Counseling Adolescents

Dr. Purushothaman
November 29, 2013

This group is requested by Homeward Bound, Inc. this is an adolescent rescue organization in Dallas, Texas. It offers drug and alcohol detoxification treatment and comprehensive resident and counseling programs for adolescents. It also offers social service support and education for those affected by alcohol abuse. The mission of the organization is to promote positive behavioral change.
The need of the group

Adolescence is a tumultuous period in life. Adolescent are faced by many challenges in their life and this is one of the period when individuals need guidance. This group will be focused on addressing drinking issue that is becoming a major problem to adolescents. Alcohol abuse is a major challenge to many adolescents. Due to peer pressure, adolescents fall to the trap of underage drinking risking not only their health but their lives as well. Therefore, this group will be aimed at helping adolescents who are facing alcohol abuse problem by making appropriate interventions.
Goals, strategies, and interventions

The main aim of this group is to assist adolescents overcome the alcohol abuse problem. The following are the main objective of the group:

To help adolescents to open up and share their experience

To educate adolescents on the factor predisposing them to alcohol abuse and help them understand experimental progression in alcohol abuse

To help adolescent overcome alcohol abuse

To educate adolescents on physical, psychological, and behavioral effects of alcohol abuse

The main theoretical orientation for this group is based on the premise that alcohol abuse is a learned behavior. Consistent with social learning theory, this program believes that with appropriate behavioral intervention, adolescents can evade the trap of drug abuse. According to Walfish et al., (1990) adolescents believe about substance abuse through modeling, mainly by observing salient role models including parents, siblings, and peers, use of substance abuse and consequences. In addition, classical conditioning theory asserts that positive reinforcement from the living environment including people, places, and things contribute to alcohol abuse among adolescents (Walfish et al., 1990). Therefore, the group will be devoted to helping adolescents unlearn these behaviors. Therefore, the group will use cognitive-behavioral counseling interventions. These interventions will be appropriate for the group because of their emphasis upon brief, time-limited interventions that are directed towards immediate concerns. Based on the stated goals, this intervention will have three main focus including helping adolescents understand how their thoughts and behaviors contribute to alcohol abuse, promote understand of how alcohol abuse is connected to negative consequences on their lives, and finally helping them explore new ways of thinking and behavior to reduce alcohol abuse.
Legal and ethical consideration

There are different legal and ethical factors that will have to be considered. First, approval from parents will be sought to have the adolescents participate in the group. This is one of the most important legal and ethical factors to ensure that their parents understands what their adolescents are doing and approves it (Corey & Corey, 2001). Second, the group will observe multicultural counseling philosophy in that sense that it will use strategies that are culturally appropriate to all adolescents in the group.


There are different challenges that are likely to be encountered while working with adolescents in a group. Adolescents are more active compared to adults and hence bringing them to order is sometimes a major challenges. They are active and "hands-on" (Aronson, 2004). This implies that unless the group uses interesting and involving activities, it will be difficult to bring them to order. Another challenge would be impulsiveness of adolescents (Aronson, 2004). This implies that group discussion will have to be precisely guided otherwise the group may lose its focus on the issue under discussion.

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