Counselling approaches with children, adolescents and adults


Ways in which counselling approach with the child in the media differs from that of adolescents.

The counselling approach in the media for children differs from that used with adolescents. While using media in children counselling, it is imperative that the language chosen is very simple to understand in order to allow the child to fully follow through the session (J. Sommers-Flanagan & R. Sommers-Flanagan, 2007). The language chosen should also be sensitive to the child’s age. On the other hand, when dealing with adolescents, more mature language can be used because they are in a position to understand more advanced vocabulary.

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It is also important to note that children are more easily distracted during sessions. The media chosen should therefore be short and precise in order to accommodate their short concentration spans while maintaining efficiency of the session. In older adolescents, however, the media can be lengthier and contain a little more information. This is based on the adolescents’ ability to sustain longer periods of concentration without getting distracted as compared to children (Fitzpatrick & Irannejad, 2008).

Ways in which the counselling approach the child differs from that with the adult.

There also exist numerous differences in media counselling for adults and for children. During counselling for adults, the adults are able to express themselves clearly, concisely andin eloquent phrases. Children, on the other hand, may struggle significantly with speech (J. Sommers-Flanagan & R. Sommers-Flanagan, 2007). Hence it is paramount that the media used for children encourage them to express themselves both verbally and non-verbally. The media used with adults does not necessarily have to be of a simplistic nature as they are able to comprehend to a much greater degree.

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Moreover, adults have infinitely more experience with the world than children do. This allows the adults to relate to much more media content as they have gone through so much more and as a result have much more experience than children. This in turn means that the media used with children is much more limited as they can only relate to a few things, say only within family gatherings or a limited circle of friends. The media used is therefore only that which the individual groups can easily relate to.

Ways in which the counselling approach with the adolescent differs from the adult.

Counseling for adults and adolescents is vastly different as these two groups go through very different situations and deal with different things. Both groups are enticed or interested by different things. For instance, adolescents are more intrigued by mainstream media such pop culture. Adults, on the other hand, are mostly concerned with more demanding matters such as paying bills, living healthily and so on. The media thus chosen during counselling should be appropriate for the age group in session and should be appealing enough to keep them interested and alert during the session.

Another key difference is that adults are often more vocal with their issues while adolescents are more likely to be reserved. Once the adolescents open up, they also tend to have very little regard for personal boundaries and do not conform to conventional methods of expression (Fitzpatrick & Irannejad, 2008). For example, an adolescent may be more comfortable lying on the ground during the session. The media chosen should therefore encouragethe client to open up freely and discuss whatever is on their mind and provide a conducive environment to discuss these issues.

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  1. Fitzpatrick, R. M., & Irannejad, S. (2008). Adolescent readiness for change and the working alliance in counselling. Journal of Counselling and Development, 86(4), 438 – 445.
  2. Sommers-Flanagan, J., & Sommers-Flanagan, R. (2007). Tough kids, cool counseling: User-friendly approaches with challenging youth (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.
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