Counselors' Models of Helping: Addressing the Needs of the Culturally Different Client in School Settings

By Jackson, Shelley A.; Holt, Mary Louise et al. | Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, October 2005 | Go to article overview

Counselors' Models of Helping: Addressing the Needs of the Culturally Different Client in School Settings


Jackson, Shelley A., Holt, Mary Louise, Nelson, Kaye W., Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development


This study examined the attributions made by school counselors about responsibility for the causes of and solutions to students' problems. A total of 433 school counselors completed an instrument measuring attributions of responsibility and controllability of student problems. The hypothesis was supported that school counselors' attribution styles differ according to counselor ethnicity.

Este estudio examino las atribuciones hechas por consejeros de escuela acerca de responsabilidad para las causas de y de las soluciones a los problemas de los estudiantes. Un suma de 433 consejeros de la escuela completo un instrumento que mide atribuciones de responsabilidad y la habilidad de controlar los problemas de los estudiantes. La hipotesis se sostuvo que los estilos de atribucion de los consejeros de escuela se difieren segun el origin etnico del consejero.

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The American School Counselor Association's National Standards for School Counseling Programs (hereinafter called National Standards; Campbell & Dahir, 1997) outlines a comprehensive developmental guidance program that embraces the advocacy and consultant role of the school counselor. The extent to which school counselors identify with and maintain developmental guidance programs may be influenced by their attributions about how external events cause various problems that are identified in student referrals from teachers, students, and parents. Previous researchers have found that the attribution style of a therapist influenced the choice of treatment he or she recommended (Kernes & McWhirter, 2001). In addition, counselor attributions of responsibility for solving problems may also help maintain the developmental focus of school counseling programs and may be related to the counselor's ethnicity, the licensure status of the counselor, and the student population with whom the counselor works.

developmental school counseling

According to Myrick (1997), developmental guidance (a) is for all students, (b) has an organized and planned curriculum, (c) is sequential and flexible, (d) is an integrated part of the total school process, (e) involves all school personnel, (f) helps students learn more effectively and efficiently, and (g) includes counselors who provide counseling services and interventions. Other authors have supported developmental school counseling models in which counseling services are available to all students (e.g., W. R. Bailey, Deery, Gehrke, Perry, & Whitledge, 1989; Borders & Drury, 1992; Carter, 1993; Hardesty & Dillard, 1994; McDowell & Sayger, 1992; Paisley & Borders, 1995; Paisley & Peace, 1995; Snyder & Daly, 1993; Stulac & Stanwyck, 1980). Paisley and Borders stated that the appropriate school counseling programs should be comprehensive and developmental programs that emphasize primary prevention and the promotion of the healthy development of all students. O'Dell, Rak, Chermonte, Hamlin, and Waina (1996) defined developmental programs as programs that are available to all students and that improve competencies in personal, social, and career goal planning. This developmental approach affirms that guidance is for everyone, and its purpose is to develop all students to their maximum potential. The National Standards, developed in 1997, are based on these goals and principles for developmental counseling programs (Campbell & Dahir, 1997).

brickman's theory of responsibility attributions

Brickman et al. (1982) outlined four models that identify what form people's behavior will take when they try to help others or to help themselves. Each of the four models of helping has characteristic consequences for the competence, status, and well-being of the helper and the person being helped. Brickman et al. further claimed that the wrong choice of a model in a situation undermines the effectiveness of the helping relationship and the effectiveness of the program in general. …

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