Article Critique: Developmental Counseling and Therapy

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Developmental Counseling and Therapy


Like all normal adults, schoolchildren experience various circumstances and events that might affect them negatively. These issues range from the challenges of living in blended families to parental divorce, child abuse, and even substance abuse among parents. This places these children at a higher risk; thus, there is a reason they require remediation. It is the responsibility of school counselors to come up with a range of interventions to help meet the challenges faced by such students. The article’s purpose was to look into the most effective approach that can be used by counselors to understand the challenges children experience and offer their counseling services as a mode of intervention. Individuals have to develop short, structured, and innovative strategies that would allow them to visualize new ideas to understand the children’s view of reality. The authors found that Developmental Counseling and Therapy is the best strategy and model of assessment that counselors can use to intervene and help solve the underlying problems in school.

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Developmental Counseling and Therapy: An Effective Approach to Understanding and Counseling Children

The article titled “Developmental Counseling and Therapy: An Effective Approach to Understanding and Counseling Children” by Jane E. Myers, Marie Shoffner, and Michele Kielty Briggs was published in the year 2002. Its main argument is that children in school need counseling intervention to help them deal with the challenges that they face because of the realities of life. School counselors have to implement the right assessment process and a plan for an intervention to meet the varying needs of children. According to the study conducted by the authors, they found that Developmental Counseling and Therapy (DCT) is a strategy that can be applied by counselors to intervene when schoolchildren face various problems. The focus is to use Piagetian theory to understand DCT after conducting a thorough review of the cognitive development of the clients (Myers, Shoffner, & Briggs, 2002). The authors’ purpose for writing the article was to address intervention techniques that can be used to address the underlying challenges that schoolchildren experience. The article is relevant and can be applied in the current school setting; it connects with the school-age population, school change interventions, and current education issues that are evaluated below.

At the beginning of the article, it is easy to identify its relevance to a school setting. The authors mention the functions and roles of school counselors and indicate that they have become more multifaceted and complex. On the other hand, Myers et al. (2002) also mention that there are external demands that are upon school counselors, requiring them to use various methods of interventions to address the present challenges. From these statements, it is easy to conclude the article is not only applicable in a current school setting but also connects to educational issues. In the contemporary school setting, counselors are available in all educational institutions to help children and students deal with various concerns that are affecting them. The issues can be a result of school pressures or can be developed due to their home environment. This relates well to what the authors are trying to evaluate in their article, making it relevant to the current school set up. The case example of Carrie, an eight-year-old girl who lacks social skills and is not able to understand friendship, relates well to many situations that teachers experience today. Such children require a counselor to identify their problems and help them overcome the challenge, which is depicted in the article. The case of Carrie also shows that the article connects with the school-age population.

The authors have clearly stated the problem and offered background information about it at the beginning of the article. As mentioned earlier, the problem, in this case, is the issue of children having to deal with various challenges because of the realities of life. Based on the article, the problem is researchable, which is evident by the theories that the authors have outlined. Myers et al. (2002) have reviewed the Piagetian theory, which they offer as a framework for counselors to understand DCT. On the other hand, the case example of Carrie is a clear sign that the problem can be investigated through an analysis and data collection. For instance, the data were collected by interviewing Carrie and gathering information about her behavioral patterns and dialect thinking.

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The problem statement indicates the variable of interest in the article and the relationship of the variable, which is being investigated. In the article, the use of the DCT model as a strategy answers the problem statement. The counselor used a response variable, which involved interviewing the child and obtaining various answers. The relationship between the response variable and the variable of interest, which in this case is the DCT model, helps the counselors in coming up with the right planning process.

It is important to note that Carrie’s answers are the independent variable. By responding to the counselor’s questions, she is outlining her problems, which the authors were trying to solve by finding the right strategy to understand her. While explaining Piagetian theory, Myers et al. (2002) have mentioned that children develop thoughts of various activities from birth to when they are about 18 months. At this stage, they are not only able to think but their problem-solving abilities also start to emerge. It is because their cognitive structures enable them to interact with their surroundings by adapting to it and the information they receive. The intellectual activity that they acquire at this stage helps children in the future, especially in their intellectual development (Myers et al., 2002). This is the reason Carrie was able to outline all her problems in an effective way because of intellectual development.

The way in which Carrie scored in the interview changed everything, especially the plan and strategy used by the counselor to help solve her social challenges. In this case, the scores are dependent variables since they are based on the underlying problem stated by the authors. The case study was conducted to assess the modalities of the client and the development blocks that can be applied to help her. The dependent variables, in this case, are operationally defined by Carrie’s social behaviors that are evident throughout the interview during which she scored poorly in regard to social behavior.

Among the issues that are evident in this article is the fact that it addresses school change interventions. For instance, the preferred modalities that are being used in schools are different from the ones that existed before. At the beginning of their article, Myers et al. (2002) indicated that the roles of school counselors have become multifaceted and complex. These responsibilities changed with time, which has increased the counselors’ demands significantly. They have to follow the right steps like any other professional counselors to solve the crisis that schoolchildren face. The case of Carrie is clear evidence of changes in school interventions. Her social problems are attributed to conditions at home; however, it is the role of the teachers to identify her problems and look for ways to intervene.

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Lastly, there is a strong connection between Piaget’s theory and current education issues. Among the current education issues, one can mention having a school climate that is conducive for the child to learn. Based on this theory, children come up with constructing knowledge and thinking as they develop, which enables them to make meaning of the world surrounding them. In this case, the world around them is the school; thus, it is the role of counselors to ensure that the school climate is appropriate for all children to thrive. The theory looks at the ways in which children develop from birth to eight years.

In conclusion, after the careful evaluation of the article, one thing stands out, which is the fact that the authors managed to meet their purpose effectively. The article has perfectly connected with counseling theory and issues related to the current school setting, changes in interventions, educational issues, and school population. However, for this work to be more appropriate, the authors should have focused more on the findings from the interview. It could have enabled the readers to have a wider view of the effective ways to conduct counseling for children.

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