Theoretical approaches and modalities used with children and adolescents

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Prasath, Priscilla Rose
Gregory, J. Claire
Maghsoudi, Mahsa
Gonzalez, Stacy Speedlin
Morris, Crystal

Prasath, P. R., Gregory, J. C., Maghsoudi, M., Gonzalez, S. S., & Morris, C. (2021). Theoretical approaches and modalities used with children and adolescents. Child and adolescent counseling: An integrated approach (pp. 129-174)


Working with children and adolescents, whether in a school or clinical mental health setting, calls for intentional practices. Professional school counselors and clinical mental health counselors work with clients from developmental, systemic, relational, multicultural, perspectives that inform theoretical lens to better conceptualize the needs of young clients. This chapter describes various perspectives of child and adolescent client needs using theoretical approaches and modalities. It discusses the following approaches: strengths-based approaches, experiential-based learning, social emotional learning, relational approaches, systemic approaches, multidisciplinary approaches, group counseling, trauma informed counseling, neurofeedback, and motivational interviewing. Additionally, the chapter discusses systemic contexts, the use of creativity, relational context, and multiculturalism to illuminate how intersectionality occurs with the perspective of each approach. Literature examining strength concepts extend beyond an individual’s inherent talent. Strength promotes energy when individuals experience successful performances and foster motivation to engage and remain productive.

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