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Strengths-Based Counseling With At-Risk Youth
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Strengths-Based Counseling With At-Risk Youth



April 2006 | 144 pages | Corwin
`An eye-opening and heart-opening book.'

-Bonnie Benard, Senior Program Associate, WestEd

Identify and promote overlooked strengths to cultivate resilience.

Now more than ever, counselors, teachers, community youth workers, and parents are striving to prevent individual and school-wide tragedy before it happens. Critical to the success of their efforts is a deep respect for the adolescent experience. In this book, author and social worker Michael Ungar takes a fresh, hopeful approach to challenging youth by looking beyond the surface of "bad" behaviors to understand them as ways of coping with life's adversities.

Strengths-Based Counseling With At-Risk Youth provides the tools both to understand and access strengths buried beneath problem behaviors. It offers specific, effective strategies in working with adolescents to construct positive identities and realistic action plans. Features include

Six strategies for youth engagement, covering common problem behaviors such as drug use, violence, delinquency, and promiscuity

An entire chapter on bullying

An abundance of real-life examples and counseling narratives

A Resilient Youth Strengths Inventory to assess resilience and identify areas that need strengthening

Sincere application of Ungar's compassionate and open-minded strategies is sure to transform the lives of countless adolescents in need, and the institutions that serve them.

 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
Chapter 1. Surviving and Thriving
The Many Ways Youth Survive

 
Three Survival Strategies, Three Identities

 
Power and Self-Definition

 
Substitution as Intervention

 
Narrative Interventions

 
Powerful Alternatives

 
 
Chapter 2. Three Identities: Pandas, Chameleons, and Leopards
The Stuck Panda

 
The Uncertain Chameleon

 
The Demanding Leopard

 
Pegs and Holes

 
 
Chapter 3. Six Strategies for Nurturing Resilience
Overview of the Six Strategies

 
Paths to Resilience: Conventional and Unconventional

 
Strategy 1: Hear Their Truth

 
 
Chapter 4. From Truth to Action: Implementing Strategies Two Through Five
Strategy 2: Help Youth Look Critically at Their Behavior

 
Strategy 3: Create Opportunities That Fit With What Youth Say They Need

 
Strategy 4: Speak In Ways Youth Will Hear and Respect

 
Strategy 5: Find the Difference That Counts the Most

 
 
Chapter 5. The Many Expressions of Youth Resilience
Strategy 6: Substitute Rather Than Suppress

 
Substitutions for Drug Use

 
Substitutions for Other At-Risk Behaviors

 
The Many Expressions of Resilience

 
 
Chapter 6. A New Way to Look at Bullying
Bullying as Coping: Jake

 
Bullying and the Three Identities

 
Providing Opportunities for Adaptation

 
Substitutions for Bullies

 
Substitutions for Victims

 
 
Chapter 7. Assessing Resilience
The Resilient Youth Strengths Inventory

 
Evaluating Fairly

 
 
Chapter 8. Translating the Results of the Resilient Youth Strengths Inventory
Pandas Shoot

 
Chameleons Score

 
Leopards Win

 
Using Results to Inform Our Efforts

 
 
Conclusion: The Need for Change
 
References
 
Index

“Offers concrete examples regarding questioning and building rapport that are very helpful to professionals and parents faced with (re)connecting and helping youth.”

William P. Evans, Professor and State Specialist for Youth Development
Human Development and Family Studies, University of Nevada, Reno

An eye-opening and heart-opening book."

Bonnie Benard, Senior Program Associate
WestEd, Oakland, CA

"A commonsense approach to working with teens. If you are new to the topic of resiliency, this is a good place to start."

PsycCRITIQUES, October 2006
American Psychological Association

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface

Chapter 1


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