypical allegations were made, he said. In this scenario, professional counselling becomes vital to unearth the true cause of the dispute and to bring about an amicable solution.

The false reasons presented for divorce exacerbated the situation, as both the parties felt wronged, which made reconciliation that much more difficult. The need for professional counselling and said that there were many cases where people reported to her that the counselling was improper. The need of the hour was pre-marital counselling, so that people entering marriage could be aware of the commitments involved in the relationship.

There were three stages of counselling people with marital disputes.

The first was the initial state where the situation had not yet deteriorated to the extent of approaching the law, the second was at the police station where many with marital disputes turn up and the third was during divorce proceedings. So there should be a stress for the need for counselling during early stages itself.

Counselling is a process through which one person helps another by a purposeful conversation in an understanding atmosphere enabling him/her to cope more effectively with life problems. It may be the one of the resolution for family disputes to settle amicably. As counselling is a face -to - face communication, the counsellor must have the skills to understand his/ her clients, develop a friendly relationship and give complete, correct and clear information, using an easy language.

Family Counselling is one of the resolutive mode for family disputes, useful for:

1. Problems developing in one or more family members which affect all (i.e.: children's problems, anger, depression in one partner etc.)

2. Family or relationship change such as divorce, or children leaving home

3. Cultural and ethnic conflict within relationships

4. Individual Counseling


Recenly at Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, Family Counselling Centre setup by the Police Commissioner in September last, couples, which are approaching the police with complaint, are returning home with a smile on their faces.

The counselling centre functions under the aegis of the Women Protection Cell located on the Commissionerate premises. Individual counselling is being given to both husband and wife, who approach the police to lodge a complaint related to domestic trouble. Based on the seriousness of the issue, the police even use the services of legal experts and psychologists to solve the problem. The experts seek the case details from complainants and offer suggestions to resolve the issue in a peaceful manner.


The police interference would not be there either in disposals of the case or any pressures over the members. The police should create the congenial atmosphere for the rapprochement of estranged couples explaining them the bitterness of life if they fail to live together.

Now family courts that are litigant friendly.

Imagine a courtroom complete with colourful walls, specially designed tables and chairs, games, a television and even baby sitters - all for kids. Two 'family courts' inaugurated in Delhi to sort out family disputes in congenial and supportive surroundings instead of overcrowded and repelling environs of regular courts. The aim of having such courts is to give friendly atmosphere to the kids who come with feuding couples, he said.

One such family court is already functioning in Dwarka court complex. "After witnessing an overwhelming response for Dwarka court, planning to extend it to all other district courts as well".


1.To help ease the pressure on these family courts, the government has to provide them with necessary infrastructure and manpower.

2. To create awareness about the prevailing laws related to women and children.

3. To provide referral services like, free legal aid short vocational training and medical treatment.


Think for a minute: - " Holding on to anger and ego is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; we are the one who gets burned. "


How Counseling For Engaged Couples Might Help You Before Your Marriage

There are numerous reasons why engaged couples may hope to consider counseling, and it is vital to remember that attending counseling sessions does not point to a bad relationship. In reality, the eagerness to work through problems or examine diverse issues that will strike their marriage shows the level of commitment the couple shares and can help reinforce their tie even before they walk down the aisle. Counseling can also support couples to determine if they are prepared to get engaged, and it can aid them in deliberating concerns they may not have considered beforehand.

While relationship and premarital counseling is sensible for every engaged couple, those who face more grave issues may particularly want to ponder counseling or therapy. Couples who may be notably in need of counseling include:

* Remarkably young couples. There is no proper age to get engaged for every couple, but very young couples with fewer adult and relationship experiences may want to consider counseling to guarantee they are prepared for a lifelong commitment.

* Couples of opposite faiths. Obtaining religious or spiritual counseling can aid couples to bring their faiths together into a supportive religious relationship to nurture their marriage.

* Couples with abusive pasts or abusive family histories. Even if the abuse was finished long before the couple met, knowing that history and working through the old emotions can help couples know one another and learn how to be reassuring. Note: If couples have experienced abuse in their own relationship, they ought to search for extensive counseling before they get engaged to confirm their issues are resolved and they can move on without abusing one another.

* Couples with special life circumstances. Psychological disorders, medical concerns, long distance engagements, and other special circumstances can be unruly, and counseling can help couples hold their engagement without letting these circumstances be obstacles to their happiness. Additional types of counseling are handy for even more specific concerns, such as money, self esteem, substance abuse, and other issues that could be reflected in the couple's relationship.

Types of Couples Counseling

There are some types of counseling available to engaged couples, from fundamental premarital counseling to specialized sessions that can help them get support for any issues in their relationship.

Premarital Counseling

Premarital counseling may be required by law in some states or by the couple's faith. These two types of premarital counseling can be very opposite, but they are both worthwhile for couples planning a life together.

* Secular Premarital Counseling: If couples should attend counseling by law, the sessions usually incorporate primary advice on family planning, finances, communication, the legal definition and responsibilities of marriage, and other issues worthwhile to engaged couples. In various states that insist on counseling, couples may be able to elude the requisite if they have been previously married or if their nuptials are scheduled after a determined waiting period.

* Religious Premarital Counseling: Faith-based counseling may be necessary by different churches in order to have a lawful clergy perform the marriage ceremony. Counseling sessions often incorporate discussions of the role of religion in marriage, the responsibilities of married couples, the value of communication with one another and with God, and how to seek assistance from the church to settle conflicts.

Therapy Counseling

A few types of therapy counseling can be worthwhile to engaged couple if the issues addressed directly impact their relationship.

* Substance Abuse: This class of counseling may be for individuals who have abused drugs and alcohol or for their significant others. Ways to stay clean, how to handle the consequences, and different issues are frequently highlighted in supportive ways.

* Medical Counseling: If one person in the couple suffers from a physical circumstance, sickness, or handicap that requires therapy or unique care, the couple can attend counseling sessions to determine how to cope with the circumstance and how to work together as a loving, understanding couple.

* Emotional Counseling: Family abuse, disputes, deprivation, and other issues can lead to emotional problems that may demand counseling. If a couple attends this class of counseling together, they can help one another get support for these issues to lead a happy, complete life.

Specialized Counseling

Other specialized counseling that can be profitable for engaged couples include:

* Financial Counseling: These sessions examine creating a personal budget, directing debt, controlling credit cards, retirement plan, investing, and other monetary issues that can act upon the couple's marriage.

* Family Counseling: If either the bride- or groom-to-be has children from a past relationship, attending family counseling can aid the children to settle into the new family and help the couple learn how to be parents together. Ideally, couples need to resolve parenting issues before they walk down the aisle.

* Parenting Counseling: If the couple hopes to start their family right away or if they are already pregnant, counseling sessions for eager parents can help them prepare for adding a new family member to their relationship.

* Career Counseling: Planning career paths, selecting a new career, and additional issues can help couples feel safe not only in their relationship, but also in their professional paths as they start their lives together.

Arranging Counseling

If premarital counseling is necessary before a couple marries, their nearby church or marriage license office can often suggest accessible resources. For more secular counseling services, couples should ask doctors, therapists, and other resources to find the best services for their particular needs. Counseling sessions may be weekly or monthly continuing programs, one day workshops, weekend retreats, or other formats, but the end outcome is the same: helping them prepare for an enduring relationship.

Should engaged couples go to counseling? Only the couple can determine how to answer, but proper professional assistance for working out problems and plotting a stronger relationship can only help aid every couple willing to attend counseling before they walk down the aisle.

Pioneers in Christian Counseling

Gladys K. Mwiti, M.A., a counseling psychologist, is the Founder and Execute have Director of Oasis Counseling and Training Institute in Nairobi, Kenya. In addition to her work at Oasis, Gladys is the Chairman of the Christian Counselors Association of Kenya. Her husband, Gershon, is the national team leader of African Enterprise, an indigenous African counseling ministry. Gladys and Gershon have three daughters and one son. At the 1997 AACC World Conference in November, I spent some time with Gladys, talking about her pioneer work in Kenya.

Tell me about yourself, your background, and how you encountered God.

I was born in Meru District in Kenya, which is near the snow-capped, northern slopes of Mt. Kenya. Its quite a cold area indeed. I grew up in a Christian home. My mother loves the Lord. She has always been a woman of prayer, and Id love to be like her. She used to take me to church and to huge conventions.

In Africa, we have the huge, evangelistic meetings, people sitting on the green grass under the sun. That's the kind of setting where I receive the Lord as my Savior. We were at a 3,000-strong convention and the gospel was preached from John 3:16. I remember that the preacher said, It is not so much the sin you have committed in your life; it's that the Lord loves you so, so much, and what he is asking you is, Could you love me a little bit in return? As a seven year old, I did not see my sin as such a bad thing. I knew I was guilty of licking the cream off the top of the milk when my mom was not looking or taking and eating bread from the cupboard. What I really saw in myself that day was a heart that was desired and longed to know the love of God.

I probably should mention that my father used to be a Christian. He brought my mother to the Lord before they got married. She had never been to church, so when they met, my father took her to church, and she accepted the Lord as her Savior in the East African Revival of the late 1940's - 1950's that transformed most of the church is in Kenya to evangelical church is. Mom got to know the Lord in that revival, but then Dad backslid. He left Christianity he got richer, he became a businessman, a farmer, and its as if he did not need much from the Lord. He even married a second wife, and there was a lot of tension and stress at home. Sometimes as a child I wished there was more peace in my home. Dad would drink alcohol, come home sometimes, and rough up my mother. I longed for fatherly love, a father I could trust. There was so much insecurity with my dad, that when I heard the preacher talking about a God who loved me, I longed for that security.

I knew that if this God was the God of my mother, I could rely on him as a father. When the altar call was made that day, I literally ran to the front, joining hundreds of other people. Now, it's not unusual to dismiss or take lightly the fervent commitment of children at the revivals. Some people think that young children cannot make a decision for the Lord. But when I went to the front among the crowd of adults that day, an old man around 70 years old he was wearing a huge coat, and he had such big, soft hand same to me, bent on his knee, and just gathered me to himself, hugging me. I remember disappearing into his coat, and it was so sweet and comfortable, I did not want to leave there. I still remember the smell of his coat today. He just hugged me to himself, and that symbolized acceptance of me, a child, in the church of Christ. It also represented security and a sense of belonging. I was one of the brethren.

From then on, the church took me seriously, because the next Sunday, they put me up on a table and asked me to share my testimony of what the Lord had done! I spoke out, and I am told today that some people were challenged and they cried as a result of my testimony. From that time, I have not stopped talking about the Lord. I have talked to thousands of young people in schools, women ministries, and couples ministries. After I married my husband, Gershon, who is an evangelist, we went on preaching together. I went to college, got my education, and taught physics and chemistry in school for about 14 years before the Lord called me to the ministry of counseling. How have you seen the field of counseling center and change the part of the world where you work? Some of us are literally pioneers in the field of counseling in the countries. When I began the Oasis Counseling Center in 1990, I knew very few people who were in full-time Christian counseling in Kenya. So I have actually been a part of the ministry of premiering professional Christian counseling. There's very little lay counseling, so most of my time is spent in equipping the church to be a counseling community, rather than waiting for people to crumble and then coming to Oasis.

The changes that I have seen are changes that have come through some of us in the field. The counseling ministry in Kenya is professional, Christian, and boldly prevent have in nature. Many people have opened the door to us since my husband and I have worked with the church for a long time. We have been able to introduce programs like couples seminars along with our preaching and evangelism.

The credibility of our lifestyle encouraged people to trust us. We found doors swinging open from bishops to lay people, and I think this is what has helped counseling to progress through Africa. Yes, it's true. The reason I decided to change professions was because of the students who kept bringing their problems to me. I discovered that the kids had so many problems that I was not able to help them adequately. What actually drove me into counseling was the following story. I was a deputy principal in a girl's high school. One morning I was just about to do assembly for the Morning Prayer when a girl came running into school crying. I could see she was really stressed. Mrs. Mwiti, I need to talk to you right now. Susan, I cannot talk to you now, were just about to do assembly. But I have got to talk to you! She said. OK, I said. Go to my office, and I will talk to you as soon as I am through with assembly. When I finished assembly and went into my office, she was still crying. Now this girl was about 15 years old, and I had led her to the Lord the year before, so I knew she was a Christian. I said to her, Susan, what's up? And she began to tell me this story: Since I got saved, I have been able to handle the stress in my family.

There has been a lot of stress in my family for a long, long time. Dad drinks heavily, comes home drunk, and then starts fighting with my mother. We live in a marionette, and often, I have to climb up the stairs when Dad comes home. I have to put my ear to the keyhole, because I know anytime he will start beating Mom up and I have got to jump in to separate the two. I am the firstborn and I have got three other siblings, younger than me, and the baby is about two years old. This week, the tension has been very high at home. Last night, Dad came in again at 3:00 A.M., and I stayed up to make sure he was fast asleep before something erupted. But last night they did not fight. This morning I came downstairs, dressed for school, and my little brother who never goes anywhere this early in the morning, was also dressed up.

Our house help, a young guy that lives with us to help with the baby, was also dressed up. I said, Mom, where is John going? and Mom said, We are leaving. Where? I asked. Who is leaving? Susan, stop asking so many questions. What I want you to do is go up to your room, get whatever stuff you think you need and come down. We are leaving in the next five minutes. Even Dad? I asked. I am not talking about your father; I said we are leaving. I knew something was horribly wrong. So finally I said, But we cannot leave Dad alone. If you think you love your father so much, then you can stay with him; if you think its me you love, you come with me.

But Mom, its not a matter of love. Who's going to cook for him, look after him...I am confused. Someone has to stay with Dad! I finally said, I do not know what I am going to do, but I am going to stay with Dad. Then I picked up my schoolbag and I ran all the way to school. Mrs. Mwiti, I want you to tell me, did I make the right decision? Now, in teachers college they taught me how to teach physics, how to check substances in chemistry, and how to do lab projects, but they did not teach me how to minister to kids who are hurting. I examined my heart and said to myself, Gladys Mwiti, you have had enough teaching physics and teaching chemistry get out of here! For quite a while, I had been feeling this frustration of seeing hurting kids in class unfocused, hungry, in pain, emotionally frozen. I went home, and I told my husband, I am in the wrong place, and the Lord is saying get out! So by faith, I had to go back to school to study psychology. The only place I could study in Kenya was a secular university, the U.S. International University they have a campus in San Diego, California (the mother campus), and this campus in Nairobi. I studied psychology for fI have years. I kept reading and integrating the work of Larry Crabb, James Dobson, and others. Soon the Lord made it very clear that he wanted me to do a faith ministry start Oasis Counseling Center. The struggle has been mighty, I mean really big, in setting up this work in Africa, but it's been very satisfying.

So, has your work been primarily with teenagers?

I work with everyone. When you are talking of a ministry which is out there with nothing else, you cannot say, I do families, I do youth. From the very beginning I have worked with youth, so I am very, very close to young people; I love them. We do a lot of youth counseling that automatically goes into family counseling to marriage counseling, which leads to depression, stress management, conflict resolution, leadership training, etc. We started out aiming at a small urban population in Nairobi. Nairobi is about three million today, and there's almost nothing else around. We have people coming for counseling sessions from the rural areas, 200-300 miles away. I sat back and I said, Lord, what else can we do now? The answer was to train lay counselors at the community and church levels. Then the hurting people can find somebody who can work with them at least at the encouragement level of counseling, before they look for the professional. If we help lay counselors set up counseling departments in the church, they can train other lay counselors to help in the counseling. Then we train pastors in supervisory skills. This is how we got into the training of lay counselors to reach the rural communities and even the rest of the city that we cannot reach.

In 1990, we were focusing just on lay counseling in Kenya, but by the next year, people were coming from the rest of Africa for three-weeks of training in lay-counseling skills, and then returning to their countries to set up counseling ministries. Through that program, we have 500 people, scattered all over Africa, doing lay counseling. How did you get involved with counseling the United Nations staff when they were evacuated from Rwanda in 1994? In April 1994, the United Nations evacuated over 300 of their staff employees with their families from Kigali. All the hotels were fully booked in Nairobi. This was five days after the plane of the president of Rwanda had been destroyed and the onset of the genocide. I was just finishing devotions, and a car with a United Nations registration number drove up. The Christian dry hiver had a note on U.N. letterhead instructing me to report to one of the hotels in town. I told my secretary to cancel my appointments and I would call her from the hotel. When I entered the hotel's lobby, there were bags and people everywhere.

A woman met me and took me to a small room: Gladys, she said, we need you to do something for us beginning now. We have a fax here from New York, from the U.N. headquarters, stating that all the people evacuated last night need to be debriefed. The instructions are that we debrief them before they are deployed anywhere or sent home because they have seen such horrific things in Rwanda. We have set up a room for you and you can begin your first group as soon as you are ready. I called my office and said, reschedule everything for the next two months! As I counseled and debriefed the U.N. staff, I was joined later by the head of a counseling unit from New York, and two professional counselors/consultants from Canada. For two months, we worked with the employees and their families, and it was such tiring stuff.

How did you care for yourself in the midst of that work?

I could not get self-care until the end of the two months; it was crazy. But my husband is a great guy; he can just sit and listen to me for hours, so he did a lot of debriefing for me. But by the end of two months, I scheduled some time with a professional counselor. I saw him for several sessions, but I was in such a state of mind that I could not go back to work for another month. What I realized about the U.N. staff is that very few of them had really experienced any trauma. Their experience of trauma was hearing gunshots and grenades go off. A few of them remembered seeing gory stuff. For example, one of them said, I remember seeing a dog chewing a human hand as we drove out of Kigali to Bujumbura in Burundi and then airlifted to Nairobi. I appreciated the fact that the U.N. wanted counseling for its staff, whether the people felt traumatized or not. And some of them did not think they had been affected until the middle of their sessions. Then they just broke down in tears. I had even more concern about the Rwandans left behind. The U.N. was so concerned about their employees, who hardly had lost a single member of their families (thought some of them had seen colleagues killed) but who was concerned about the millions of Rwandans? Men, women, and children who had seen blood, some of them lay under dead bodies for days, some of them live in holes for months who is counseling the Rwandans?

I asked the head of the counseling ministry, the offices in Nairobi, and the counseling unit in New York what they were doing to help the Rwandans. The answer came back the same: Nothing. So I went to the All Africa Council of Churches is, the overseeing body of the Protestant churches is in Africa. What are we doing about Rwanda? I asked. What can we do, Mrs. Mwiti? I went to the Association of Evangelicals of Africa, the body that looks after the evangelical churches is. Nothing! I went to people that I knew had regional offices working in Nairobi but working in Rwanda nothing! I got very frustrated, and so my husband one day looked at me and said, Gladys, you seem to be spending a lot of time asking people what they are doing about Rwanda. What are you doing about Rwanda? Me? I asked. I am too small. Too small? he replied. If the Lord wants you in Rwanda, is he not big enough to do that?

I started reading, writing, and researching. By the end of 1994, I had materials for training, but I did not know what I was going to do with them. Someone heard about me and published those materials. By February 1994 we had materials published. By April 1994, they were translated into Kenya and Rwanda, and we were beginning trauma counseling in Rwanda. Since 1995, we have trained 216 counselors in Rwanda. But they, each of them has counseled or trained 60 others since then. So we have over 10,000 people today counseling in Rwanda. Counseling and small groups are mushrooming all over the place. We take them through a process of healing themselves, because you cannot bring healing to others until you are healed yourself. They go home with Bible-study materials and pastor's notes that we have prepared. In group counseling, they support one another as they complete their healing. By the end of the 10 weeks of Bible study, they already are addressing the needs of poverty, the needs of AIDS, and they are setting themselves up in small inter development projects, such as chicken and goat keeping. The are some of the programs that we are involved in at Oasis. Our three-week lay counselor training has evolved to other programs during the year, such as training for people working with disadvantaged children, street children, orphans, and abused children.

What are some of your goals for the future?

The need in Christian counseling on the continent of Africa is not in just addressing people and problems, but to be involved in helping to shape people's behavior. I am referring to the whole issue of values. Values that keep families from crumbling, values that keep kids from drugs. I am talking about biblically-founded beliefs that people sometimes do not want to be bold enough to teach, and I think Christian counselors have the goal of teaching. More and more Christian counselors need to be trained to boldly analyze what is happening and then help parents to teach values to their kids, help leaders understand the principles of servant leadership, help fathers to be better fathers.

My dream for Africa is for an all-African training institute of Christian counseling, where people do not just learn the skills but are able to come up with materials and strategies for reaching the masses. If we do not teach people how to live, we are leaving them in a vacuum. We'll continue with the training of lay counselors, but we need more professional counselors who will take a place in theological colleges, training schools, and universities, and make sure that Christian counseling is part of the curriculum in those places.

That's my dream. What would you want to say to AACC members about their contribution to counseling in Kenya and Africa? I am excited about AACC members looking beyond America. Whether I like it or not, America is our world influence today. The dollar has become an international currency. The whole world is hard on the heels of America. We are getting more from you than dollars. When a movie is released in Hollywood, it hits Nairobi in the next couple of weeks. With the Internet, communication between Los Angeles and Nairobi is instant. My prayer is that AACC members will realize that they are shaping Christian counseling around the world by the very fact that we in Africa know you love the Lord and we are following your lead. You cannot stand back and tell us, Do not follow. So we hope that God is in people's lives not just on their currency. Wherever the dollar finds its place, Christian counseling needs to find its place.

So I would like for AACC members to remember that Africa is bigger than a country; it's a continent with Islam, Christianity, and animistic religions. It takes me eight hours to fly from east to West Africa. The Lord may lead AACC members out there to help us in other ways and we shall appreciate it, but basically, I want to encourage all of you to keep following the Lord, because we are following you. Sounds like a challenge to a higher accountability! Let me add briefly that about fI have years ago, the Lord put on my heart the need for a Christian counselors association to be an accrediting body. Because the need is so great, anyone can set himself or herself up as a counselor. We have individuals, who go for a week's training, and they return saying, I have been through training and now I am a professional. I have been praying and working so hard, and finally in 1996, the Christian Counselors Association of Kenya got registered. I am the current chairman, and the accreditation committee is working hard to set standards of training and accreditation. Its a dream come true. Already, many other countries in Africa are saying, come over and help us to form our own associations. Very soon we are going to start visiting various countries, bringing all of them together, and helping them to set up Christian counseling associations in their countries.

This will encourage training, it will encourage standards, and it will also be able to push for universities or theological colleges in their countries to set up Christian counseling departments. When this happens, we shall be looking for AACC to send us people from time to time to come and teach in some of the places. At Oasis, we hope to have a diploma in Christian counseling, teaching it at the Institute, and also a Masters program. We need people from the America to come and help us set it up as well as people in publishing to help us with book old_resources. How large is your staff at Oasis, and how would you characterize your approach to Christian counseling? There are six full-time staff members, including myself, and then four part-time professional counselors. We have 33 professionals on the training staff, because we have got a huge training program. The professionals include pastors, medical doctors, psychologists a few of them teach in universities psychiatrists, and university lecturers. All of them are committed Christians who love the Lord and follow our model of Christian counseling. Our approach basically assumes the fallen nature of man, the fact that God wants us to be transformed, not just to be spared but to be changed from within, and that when Christ comes in, he turns things upside down, and we need to live in obedience to him. I can actually say that around 75% of those who come to us, if they were not Christians first, they become Christians during counseling. Or if they are weak in their Christian walk, they get encouraged before they leave. Our approach is not direct have; its more of an eclectic model. But it is basically a model that helps people get to know the Lord and live in obedience to him by the end of therapy. Phone Therapy is a wonderful medium to help you.

What kind of problems do you deal with at Oasis that might be unique to Kenya?

There are not any that I need to tell you, because you see, with this global model issue, we are as sick as everyone else! High on the list are marital problems, family issues, youth rebellion, drug abuse, stress, and depression. Basically the problems are due to the changes taking place in Africa. I am told that by the year 2000, 45% of Africans will be living in the cities. Child abuse is very much on the increase, so there is not anything that is unique there. Kenya is a nation where most people go to school, so we get the same problems that any other money-centered, material-centered society experiences. Most of our tribal structures were pretty solid, but with all the mobility of people, were encountering all of the community structure crumbling, individualism coming in, and self-worship. When the problems arrive, they eat from the core. The difference is that you do not have the tools and old_resources that we have in North America. Exactly! And that's why the disintegration will be faster, thus we need to work ever so hard. That's why my belief is that the church presents the example. I want to work myself out of business very quickly. The more the church does what the church is supposed to be doing, the better for society. God wants each person to use his or her gifts, and the gift of encouragement can belong even to a child. So, I must multiply myself, and the sooner I do that before the year 2000, the better.

Sydney Family Law Under Act of 1975

There are many reasons for wanting a lawyer in Sydney. Family law is an area of law that benefits from a specialist legal eagle. More often than not this is an area that includes the well-being of minor children. If a marriage or relationship breaks down then all the individuals concerned would benefit from the services of a legal expert. This becomes even more necessary if the parents cannot come to an amicable agreement. The family law is built around the understanding that the rights and well-being of the children are paramount. It is also enshrined in family law that it is the right of all children to receive the care and love of both parents.

There can be no doubt that this is a branch of law that takes a great deal of understanding and also empathy and compassion. Sydney family law falls under the Commonwealth family law. This in turn is made up of the Family Law Act of 1975, Family Law Regulations of 1984 and Marriage Act of 1961. Since 1986 the states of Australia came to an agreement that the rights and well-being of children would also be dealt with beneath this legislation. The only state that declined to follow this recommendation was Western Australia. This region of Australia has its own family court. Family court matters in Sydney would include property issues, maintenance, residence, child support, marriages, contact and divorces.

The Family Court has made every effort to make the proceedings as child friendly as possible and this includes Sydney. The law is presented in court in a more informal manner than other court hearings. The legal language has been changed so as not to refer to the ownership of children. It is the objective of this court to preserve the relationship between children and both parents. This is not always easy to do and the assistance of a lawyer who can handle the dynamics of what is a trying situation and also provides the best legal information of Sydney law for the family is essential. Such an experienced legal expert can guide both parents and children through the process as well as inform them of any other assistance available to them.

The greatest advantage of acquiring the services of a Sydney family law expert is that an agreement can be reached without a court hearing. There are many options available to finding a resolution to disputes. For this reason family dispute resolution is a requirement before application for parenting order. Legal counsel will make the procedure smoother and easier for the family concerned.

What Is Nutritional Counseling?

Nutritional counselors, also known as dietitians, help patients identify and manage food and nutrition-related concerns through short- and long-term treatment strategies. Nutritional counseling is commonly applied to patients experiencing neuromuscular or musculoskeletal disorders, digestive ailments, obesity, diabetes, menopause, pregnancy, allergies, among other conditions.

By analyzing and assessing diet and exercise habits, nutrition is seen as a key factor in establishing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Without adequate nutrition, a large number of diseases can ensue in part due to the vulnerability placed on the body. Nutritional counselors aim to find integrated ways to set goals and help patients achieve them. When nutritional counselors assess patients, individual profiles are analyzed. The information the patient receives from the counselor is contingent on their lifestyle (vegetarianism, for instance), age, life stage (menopause, pregnancy), and medical history.

Nutritional Counseling incorporates weight monitoring and education about weight, food records, self-control strategies, meal planning, and problem-solving skills. Instruction of food planning and self monitoring is seen as instrumental in getting patients to follow a specified program.

The Work of Dietitians Dietitians and nutritionists plan nutrition programs, helping to prevent and treat illnesses by promoting healthy eating habits while addressing dietary imbalances. They also recommend specific dietary changes to fit a person's temporary condition. (Recommending extra folate for pregnant women, for instance.) Dietitians often work in hospitals and schools, applying their services through education and research. Clinical dietitians provide nutritional services to patients in institutions by assessing patients' nutritional needs, developing and recommending nutrition programs, and evaluating the results with other professionals to coordinate medical and nutritional needs. Community dietitians counsel individuals and groups on nutritional practices aimed to prevent disease and promote health. They work as independent contractors with healthcare facilities or engage in their own private practice, screening clients' nutritional needs and offering regulated approaches meeting them.

Eating Disorders The American Dietetic Association (ADA) sets guidelines and protocols for the practice of nutritional counseling. In 1996, it defined guidelines for medical nutrition therapy for many medical conditions related to nutrition, which included eating disorders.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) considers nutritional counseling as one of the most important treatment elements for people with eating disorders. Nutritional counseling is viewed for its role in motivating patients to agree to reestablishing healthy eating habits. In this context, nutritional counseling is seen holistically, in terms of how it fits into ongoing support to patients and their families.

Nutritional counseling in this context attempts to correct irregular eating habits, replacing it with a balanced approach to food and weight control. It provides a synthesis of information and practices, drawing from many fields including cognitive-behavioral, relational, and educational techniques. It is considered a part of overall treatment, not as a single-source approach. As such, it employs the support of other treatment methods, which can include psychotropic medications and psychological counseling.

Collaborative rapport between patient and counselor is considered essential for treatment success. The counselor addressed entrenched food beliefs, behaviors and attitudes revolving around food, how, when, and how much to eat it - amounting to a complex equation. Counseling environments must be secure, safe, and supportive, where the patient receives helpful information from the counselor in a direct but non-intrusive manner.

How Nutritional Counseling Can Help Overall Health: Counseling can clarify questions related to nutrients, calories, and special food needs, showing what to look for when reading food labels. They can help sort through healthy cooking alternatives in real-life contexts while teaching strategies of self-control. (One may learn how to better select items from a restaurant menu, for example.)

Digestive Problems - Dietitians or Nutritionists jointly work with physicians to establish dietary plans that are in keeping with a patient's condition. They may recommend the removal of fried foods, spices or carbonation, while recommending other alternatives.

Diabetes - Counseling can provide healthy food alternatives without sacrificing taste.

Pregnancy - It can help ensure a pregnant woman is getting all the nutrients she needs, especially during the first three months of pregnancy, the crucial period that may affect a newborn's risk for developing neural tube or spinal cord defects.

Conditions that May Benefit from Nutritional Counseling HIV, Cancer, Hypertension, Organ Dysfunctions, Hypoglycemia, and Heart Disease.

Most eating disorder centers and residential programs offer nutritional counseling. The benefits of receiving nutritional counseling includes improved ability to concentrate, a boosted immune system, stabilized moods, more energy, aid in recovery of eating disorders, and increase in overall health.

Family Therapist: Finding the Right One

Some people may dread the idea of going to counseling, generally due to a variety of different reasons. Even so, there are those who know what a little outside help can provide, particularly when a household can't see eye-to-eye on certain thing or in general. Fortunately, many find that using a family therapist can be a great way to get back in touch with their loved ones.

Counselors or therapists often work in group or private offices. Many offer the option of group or individual sessions to their clients. Generally, their primary role is to help provide guidance and direction to households who may struggle with communicating properly, or when in regards to seeing eye-to-eye in several areas.

As with many things, each counselor or therapy session may work differently. Because of this, it's important to think about the needs of your household as well as what you might be contending with before you look around. For instance, those who are having a predominantly a hard time with their marriage, along with the rest of the family, may prefer to focus therapists that work in this area, too.

Many professionals are specialists in certain areas, even aside from assisting families through counseling. For example, some may have a strong background in helping people with stress-related problems. On top of stress or marital concerns, others may focus strongly on health concerns, behavioral issues, parental training and so on.

Choosing the right family therapist can be a big decision. Doing research will help you to figure out which one will be suitable for your household's needs. This can be done by looking on the web, or you can ask around and look at local facilities within your area. Some people may also look into professionals who are covered under their insurance policy.

Asking questions of any counselor you consider can be important. This will allow you to get to know them better, and you'll be able to gauge their experience and how well they communicate. In many cases, professionals will provide an initial consultation, while others may try to figure out a family's situation over the phone first.

No matter which family therapist you choose to go with, it's important to understand the legal ramifications involved with therapy sessions. Therapists and counselors have strict policies that they must abide by. The most important ones tend to focus around the confidentiality between the professional and their clients, along with certain payment and ethical concerns. Therefore, it may be wise to research what your legal rights are before you choose someone in particular.

Marital Counseling Can Help To Revive Marriages

It is very rare for couples to go in for marital Counseling unless they are very close to considering divorce or till matters have deteriorated to such an extent, that they are not sure whether they can go on with the marriage. Fortunately there are also quite a few couples who consider that they will benefit from talking to a professional counselor when they find that there are issues in their marriage that can become major problems. The most sensible of couples choose to consult a counselor even before they get married. Even though others may find this strange, it does give the couple the confidence to make lifelong commitments with the knowledge that they have done everything that they could to start off their marriage in the correct way.

This sort of premarital Counseling encourages an exchange of views with all openness and honesty and thus enables the couple to get over any obstacles that they envisage or which they fear may arise later. When couples are engaged, the environment of the counselors office allows personal issues to be discussed safely and prevents these from becoming things that could affect the marriage. Here they can discuss what each person has in mind for the future and what goals they have for their future as a couple. It makes sense for a couple to discuss what they see as goals for the future, their individual career aspirations, whether they are planning a family and where they want to live. Such conversations that are frank can discuss all aspects of married life, and help a couple to strengthen their relationship by establishing areas where their thinking shows commonality and other areas where their divergent views may require compromises based on discussions.

While such dreams and feelings are shared, the counselor is able to gain an insight into the contentious issues that can arise in the married life of a couple and thus suggest ways that are constructive that can help to overcome them. Arguments can come up among couples who are loving, happy and secure and as long as these do not lead to lead to breakdown in relationships, they need not be a cause of concern. Counseling can help couples to learnt how to resolve conflicts in a practical way by confronting the causes of their arguments and endeavoring towards making sure that they do not recur.

Married couples can benefit from visits to a professional who is into marital Counseling even if they are not newly wed and have been together for 40 years. Marital Counseling is not a guarantee that the end result will be a happy one. There have been instances when even after years of therapy, couples may still decide that it is best for them to divorce or go in for separation. But then there have also been a number of marriages that have been saved by Counseling and where couples have decided to stay together. When you look for such professional help it is best to go to a counselor whom as a couple you feel comfortable with and here recommendations from friends or family who have used such services can come in handy. If the initial visits have you still feeling uncomfortable, probably it is best you consider changing the counselor. It is better to put in some effort at this stage as something very important like a marriage is at stake.

Blended and Step Families in the Generation X Group

Twenty years ago, it was rare for a family to be divorced. These families were in the minority.  If your family was divorced, you didn't talk much about it.  Generation X is the generation that has seen the most divorces, remarriages and blended families in their lifetime.

Walk into any classroom today, and over half of the kids in the class are from families that are divorced, re-married or in a single parent home.  It's not so unusual anymore.

Recent statistics on divorce and blended families

  • More than 20+ million Blended Family households exist today and that number grows daily. 
  • There are approximately 2,100 new blended families each day in America.
  • Research shows that by the year 2010 the 'blended family' will be the most common form of family unit in our nation. 
  • By 2010, 130+ million people either will be in or have been in a blended family of some form (through re-marriage, adoption, foster home, etc.) 
  • 60% of second marriages end in divorce. (Statistics from the American Blended Family Association.)
How does Generation X respond to these figures? 

It's still embarrassing and upsetting to have your family divorce and your parents remarry other partners. Many hope that their parents will get back together and are crushed when their parents find new mates and start a new marriage.  Parents need to take their time, looking for not only a new partner, but also someone who will be co-parenting their children.  Children need to meet the future step parent, when the relationship starts to become more committed and is heading towards marriage.

Some refer to visiting their noncustodial parent, as "going to see the stepfamily." This reaction is very hurtful to their parent, and also lengthens the time it takes for a visiting teen to integrate into their new family.

What can be done to make it easier?

Teens and young adults of divorced families need to understand that there are things they can affect and things they can't change. You can control your attitude and behavior. You can't control your parent's decisions about divorce or remarriage.   

Communicating honestly and respectfully to your parents is the best action you can take. Share your feelings, thoughts and concerns with your parents.  Your darkest fears and concerns may not be so bad, once you talk with your parents:

  • Will you stop loving me like you stopped loving mom?
  • Will my new stepmom be more important than me?
  • Who will you love more, my new stepdad or me?
Teens may also want to obtain resources on Blended Families. Some people even seek counseling or coaching for their blended family concerns. It's difficult to blend a new family out of two other families. It's O.K. to struggle a little at first, and feel uncomfortable. With patience and understanding, your blended family will become an added bonus to your biological family, and a source of support and strength for you.